Class of 2020 Application

The application for the Presidential Leadership Scholars class of 2020 has closed.  Applications for the class of 2021 will open next summer.

The Presidential Leadership Scholars program is for individuals who have the skills, values, and motivation to become a special kind of leader. We are looking for people who have the desire and capacity to take their leadership strengths to a higher level in order to help their communities, professions, organizations, and, thus, our country. While the program is designed to assemble a unique and diverse cohort of high-potential leaders, Scholars most successful in the program share certain personal characteristics:

  • Civically Minded: Willing and eager to take actions to improve society.
  • Eager to Receive Feedback: Willing to seek, humbly accept, and actively respond to feedback.
  • Accepting of Diverse Points of View: Welcoming opportunities to interact with and learn from others with different backgrounds or perspectives.
  • Meaningful Professional Experience: Having a breadth and depth of professional experience (though “quality” is not easily measured in time, accepted applicants generally have 10+ years of professional experience and are at a point in their careers where their participation in PLS will be felt for many years to come).
  • Demonstrated Leadership: Wanting to build on an established record of meaningful leadership (PLS is not an introductory course in leadership.)
  • In Positions of Influence: Having an opportunity and ability to take action and promote change in their communities or organizations.
  • Committed to the Program: Willing to fully participate in a rigorous and intense six-month program by being on site at modules in five different locations for approximately 20 days and spending 50+ hours on pre- and post-module assignments. The program seeks participants from a wide range of fields, including business, military, nonprofit, and government. To qualify for consideration, applicants must be 1) a U.S. citizen or 2)and legal resident living and working in the United States or are able to get to the United States at their own expense for each module.

Application & Selection Process

All application materials for the 2020 class were due by 11:59 P.M. (Pacific Time) on Saturday, August 31, 2019.

Candidates will be assessed using their application submissions, project proposals, recommendations, and essays. Select candidates will be invited to participate in final interviews. Finalists will be notified by early November if they have been invited to participate in the interview process. Interviews will be conducted via video-conference through late November and final acceptance decisions will be made before the end of December 2019.  

2020 Program Schedule

Session 1: Tuesday, January 28th – Saturday, February 1st 

Session 2: Thursday, February 27th – Saturday, February 29th 

Session 3: Thursday, March 26th – Saturday, March 28th 

Session 4: Thursday, April 30th – Saturday, May 2nd 

Session 5: Thursday, May 28th – Saturday, May 30th 

Session 6 (Graduation): Tuesday, June 23rd – Friday, June 26th 

More questions? View Application FAQs.

Leaders are not born, they are made.

Watch our scholars journey.