Is LeadBoston for me?

  • Are you a mid-to-senior level professional with 15-30 years of work experience?
  • Do you have a desire to expand your network, your leadership skills, and your knowledge of the city?
  • Do you have a sense of purpose about making a positive impact?

If so, you may be a good fit for LeadBoston! Professionals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds and people of all genders are especially encouraged to apply. Admission is both selective and competitive in order to maximize the benefit to individual participants and to the cohort class.

What value will I derive from the LeadBoston program?

LeadBoston is unique among mid-career leadership programs due to our experiential learning approach, cohort-based structure, and focus on social responsibility. 

Learning from the experts in the field

As part of your LeadBoston experience, you will have opportunities to engage with key thought leaders in intimate, provocative and in-depth conversations about the city and its challenges and opportunities. LeadBoston presenters are a virtual who’s who of Boston leadership, including:

Barry Bluestone, PhD, Northeastern University
Andrea J. Cabral, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Dan Conley, District Attorney, Suffolk County
Marc Draisen, Metropolitan Area Planning Council
William Evans, Boston Police Department
Barbara Ferrer, PhD, Boston Public Health Commission
Bruce Figueroa, Citizens Bank
John Harthorne, MassChallenge
Mel King, South End Technology Center 
Ted Landsmark (LB ’97)Boston Redevelopment Authority
Shirley Leung, The Boston Globe 
John McDonough, Boston Public Schools 
Jim O’Connell, MD, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless
Governor Deval Patrick, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Peter Slavin, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital
Steve Vinter, Google Cambridge

But, you won’t simply be hearing from these leaders in a classroom. By visiting the epicenters of the city’s law enforcement, education, health, housing, and financial systems, you will gain firsthand knowledge in addition to hearing from the experts.

Connection to a robust and cross-sector professional network

The cohort structure of LeadBoston means you will form deep and lasting personal and professional connections within your cohort. Since admission is competitive, your classmates are sure to be high-caliber leaders within their sector. Since admission is selective to ensure cohort diversity in respect to gender, race/ethnicity, and professional background, you are sure to make connections both within and outside of your existing communities. 

Once you graduate, you will join over 1,000 local leaders in LeadBoston’s robust alumni network. Through regular alumni communication and exclusive alumni events, you will get to know other alumni and be kept up to date on the latest developments in socially responsible leadership. 

Deepening of your leadership skills and the chance to put them into action 

Throughout the program year you will use a variety of learning approaches to explore best practices in leadership. Program day activities allow for strengthening of skills in complex problem solving and management. At the end of the year you will be asked to form a Leadership Commitment, outlining an issue you want to focus on and the approach you will take to address it. 

What is the structure of the program?

LeadBoston is an 11-month program that includes:

  • An overnight advance one weekend in February
  • Full program days one Wednesday per month from January through November
  • Informal class gatherings throughout the program year
  • Graduation in November with a keynote speaker
  • Alumni networking events during and after the program 

Monthly program days include:

  • Meetings with policymakers, corporate leaders, and academics
  • Visits to Boston’s civic institutions, schools, health centers, corporations, correctional facilities, and residential neighborhoods
  • Candid exploration of Boston’s inequities and how local leaders can make a difference
  • Activities that strengthen the connection of the cohort and build individual and group leadership abilities

How is my participation financed?

As a LeadBoston participant, you are asked to make an individual contribution of $300. We request that your employer support your participation at the following levels based on the type of organization:  

Corporation (for profit)

  • 15 employees or more: $6,500
  • Fewer than 15 employees: $3,500

Non-profit Organization or Public Agency

  • 100 employees or more: $6,500
  • Between 15 and 99 employees: $3,500
  • Fewer than 15 employees: $2,000

Self-funded and self-employed participants are asked to contribute the full sponsorship amount of $6,500. All fees and tuition are non-refundable.  Flexible payment plans are negotiable upon request.

How can I apply?

While the deadline for 2018 LeadBoston applications has passed, we do not want to turn away exceptional candidates. If you are interested, please reach out to Sheera Bornstein at sbornstein@ywboston.org.