Emerging Leaders Institute

Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) is a 10-month program that brings together professionals from business, nonprofit and government sectors. Participants will strengthen themselves as professional and community leaders by enhancing skills in project management, conflict resolution and negotiation, communications and public speaking, community engagement and more. Through six individual hours of professional coaching or mentoring, connection with peers, and participation in a community service project, Leadership Fairfax develops engaged leaders at work and in the community, turning potential into powerful performance. All Leadership Fairfax faculty members are sought-after trainers and most are certified leadership coaches whose “coach approach” to training provides a rich, experiential and individualized approach. Apply Here for our ELI Program.

ELI Class Days of 2023 - 2024

Monday, September 11, 2023: Opening Reception and Keynote

Tuesday, September 12, 2023: Opening Class Day 

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Wednesday, June 5, 2024: Commencement Celebration

ELI Class Days of 2024 - 2025

Monday, September 9, 2024: Opening Reception and Keynote

Tuesday, September 10, 2024: Opening Class Day 

Tuesday, October 8, 2024

Tuesday, November 12, 2024

Tuesday, December 3, 2024

Tuesday, January 7, 2025

Tuesday, February 11, 2025

Tuesday, March 11, 2025

Thursday, April 10, 2025

Tuesday, May 13, 2025

Tuesday, June 3, 2025

Wednesday, June 4, 2025: Commencement Celebration

Who Should Apply?

ELI is for the high-potential employees who are ready to focus on core leadership skills and are poised to move up in their organizations. 

Goals of the Emerging Leaders Institute

  • Intensive skill building taught by diverse and expert faculty
  • Mentoring from experienced leaders in the community and professional coaches
  • Networking within the ELI class with a diverse and upwardly mobile group of future executives
  • Education about the extensive resources and opportunities available in Fairfax County
  • Access to over 2,200 Alumni Leaders in Northern Virginia

Leadership Coaching

Pair with a certified leadership coach for six one-hour sessions focusing on real-world leadership techniques and challenges (value $1,200-$2,000).

Community Service Projects

Work in teams on short-term community service projects (CSP) for a local nonprofit. Build relationships, learn from your peers and experience first-hand the opportunities to make a difference in your community. Each year, in the summer, proposals for community service projects are requested for selection by the incoming class.
To submit a proposal please Click here.

Program Commitment

  • 1 day monthly / 10 months
  • Second Tuesday of the month
  • 9:00 am - 4:30 pm 


Individuals who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership, an interest in community service and a willingness to commit time to the ELI program are invited to apply. All applicants must submit a résumé and two letters of recommendation, one of which should be from your supervisor acknowledging the time commitment to the program. Please have your employer include the following statement:

"As the applicant's supervisor, I certify that this person has my full support to participate in the Emerging Leaders Institute. I am aware of the time commitment and the financial obligation.” 

Applicants must also meet the following criteria:

  • have been formally or informally recognized for leadership in your organization or in the community
  • be willing to commit the required time to the program
  • be ready to learn leadership competencies and skills
  • be committed to utilizing leadership skills and knowledge for the long-term benefit of the community
  • attend the opening dinner and opening day in September


Tuition for the Emerging Leaders Program is $3,500. If accepted and enrolled into the program, you and/or your organization will be obligated for the full tuition fee of $3,500 payable by the start of the program.

Tuition covers all program costs, plus:

  • the opening dinner for the ELI program
  • complimentary invitation to the annual alumni reception
  • member pricing on Leadership Fairfax events including the NVLA luncheon and Board of Supervisors Breakfast
  • two tickets to Commencement (one ticket for graduate, one ticket for guest)

Tuition assistance

We offer limited tuition assistance, based on demonstrated financial need. If you indicate on your application that assistance is requested, you will receive an email link to that application. Tuition assistance requests are evaluated separately and are not a factor in the selection process.

8230 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 100
Vienna, VA 22182-3853
Phone: 703-752-7555

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