Given the uncertainty of in-person group meetings during the next year, Leadership Arlington has been redesigned with an agile new format that can be delivered either virtually or in-person, depending on prevailing conditions.  Drawing from the best of the prior 23 years, the re-engineered curriculum now incorporates:

  • A small cohort to strengthen interaction and relationship formation with a diverse group of established leaders
  • Connections with past LCE alumni and high impact decision-makers
  • A personalized “DISC, Work of Leaders” profile assessment
  • A year-long subscription to the Harvard Business Review
  • A component that draws on the latest research and trends in leadership development and addresses the current challenges of our time
  • Exposure to national and global trends on civic engagement with practical guidance on how to effectively implement personal and professional plans at a local level
  • Small group experiences that generate real community impact with Volunteer Arlington’s nonprofit and County partners
  • Inclusion in the 8th Annual Leadership Summit at which fellow participants of other Northern Virginia leadership programs join to explore regional issues with area thought leaders



  • Thursday, April 8, 5:00- 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday, May 4, 12:00 noon- 1:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 13, 12:00 noon- 1:00 pm

Register for an Info Session


The purpose of Leadership Arlington is to transform a highly motivated group of individuals into a network of leaders with the knowledge and commitment to benefit our community.

The program is designed for experienced leaders who want to significantly increase their impact on their organization and their community.  After 22 years, Leadership Arlington counts many of today’s elected and law enforcement officials, education directors, non-profit groundbreakers, and influential business leaders among its alumni.  The ideal candidate profile includes:

  • senior executives
  • presidents and vice presidents
  • executive directors
  • business owners
  • high-level directors and managers, representing all industries and business types within the region
  • individuals of influence with a record of community service


The Leadership Center’s Board of Regents form the Leadership Arlington Acceptance Committee and will select a cohort of diverse leaders who demonstrate a commitment to Arlington and are driven to positively transform the community.  They seek:

  • A class reflecting Arlington’s rich diversity of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, education, and background
  • Representatives from business, government, non-profit, and volunteer sectors
  • A commitment to making a positive impact in Arlington (residence in Arlington County is not required)

If you meet the criteria and have considered ways to expand your impact within your organization and the community, the newly reformatted Leadership Arlington may be for you.  If you would like to discuss the program, please contact Lisa Fikes, Leadership Center for Excellence’s Acting President and CEO, at lfikes@leadercenter.org.


  • Thursday, September 23, 2021- Opening Retreat
  • Thursday, October 21, 2021- Program Day
  • Thursday, November 18, 2021- Program Day
  • Thursday, December 16, 2021- Program Day
  • Monday, January 17, 2022- MLK Day of Service
  • Thursday, January 20, 2022- Program Day
  • Thursday, February 17, 2022- Program Day
  • Thursday, March 17, 2022- Program Day
  • Thursday, April 21, 2022- Program Day
  • Thursday, May 20, 2022- Regional Leadership Summit and Commencement


$5,300 (Leadership Center for Excellence encourages all qualified candidates to apply regardless of financial status. Leadership Arlington provides scholarships to nonprofit and small business executives)


“As a transplant from the Midwest, I didn’t grow up with the context around how the DMV area operates. Leadership Arlington has been an absolute eye opener for me and I can feel my roots growing more deeply into this community with each session. And it isn’t only the programming within the program. Perhaps even more meaningful are the connections with brilliant, talented, and passionate leaders from the area that I have been able to cultivate throughout the program.”

Stacy Cook, LA Class of '19, Principal, Perception Learning

Sam Kelly

“I expected to learn about the community through Leadership Arlington – and I did. What I didn’t expect was that I would form connections and friendships that would last well beyond Leadership Arlington’s graduation. I rarely go a day without running into a graduate of Leadership Arlington. And my own classmates still get together regularly. I would go through it again if they would let me!”

Sam Kelly, LA Class of '17, CEO, Bridges to Independence

Participation opens the door to ongoing personal growth, professional development, and community leadership through an integrated, systems-based leadership education, framed around local issues.  The curriculum is designed using an experiential learning approach that includes visiting local institutions - when and where possible – class discussions with cross-sector thought leaders, and policy analysis.