Leading, Educating, and Developing (LEAD) is a dynamic and engaging one-week leadership development program designed for local government department heads and supervisors.  Apply to our 2023 and 2024 in-person LEAD Programs.

UVA rotunda

Upcoming Programs and Fees

  • September 16 - 22, 2023 (waitlist only)
  • November 11 - 17, 2023 (waitlist only)
  • March 2 - 8, 2024
  • April 6 - 12, 2024
  • May 4 - 10, 2024


The LEAD fee is $5,200 for 2023 and $5,500 for 2024. The fee includes lodging, most meals, and instructional materials. A 10% discount is available for members of the Virginia Institute of Government. Payment in full is due one month before the start of the program. 

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel more than 2 weeks in advance of the program start date, you will forfeit half of the tuition cost. No refunds can be made within 2 weeks of the start date. However, substitutions may be made with our advance approval. We greatly appreciate notification ASAP of any need to cancel.



LEAD Logo over photo of a Dogwood Tree


LEAD programs consist of 30-40 participants. All classes are sponsored by the University of Virginia's Weldon Cooper Center and take place in person at the Darden Business School in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In this new program format, participants will
  • Examine, discuss and apply the most relevant and powerful leadership practices, with focused discussions on the distinct and complex experiences of local government leaders
  • Deepen their understanding of inclusive leadership, with specific sessions on diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Develop interpersonal skills and community and organizational leadership skills
  • Create a clear roadmap of how they can immediately apply the concepts learned from the program to their specific  organizations
  • Build essential skills and awareness through team engagement. Participants will:
    • reflect on key experiences, role models and lessons learned that have shaped their leadership styles
    • learn coaching techniques 
    • create more self-awareness and empathy by listening and understanding others
    • explore personal values and their relationship to organizational values
  • Experience a learning environment that is 
    • highly interactive (less than 20% lecture), engaged and application-based, with every session including a concept to learn, a local government example and an application exercise
    • safe, supportive and built on trust and vulnerability, which allows for a nonjudgmental, open exchange of ideas and experiences
LEAD Class in Session


Curriculum may include, but is not limited to, the courses listed below. Click on each topic below to expand and read.

Doug Walker, Deputy County Executive, County of Albemarle, VA


  • Understanding of the roots of public service going back to the Athenian oath
  • Practitioner example of how Albemarle County used this activity in creating and defining their values
  • Reminder of the value of public service
  • Write a version of the Athenian oath that is reflective of your group’s core beliefs about citizenship and public service


Public service is a calling.  Leadership is getting people to own and mobilize around collective values. In this session, discover how powerfully public service and leadership can  come together.

Felicia Logan, FEI and UVA Adjunct Faculty


  • Discover what self-leadership means to you
  • Explore how you show up and bring your whole self
  • Identify ways that you choose to practice your values


You will join your team to take a deeper dive into your values and experiences as a leader. This session will prepare you to think more deeply about who you are while doing the work of leadership. It all really does begin with you and what you value most. The inside rules the outside so the clarity you can reach about yourself and what is important to you will show up in the way you lead staff, organization, and community. You are the core. Some key elements of our work together will be curiosity, vulnerability, a look at your most important relationships, and a strategy to identify and make an action plan to fill the gap between current and ideal that is immediately applicable.

Ashley Weldon, Learning and Development Consultant, UVA


  • Define what EQ is and why it matters at work
  • Broaden your awareness of the role your emotions play on the job, in your profession, and at your organization
  • Define and develop each of the four EQ skills| Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness and Relationship Management
  • Discuss real-world examples and experiences – what works, what doesn’t and what to do next time
  • Identify your current level of emotional intelligence (strengths and weaknesses) and where to focus your development
  • Complete your own EQ development plan to include one EQ goal and specific EQ practice strategies that will help you achieve this goal


Emotional intelligence (EQ) is not about being nice, nor is it about suppressing emotions; it is a proactive approach to managing emotions to achieve better results – in regard to your relationships as well as business goals. Put simply, emotions drive behavior and behavior drives performance. Successful leaders leverage this knowledge to achieve greater leadership impact.

