Leadership Fairfax Institute

We are committed to the health and safety of all participants and community partners, and are planning our classes accordingly. Our Fall Programs will be conducted virtually. Participants will receive additional information prior to the start of courses. 

The Leadership Fairfax Institute (LFI) is a 10-month program that provides a forum for representatives of the business, nonprofit, and public sectors to strengthen themselves as professionals and community leaders. Participants will gain a better understanding of the issues and opportunities facing Fairfax County. Through training, study groups and interaction with community decision makers, Leadership Fairfax develops leaders with vision and commitment. Our highly sought after faculty are all certified leadership coaches and provide 3.0 level curriculum with a “coach approach” to leadership development.


Who Should Apply?

The program is designed for established leaders, mid-level to senior, from all walks of life, who represent a cross section of the Fairfax County community, including large and small business organizations, educators, government officials, and staff, executives and volunteers in the nonprofit world. Approximately 45-50 applicants will be selected for each program year.

Goals of the Leadership Fairfax Institute

  • Enhance the communications network among leaders from diverse backgrounds and interests
  • Identify leaders in business, government, and the community, and assist them in expanding their skills in, and commitment to, voluntary civic responsibility
  • Provide cohort with a practical, in-depth understanding of major community issues facing Fairfax County
  • Encourage development of “community trustees” who will assume leadership in their diverse communities around a variety of issues
  • Facilitate access between Leadership Fairfax class members and the current leadership of the community
  • Deepen participant leadership competencies

Benefits to Participants

  • Learn in-depth about Fairfax County, its role in the region and the state, what issues it faces, and how to affect civic engagement
  • Interact with established community leaders and elected officials
  • Expand your network of contacts through other class participants and alumni
  • Evaluate your leadership style and enhance your ability to relate to others
  • Discover opportunities to play an active leadership role in your community
  • Engage in problem solving discussions around solutions

Program Commitment

The LFI program begins with a two-day opening kickoff in September, followed by nine monthly program days. From January to May, class participants engage in an intensive study of five topics representing important and diverse local issues that affect the quality of life in Fairfax County and the region. Divided into five teams, teams will study, research and present these issues through various perspectives. A year of discovery and growth is capped off in June with a final closing day and commencement celebration.

Program days are generally held on the third Thursday of each month from 8 am to 6 pm, including social networking time at the end of the day. Outside speakers, site visits, tours and/or hands-on exercises allow for active engagement at each class day. Time outside of regular class days is required to assist in preparation of participant team’s class day.


Individuals who live, work or are investing in Fairfax County and who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership, a record of community service and a willingness to commit time to the LFI program are invited to apply. Community service need not have taken place in Fairfax County. We strongly urge County newcomers to apply. Taking part in the LFI program is a great way to gain your footing and quickly build a powerful network.   

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • have a demonstrable connection to Fairfax County through living or work
  • show evidence of leadership in the workplace and in the community
  • be willing to commit the required time to the Leadership Fairfax program
  • be committed to utilizing leadership skills and knowledge for the long-term benefit of the community
  • attend the opening program days in September


Tuition for the Leadership Fairfax program is $5,400. If accepted and enrolled into the program, you and/or your organization will be obligated for the full tuition fee of $5,400 payable by September 1, 2020.

Tuition covers all program costs, plus:

  • Complimentary invitation to the annual alumni reception
  • Member pricing at Leadership Fairfax events including the Northern VA Leadership Awards 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.

Expectations for the LFI Program

As a participant in the LFI program you will be expected to attend each program day and in addition take on an active role outside of the program days as a team member in planning and executing an LFI program day.

As an LFI Alum

Leadership Fairfax is a membership organization and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Following your class year, as a graduate of the LFI Program of Leadership Fairfax, you will join a cadre of over 2,000 remarkable, accomplished fellow alumni. Each year you will be invited to join with them for updates on community leadership issues, community projects, networking and social activities.

LFI, ELI and LLP Alumni are Community Trustees for Fairfax County — we give you the county knowledge and background, and set the stage for what you will do once you’ve graduated from the program. Your knowledge, skills and experience will benefit the county, in whatever way you choose.





Applications now being accepted for our dynamic leadership programs. Apply online.



Sign Up for a Virtual Webinar to learn how Leadership Fairfax empowers leaders.



Donate to our scholarship fund and pay your leadership experience forward.


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

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