What is LeadBoston?

LeadBoston meets organizations’ demand for more inclusive leadership by equipping mid- to senior-level professionals with the knowledge, skills, and network to propel their leadership and their organization’s success. During this unique, 11-month program, participants explore barriers to inclusion through facilitated dialogue, expert speakers, communication modules, and peer learning. Our experiential learning approach focuses on the inner workings of Boston, trends and systemic issues that impact the city’s social and economic vitality, and inclusive leadership. It provides an unparalleled opportunity for in-depth learning about complex issues, equipping participants with the knowledge, tools, and analytical skills necessary for effecting meaningful change in the workplace.

Who participates in LeadBoston?

Since 1991, LeadBoston has competitively selected more than 1,000 individuals as LeadBoston participants. Representing the gamut of Boston’s professional, racial, ethnic, faith, and gender diversity, LeadBostonians are typically leaders with 15 to 30 years of experience and who have the ability to influence change within their organization. Participants are sponsored and financially supported by their employers. LeadBoston is not an introductory workforce training program, and participants are required to have professional experience prior to participation.

Meet the current LeadBoston class.

Click here to access the full LeadBoston information packet.

How do I apply for LeadBoston?

Applying for LeadBoston is easy! Just fill out our convenient online application, which will be available in April. We’ll ask you to provide some information about who you are, how you identify, and why you are interested in being part of LeadBoston.

When is the application deadline?

Information about applying for LeadBoston’s 2025 cohort will be available in April.

What happens at LeadBoston?

The LeadBoston year (January through November) provides participants with a unique opportunity to explore the complexity of Boston’s inequities through an inclusive leadership lens. Each month, participants gather in a different location to discuss pressing issues and trends and hear first-hand from civic leaders, community organizers, business people, and academics. Through curated content and responsive programming, participants gain direct insight into key institutions and levers for change, strengthening their skills as leaders committed to advancing equity within their organizations and the broader community. The program includes opportunities to connect with classmates, as well as access to networking, educational, and social opportunities with LeadBoston’s extensive alumni network.

How does LeadBoston explore topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion?

LeadBoston looks broadly at systemic inequities and how they impact and are impacted by Boston’s institutions, neighborhoods, and industries. We foster skills that enable leaders to analyze root causes of diversity, equity, and inclusion challenges, then devise interventions that address those challenges. After LeadBoston, 93% of participants report that they are advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organizations.

Does LeadBoston plan to meet in person?

LeadBoston is currently a fully in-person program. LeadBoston facilitators are prepared to seamlessly shift in-person engagements to a virtual format as a result of updated state and CDC guideline updates regarding COVID-19.

What are the benefits to the participant?

Through hands-on experiences, topical pre-work, and facilitated discussions, participants strengthen their leadership capacities. Participants gain:

  • A deepened understanding and commitment to equity
  • A strengthened ability to lead DE&I efforts within the workplace
  • Improved collaboration, communication, decision-making, and strategic thinking skills that support personal growth and professional development
  • A deep network of support amongst their cohort
  • Access to our alumni community of over 1,000 diverse leaders
  • Exposure to influential leaders in key institutions
  • Tailored organizational development resources, support of action plans, and thought partnership for up to a year after graduation

Participating employees will experience unique professional development opportunities outside of what their organization can offer. Upon graduation, participants become members of the LeadBoston alumni network, a prominent group of over one thousand leaders with access to exclusive networking and educational opportunities.

What are the benefits for the sponsoring employers?

Employers likewise benefit from their employees’ participation in LeadBoston, as the program:

  • Equips leaders with the skills needed to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in their organization
  • Strengthens leaders’ ability to understand stakeholders’ needs, solve challenging problems, and make better business decisions
  • Broadens organizational access to key leaders, institutions, and professional contacts via the powerful LeadBoston network
  • Rewards high-potential individuals and prepares them for greater leadership responsibilities

Nominating an employee for LeadBoston gives organizations the opportunity to make Boston a better place to live, work, and thrive. Employers who sponsor participants will benefit from increased employee engagement and loyalty.

How is my participation financed?

As a LeadBoston participant, you are asked to make a personal contribution of $300.

Candidates selected for an interview will be asked to bring a completed employer commitment form with them. We request that your employer support your participation at the following levels based on the type of organization:  

LeadBoston 2024 Tuition Structure

Self-funded and self-employed participants are asked to contribute the full sponsorship amount of $7,500.

All fees and tuition are non-refundable.  Accommodations and flexible payment plans are negotiable upon request.