Molly Harlow, Interim VIG Assistant Director – Leadership Development


  • Explore the 4 stages of psychological safety and their importance in creating engagement and motivation
  • Learn about one locality’s use of psychological safety to increase performance
  • Create a plan to apply psychological safety to your leadership role


Amy Edmundson (Harvard) defines psychologically safety as “a shared belief held by members of a team that the team is safe for interpersonal risk taking”.  Crack yourself open personally and examine your own values, assumptions, and behavior.  The goal is to help you see the current state clearly and then figure out how you can take the next steps to transform your team’s culture and performance by increasing the level of psychological safety. Both individually and as teams, we have the next step of progress to make.

Nancy Olivo PhD, IPMA-SCP, Organizational Performance Manager, City of Hampton, VA


  • Expand their knowledge and tools to enhance engagement
  • Discover how to use clarity and competence to create leaders at every level
  • Consider the use of Leadership Teams and Process Improvement Teams as  approaches for practicing inclusive leadership to improve organizational performance
  • Develop specific action steps to put in place to impact the work culture and performance through employee engagement and inclusive leadership


Using the latest research on employee engagement and David Marquet’s approach for turning followers into leaders, participants will develop action steps for applying these concepts to their work as leaders.

Karen Conrad, M.Ed., Karen Conrad and Associates, LLC and Antoinette Allen,
PH.D., Chief Storyteller and founder of Two Cups of TLC, LLC


  • Learn to integrate diversity into all organizational processes
  • Effectively engage in conversations that are inclusive and respectful requiring leaders to understand their own perspective and the perspective of others without judgement
  • Explore crucial conversations skills and practice having difficult conversations using a 5-step equity model


Today’s leaders are expected to integrate diversity into all of the organizational processes.  In order to do this, leaders must be able to effectively engage in conversations that are inclusive and respectful.  This requires leaders to understand their own perspective and the perspective of others without judgement.

This session offers participants the opportunity to explore crucial conversations skills and practice having difficult conversations using a 5 step equity model which could expand their own mindset. This expansion benefits the leader, their team, and their organization.

Mark Nozaki, PCC, MSOD, MSOR Co-Founder and President, Odyssey Leadership Consulting, Inc


  • Introduction to change and transition fundamentals
  • Explore barriers to change, such as, resistance and learn how to develop critical mass necessary for successful implementation
  • Discuss and assess transition stages employees go through and develop strategies to facilitate desired outcomes


This session is designed to enhance leaders’ understanding and abilities to more effectively lead change and transition among employees and teams. The session specifically focuses on the interpersonal dynamics related to organizational change, as well as providing information and skills related to understanding and leading teams effectively through the organizational change and transition process.


  • Use UVA, the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle as a case study for addressing racial history in communities
  • Open dialogue around race, equity and inclusion in communities


We will take a walking tour of the University of Virginia’s Lawn,and the new Monument to Enslaved Laborers, created by the University and the Charlottesville Community to finally and honestly address the history of slavery at the University as well as to honor the enslaved and their vast contributions. We will discuss the vision, complexity, and failings of Thomas Jefferson, founder of the University, father of the Declaration of Independence, and slave owner.

Kristy Shifflett, Project Mngt Office Director, County of Albemarle, VA


  • Broaden the understanding of organizational change
  • Determine how organizations can accomplish their strategic goals. What systems and processes must be established/changed?
  • Review the challenges and progress the PMO has taken in Albemarle County
  • Create a “greenhouse” for building the productive capacity of organizations
  • Explore how organizations know their strategic goals. How does the organization manage priority setting?
  • Apply the Albemarle County model to your high performance change work


Managing change is one of the most challenging area for leaders.  Explore the model from Albemarle County learning from their failures and successes, so you can improve your ability and your organization’s ability to manage change.

John H. Whitlow, Ph.D., JHW Consulting Services and Marc Carraway


  • Evaluate a musical performance by Scuffletown in relationship to the concepts associated with Power Partnerships
  • Discuss the collaborative roles of Leader/Co-leader in Power Partnerships
  • Gain an understanding of the use of the 4 Complementary Power Skills in leadership partnerships
  • Apply the information discussed in the program to the leader/co-leaderships within your organizations


To engage participants in a learning program that promotes their understanding related to developing effective power partnerships, and to have them apply this information to power partnerships within their own organizations.


If you have questions about the LEAD program or would like to learn more, please contact Shirley Hamblet
Email: shirleyhamblet@virginia.edu (preferred) | Office: 434-243-5031 | Cell: 727-744-0573