Appalachian Leadership Institute

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is a comprehensive leadership and economic development training opportunity for people who live and/or work in Appalachia and are passionate about helping their communities thrive.

Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellows participate in an extensive training curriculum developed by the Appalachian Regional Commission in partnership with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact. LLC.

Class of 2021-2022

The current class of 40 fellows represent a spectrum of sectors and experiences from across Appalachia’s 13 states. Each Fellow brings a unique perspective on the Region’s diverse economic developmental challenges, opportunities, and strategies. Together, they will lead Appalachia’s future.

Meet the Class

2021-2022 Schedule

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

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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. Center for Public Policy; Tuskegee University; and Collective Impact, LLC.

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Application Information

Applications for the Appalachian Leadership Institute are currently closed. We will be accepting applications for the Class of 2022-2023 in Spring 2022.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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About the Program

The all-inclusive, nine-month program runs from October-July and includes skill-building seminars and best practice reviews. The program is currently meeting virtually due to COVID, but normally includes field visits during six separate sessions across the Region, followed by a capstone graduation event held in Washington, DC.

The Appalachian Leadership Institute is limited to 40 Fellows annually, drawn from Appalachia’s public, private and non-profit sectors. Fellows are chosen via a competitive application process and each class includes representatives from each of the thirteen states in the ARC footprint to reflect the region’s diverse economic development challenges, opportunities, and strategies.

Watch the Class of 2020-2021’s recap video.

Participation in this program will empower Fellows to take action toward positively impacting the future of Appalachia with collaborative solutions to our Region’s greatest challenges. Fellows will learn to: 

  • Identify and implement best practices and strategies to inspire positive change in their communities; 
  • Build a robust network of leaders across the Region; 
  • Integrate community assets into long-last economic development strategies; and  
  • Appreciate the diversity and commonalties of the 13 states in the Appalachian Region.   

The Appalachian Leadership Institute includes:

  • Travel and participation cost to attend all sessions;
  • Appalachian Leadership Institute Certificate from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; and
  • Access to a world class network of peers and other experts across Appalachia.

Applications for the Appalachian Leadership Institute are currently closed. We will be accepting applications for the Class of 2022-2023 in Spring 2022.

Join Our Online Community

Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows and alum are invited to join our virtual community to access course materials, learn about upcoming events, and, most importantly, stay connected to one another!

Contact Us

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