6 Arizona Leadership Programs You Need to Know About

Photo by Alex Nemo Hanse on Unsplash

Local and national leadership programs are great tools to expand professional knowledge, build new relationships, identify a future employer, and support a commitment to continuous learning.

Here are six Arizona leadership programs to galvanize your civic engagement, nonprofit management, and business leadership.

Many of the programs below host information nights for curious individuals to learn more about the curriculum and what qualities the selection committee looks for in applicants.

Flinn-Brown Fellowship (Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at Flinn Foundation)

Focus: Open to all professionals with an interest in state-level civic engagement (e.g., running for public office, serving on boards and commissions, leading organizations that affect public policy, activists, etc.). All political ideologies welcome.

Time commitment: 14 full-day Academy sessions on Fridays and Saturdays over roughly 12 weeks. Pre- and post-seminar reading and resources.

Cost: No cost.

Learn more

Looking for a shorter program? CivEx Live offers in-person, nonpartisan, interactive events (~4 sessions beginning in the fall) for businesspeople, candidates, public officials, and other Arizona residents to explore current issues.

Arizona Coalition for Change — Young Black Organizer Project

Photo from the Arizona Coalition for Change Facebook Page

Focus: Developing tomorrow’s leaders today. “The Young Black Organizer Project (YBOP) is an 8-week social justice and civic engagement fellowship designed for black youth (age 15–30ish) aspiring to change the world around them. This fellowship will empower, develop and build the skills necessary for fellows to become outstanding Young Black Organizers in Arizona.”

Time commitment: An 8-week program beginning annually in October.

Cost: No cost.

Learn more

Valley Leadership (Institute or Accelerate)


Focus: Offering a large cohort, 50+ high potential leaders are selected each year from a variety of backgrounds. “The program draws on the expertise of Arizona’s influential business, civic and community leaders to provide issue-based learning to galvanize future impact and collaboration in the state.”

Time commitment: A 9-month program running from September to May. “Class members commit to nine program days, programmed tours, participation in the Impact Maker (and/or a group project), and other class-related activities.”

Cost: The 2019 program cost is $3,300 (financial assistance is available).

Learn more

Looking for a shorter program? Try the Valley Leadership Accelerate program that runs for 7 program days from September to November. Tuition is $950.

American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center


Focus: Open to nonprofit professionals and individuals serving nonprofits (e.g., board members, grant writers, committee chairs, etc.). “A nine-month program comprised of best practice approaches to leading and managing nonprofits, from renowned professors and practitioner instructors at ASU as well as established nonprofit leaders from organizations that engage with the ASU Lodestar Center.”

Time commitment: Participants must attend nine program days (9a-5p MST), running from August to May.

Cost: There is a program fee of $895, plus a $30 application fee. A limited number of scholarships are available and employer sponsorship is encouraged.

Learn more

Leading for Change Leaders Fellowship

Focus: “The Leading For Change Leaders Fellowship is designed to bring together a diverse group of emerged and emerging organizational leaders, community organizers, activists, future candidates, and elected officials. These are individuals who have high-potential and the commitment to create positive change in their communities.”

Time commitment: Five workshops (weekends) across a span of eight months beginning in September and ending in April.

Cost: ~$2,000. There is a program cost that is not listed on the website, but the organizers are willing to ensure the cost is not prohibitive to interested participants.

Learn more

African American Leadership Institute

Focus: The African-American Leadership Institute (AALI) promotes the individual development of African-Americans for increased participation in leadership roles and serves as a principal education and networking resource for expertise and advocacy on leadership issues affecting and impacting our communities.

Time commitment: Historically, AALI is a 10-week program of weekly classes (6p-9p MST) conducted in the evening and a one-day leadership retreat focusing on cultural identity, team-building, and service to the community.

Cost: Tuition for the 2017 program year was $550.

Learn more The program is currently in transition between host organizations. Stay tuned for updated information.

Looking for national opportunities? Browse profellow.com and read about fellowships for mid-career professionals.

Katelyn Harris Lange is a current leadership search specialist (executive recruiter) with Y Scouts working to reorient hiring around values and fulfillment. She is a philanthropist involved in the African-American Women’s Giving and Empowerment Circle, Civic Engagement Chair with the Greater Phoenix Urban League Young Professionals, and the current Diversity and Inclusion Director with Net Impact Phoenix Professionals.

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