About Us


The Cahn Fellows Program for Distinguished Public School Principals at Teachers College, Columbia University seeks to strengthen public schools by recognizing outstanding principals and aspiring principals and developing their capacity as leaders. The Program engages principals and aspiring principals in a collaborative network of peers and develops their ability to improve school climate and culture, teacher effectiveness and ultimately student learning and achievement.


The Cahn Fellows Program was founded in 2002 as a result of the vision and generosity of Charles & Jane Cahn. The Cahns wanted to do something to recognize excellence in education with the belief that, in recognizing and supporting excellence, we can help an entire system to rise.The Cahn Fellows Program inducted its first cohort of Cahn Fellows into the Program in 2003. It is the only program of its kind that has been specifically designed to support the growth of exemplary school leaders. The Program enables Fellows to become even more effective principals while leveraging their talents to support aspiring school principals.


The Annual Leadership Conference is about celebrating, sharing and making new connections. We are delighted to provide you with this time, space and structure to meet and re-connect with colleagues, think together about the most pressing issues that you face in your school, reflect on your role as school leader and start a conversation that will outlast this one day.

Core Beliefs

#1 - We know the leadership and culture of a school have an enormous impact on student outcomes.

#2 - Our greatest leverage is with high-performers and high-performing principals.

We know this group generally receives little effective professional development, recognition, or collegial peer engagement.


Our Supporters


Chuck Cahn

Jane Gilbert

The Chicago Public Education Fund

Teachers College

The Charlotte-Mecklenberg Public School System

The Adelson Family Foundation

The Haupt Family Foundation

Frank Trainer

Cranagleith Foundation

Richard and Robin Pzena

Ruth and David Levine

The Hertog Family Foundation

The Arthur Ditto Family Foundation

Jonathan Reiss

Greg Sawers

The Council of School Supervisors

Paul C. LoBoen

The Kornfeld Foundation

Our alumni and Board Members

And many other supporters.

In-Kind Support & Strategic Partnerships



Brown University

Campaign for Fiscal Equity

The Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs

The Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for International and Strategic Studies

The College Board

Creative Associates International, Inc. 


Dickinson College

The Earth Institute at Columbia University


Executive Leadership Institute (ELI)



The Harvard Graduate School of Education

The Institute for Learning

The Leader-to-Leader Institute

The McGraw-Hill Companies

National Association for Secondary School Principals

The National High School Alliance at the Institute for Educational Leadership

The New York Yankees

Northwestern University 's School of Education and Social Policy

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Pulaski School District , Pulaski , WI

St. Francis College

Teachers College, Columbia University


U.S. Army War College

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

U.S. Military Academy at West Point

U.S. Naval Academy

Yale School of Management


Get Involved with the Cahn Fellows Program