Koch Associate Program

Koch Associate Program

We can transform society by breaking the barriers that prevent people from realizing their potential. But the enormity of this task requires movements of millions of people to organize and work together to solve society’s most pressing problems. It’s our belief that social entrepreneurs can create the solutions our world desperately needs, which is why we are investing in a rising generation of leaders.

About the Program

The Koch Associate Program (KAP) is a year-long opportunity that blends professional development with real work experience. It is designed for early and mid-career professionals seeking to accelerate their growth as leaders while addressing the biggest problems in society. KAP equips associates with the principles, network, and resources to succeed as social entrepreneurs: leaders from all walks of life using their unique gifts to break barriers holding people back from realizing their potential.

Associates spend four days a week working for one of the many participating non-profit organizations we work with that find innovative ways to serve their communities and the nation. We hand pick our participating organizations to ensure associates have the greatest opportunity to affect real change and influence in their position. Once a week, associates meet either online or in-person for our unique professional development grounded in our vision and management philosophy, Market Based Management®.

Hands on Learning

Learning doesn’t happen during lectures. We believe that associates are best prepared to become leaders, social entrepreneurs, and innovators addressing the biggest problems in society, when learning is self-directed and applied in their work. Associates learn directly from innovative leaders who are helping others transform their lives, leaders at some of the most impactful non-profits in the country, executives at social impact-oriented businesses, scholars, and public policy professionals

Market Based Management® Training

Our curriculum is built around Market-Based Management® (MBM®), Charles Koch’s management philosophy that has brought proven results to one of the most successful private companies growing Koch Industries to outperform the stock market forty-three fold since 1961. Associates learn to apply MBM® to be more effective leaders no matter their role or focus of their organization.

Capstone Projects

Real learning happens when we apply new principles and tools to work we’re passionate about. Associates bring their passions and unique talents together through a capstone project in order to help people in their community while developing their own skills. By using their abilities to solve real-world problems, associates discover how to grow their aptitudes and drive their own career growth. Associates regularly report on their progress to their peers to gain feedback, find opportunities for partnership, and refine their project.

Mentorship and Community

None of us can do it alone. We surround each associate with support, both from their peers and mentors. Each associate works closely with their advisor throughout the program, providing feedback on projects, pushing their associates to learn more about their passions and skills, and identifying resources that can help them be more successful, including additional mentors. Advisors gather their associates into small groups, offering a close-knit community of peers for each associate to further grow and learn alongside.


Throughout the program we host several summits, each designed to help associates take a big step forward on their projects and connect with resources from across our philanthropic community, including connecting with each other and with our alumni. Recent speakers have included Bishop Omar Jahwar on the power of Market-Based Management, Amy Rees Anderson sharing lessons she’s learned as a social entrepreneur, opportunities to volunteer with Homestretch and DC Central Kitchen, and exploring MBM tools, potential career paths, and graduate school options.

Learn more about how KAP provides participants purpose and inspiration.

Emerging Tech Policy Leaders Program

Are you an early career professional seeking to discover your passions, develop your unique talents, and jumpstart your career in technology and cyber policy? The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation (Hewlett Foundation) and the Charles Koch Institute (CKI) are partnering to launch the Emerging Tech Policy Leaders Program — a new effort seeking to build a more diverse, equitable, entrepreneurial, and capable technology and cyber policy field to help society navigate the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. We will jointly fund up to ten new positions – each lasting up to 24-months — at leading non-profit and academic institutions across the United States. These positions will support early career technology and cyber policy experts and provide participants a mix of real work experience with professional development to accelerate their growth as future leaders in the field.

Interested applicants must submit an application via the Koch Associate Program. On your application please indicate your interest in the Emerging Tech Policy Leaders Program. Successful candidates will gain access to an online job portal and must find employment with one of our participating organizations in order to join the program.

Important Program Dates

Applications OpenApplication ClosesRolling AdmissionsOpening ConferenceClosing Conference
February 1, 2021May 31, 2021March – June 2021September 2021May 2022

What’s in it for me?

Discovering what drives you

Drive your own professional development by gaining greater insight into what you are truly passionate about while developing your strengths. You’ll find opportunities to stretch yourself outside your comfort zone, build new skills, and gather knowledge from diverse sources.

Accelerating your career

Build a career that makes an impact. Through our MBM® curriculum participants learn to improve their ability to lead, innovate, and use principles-based thinking to make more effective decisions.

Getting connected

KAP will help you build meaningful relationships with a diverse group of fellow participants, faculty, and guests. Completing a Charles Koch Institute educational program comes with many long-term benefits, including access to an alumni network of more than 5,000 professionals.

Finding greater fulfillment in your work

Contribute to a transformative mission and help achieve a society where all people can realize their extraordinary potential.

Ready to Apply?

Our country needs more leaders dedicated to working toward a better society for everyone.

Apply and learn more about our application process.

Alumni Network

Our alumni have diverse passions and paths, including founders of non-profits, tenured professors, journalists, and expert policy analysts, all working to address the most pressing problems we face as a country.

One of the many benefits of participating in a Charles Koch Institute educational program is access to an alumni network of more than 5,000 professionals. We are excited to help our alumni reach their goals and make a difference in the world.

Resources are available to help you continue to build skills and meet your goals including:

Access to the alumni LinkedIn group, and associated discussion boards, job postings, and networking opportunities invitations to alumni-only events, happy hours, and conferences.

Questions about how our alumni network can help you? Email our alumni team at alumni@charleskochinstitute.org

Additional Resources

Educational programming students having a small group discussion.

Application Process

Click to begin a new application or to finish a previously started application.

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students at Charles Koch Institute summer internship program


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