Leadership Programs

Leadership St. Louis

Founded in 1976, Leadership St. Louis® (LSL)  is one of the most highly-respected leadership development programs in the nation. The program was built on the belief that the community, just as any business or organization, requires strong leadership to grow and improve. Graduates of the program include CEOs and senior level executives, entrepeneurs, elected officials, educators, attorneys, nonprofit directors and public servants. The common ground under this wide array of participants is a deep and active commitment to community improvement and making our region stronger.

Who Should Apply

If you are an experienced leader who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the St. Louis region, explore collaborative civic leadership and build connections across sectors, you may be a great fit for Leadership St. Louis.

Like all FOCUS leadership programs, Leadership St. Louis welcomes applicants from all backgrounds, industries and sectors.

What to Expect

Leadership St. Louis is a nine-month program, with full-day sessions on Friday and Saturday each month from September to May.

The LSL experience is immersive, bringing you out in community to see and learn firsthand about the challenges and opportunities facing our region. On any given program day, you may be:

  • Talking with police, prosecutors, victims and past offenders about the justice system
  • Touring nonprofit agencies to understand the social services safety net
  • Discussing leadership challenges with the CEOs of the region’s largest employers
  • Going backstage with the directors of an area arts organization
  • Visiting area schools to explore best practices and educational gaps
  • Weighing state and local priorities with officials in Jefferson City

In the process, you’ll gain the perspective, resources, knowledge and network to have a greater impact as a leader.

Nominate for
Leadership St. Louis

We are now accepting nominations (and self-nominations) for the 2018-19 class!


How To Apply

Applications for the 2018-19 class will close on March 30, 2018. In addition to the online application, two recommendations are required. Interviews are scheduled for Saturday, April 28.


The tuition for the 2018-19 Leadership St. Louis program is $5,000. Tuition is often covered in part or full by the participant’s employer. Partial scholarship assistance is available to those with demonstrated financial need.


For more information

Yemi Akande-Bartsch, Ph.D.
Leadership St. Louis Director
tel: (314) 657-4019
Email Yemi

Makita Hill
Program Coordinator
tel: (314) 657-4022
Email Makita

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