Mentor Program


Many of our nation’s most respected executives, in both the public and private sectors, cite the support, influence and encouragement of a mentor as a contributing reason for their success. As an organization dedicated to grooming Black administrators for the challenges of senior management positions in the public sector, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators is firmly committed to fostering mentoring relationships that will increase career opportunities for the “next generation of Black public managers.”
With this commitment in mind, in 1987 NFBPA launched the Mentor Program, a unique program designed to positively impact the professional development of emerging public administrators. The program is an intensive, eight-month initiative with a two-fold focus. First, emphasis is placed on skills building, with specialized workshops offered during two group meetings. The second, and equally important, focus is embodied in informal interaction between mentors and protégés throughout the program period.


Annually, a search is conducted to identify up to twenty aspiring public managers who show great promise of achieving executive positions in public service. NFBPA will match each of these professionals or “protégés” with a seasoned Black executive. NFBPA has identified a pool of highly successful Black public officials who are eager to share the insight and wisdom acquired from many years in the management ranks, with younger, career-minded professionals who aspire to achieve executive positions in public service. Following the identification of the protégés, mentors are selected from the pool and matched on a one-to-one basis with each protégé. Protégés selected to participate in the Mentor Program retain their jobs and professional responsibilities during the course of the program. Whenever possible, protégés are matched with mentors who live and work within a 50-mile radius, thus supporting frequent face-to-face interaction and telephone meetings.


  • Bachelor’s Degree (required)
  • Master’s Degree (preferred)
  • Minimum of two years professional work experience, preferably in an administrative capacity
  • Demonstrated participation and involvement in community, civic, professional and social activities
  • Interest in and commitment to achieving an executive position in the public sector


Persons selected to participate in the Mentor Program will be required to complete a number of important tasks. At a minimum, the following is required:

  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to developing and sustaining a mutually-supportive relationship with a mentor
  • Commitment to developing a detailed, individualized work program and strategic career plan
  • Willingness to undertake and complete a research project on a problem facing your community
  • Availability to attend kick-off and mid-year workshops and fully participate in group discussion
  • Submission of monthly status reports on the progress achieved in the mentoring relationship
  • Commitment to schedule and attend frequent “team meetings” with a mentor


Among the benefits of participation in the Mentor Program are the following:

  • Unique access to and the opportunity to interact with a prominent local government executive on a one-to-one basis
  • Sage advice and counsel from someone who’s “been there”
  • The opportunity to develop a strategic career plan with the assistance of a successful executive
  • Heightened awareness of career opportunities in the public sector
  • The opportunity to network with Black professionals from across the country


April – July 30
Recruitment and solicitation of protégé applications

Selection of protégés; notification of decision to applicants

Kick-off/Orientation Program, Washington, DC

Mid-Year Workshop, Washington, DC


Mentor Program Recognition Ceremony


Participants are expected to pay a fee which subsidizes partial costs associated with lodging, programming and group meals. The Mentor program fee is $750 for program participation only and does not include membership or registration for NFBPA’s annual conference (FORUM).

Participants can chose to pay a total cost of $1,445 for Non-Members which covers Program fee ($750), Membership ($200) and Registration ($495) or $1,245 for current Members which covers Program fee ($750) plus FORUM registration ($495).

Participants are also expected to assume the costs of their own travel to the orientation and mid-year training sessions, and to attend the annual conference (FORUM).

The Mentor Program Graduation is held in conjunction with the annual conference. Candidates selected to participate in the Mentor Program are required to join the NFBPA and maintain membership for the duration of the program.

Visit this link to download a Mentor Program Application Form. For more information contact Awa Fall at (202) 408-9300 Ext. 1-104 or email