Appalachian Leadership Institute

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a leadership training opportunity that equips Appalachian community leaders to use economic development as a tool to drive positive change.

Designed for people who live and/or work in Appalachia and are passionate about helping their communities thrive, the extensive leadership and economic development curriculum is developed by ARC in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Jr. School of Public Policy and Public Affairs; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact, LLC.

About the Program

The Future of Appalachia: Class of 2023-2024

The current class of 40 fellows represent a spectrum of sectors, experiences, and communities from across Appalachia’s 13 states. Each fellow brings a unique perspective on Appalachia’s diverse economic developmental challenges and opportunities.

Meet the Class

2024-2025 Schedule

The all-inclusive, nine-month program runs from October-July and includes skill-building seminars and best practice reviews. The program includes field visits during six separate sessions across the Appalachian Region, followed by a capstone graduation event held in Washington, D.C. 

View the Schedule

Meet Our Partners

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive regional leadership training program developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Jr. School of Public Policy and Public Affairs; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact, LLC.

Learn More

Application Information

Applications for the 2024-2025 Appalachian Leadership Institute Class are now closed. Information about the application process can be found here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about the Appalachian Leadership Institute?

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The Appalachian Leadership Institute is an all-inclusive program – there is not cost to participants. From October to July, fellows meet for six skill-building seminars and conduct field visits across Appalachia, followed by a capstone graduation event held in Washington, D.C.

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a close-knit program limited to 40 fellows each year, with participants from each of the 13 states in Appalachia. Fellows may be from the public, private, or non-profit sectors.

Watch the Class of 2022-2023’s recap video.

Following completion of the program, fellows will be better equipped to take positive action toward collaborative solutions to Appalachia’s greatest challenges. Fellows will learn to: 

  • Identify and implement strategies to strengthen their communities.
  • Collaborate with a network of leaders across Appalachia.
  • Recognize and utilize unique assets in their communities to build economic development plans.  
  • Appreciate the diversity and shared experiences of Appalachians.   

Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows recieve:

  • No-cost participation, including travel and lodging.
  • Appalachian Leadership Institute Certificate from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
  • Access to a world class network of peers and other experts across Appalachia.

Contact Us

Contact us by phone at 202.884.7700 or via email at leadership@arc.gov.