Program Design

Becoming a more effective civic leader.

Through an intense 9-month learning experience, The Leadership program aspires to enable participants to become more effective civic leaders individually and collectively of the Baltimore region. Each year, the program convenes 50+ leaders from public, private and not-for-profit organizations to focus on three elements:

  1. Exploring Baltimore’s history, challenges, assets, and people.
  2. Developing leadership competencies.
  3. Forging substantive relationships amongst participants.

Better Together

Each Leadership year is filled with experiential learning, we believe that shared experience can be a powerful individual and collective learning opportunity. From policy debates and leadership exercises, to tours of economic assets and innovative social enterprises. We engage on important civic issues where program participants come to know their community, themselves, and each other – in many ways understanding the city and region from a completely new perspective.

Peer Learning

We know that a significant part of The Leadership experience is what you can learn from one another. We take great care in composing a class and creating a recipe for success.

Each class is comprised of individuals who have reached a significant position in their organizations and demonstrate a keen interest in becoming more effective civic leaders to strengthen Baltimore. Peer learning is integral to the program experience, so in selecting class members, we look for a wide variety of diversity along as many dimensions as possible. These include areas such as race, gender, age, and industry sector, as well as each individual’s background, outside interests, community leadership experience, and other factors.

The Program

The class calendar includes a 2-day opening session, two 2-day overnight retreats, and eight additional full day sessions. We engage important civic issues in the region such as economic development, public education, social and economic disparities, public safety, and state and local government. We weave leadership and personal development experiences throughout the year.

In addition to the full day sessions, class members participate in a variety of field experiences, including overnights in transitional housing shelters, ride-alongs with Baltimore City police officers, visits to organizations such as Healthcare for the Homeless, the National Federation of the Blind, and Center for Urban Families, and tours of companies such as McCormick and Exelon. Each year we hold several evening events at iconic cultural institutions like the American Visionary Art Museum, Center Stage, the Walters Art Gallery, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

While graduates are personally enriched, their sponsoring organizations and the community at large benefit as well. Leadership skills, knowledge of the community, personal contacts, and deep friendships pay dividends long after the formal program ends.

The 2024 Full-Day Calendar with specific dates can be found HERE.

To learn more about the application process, click HERE.  


“Even though I grew up here, this program allowed my class the opportunity to talk about race, religion, bias, diversity, poverty, crime, education, and much more from an open and honesty perspective.”

“I am very proud of my participation. Even 15 years later, it’s wonderful to reconnect with friends from the program. What we shared was intense and meaningful!”