We make people into better leaders.
And leaders into better people.


The Core Program is not a starting point for leadership development, but rather a process for leaders to refine and enhance their commitment to shaping Rhode Island’s future. Graduates join Leadership Rhode Island’s network of 2,700+ alumni, and gain access to 700,000+ leaders through a National Leadership Network.

There is only one way to be part of this – experience it yourself.

2022 Core Program Application Due: October 4, 2021
More information, including program dates and costs, are detailed on the application. 

Who Should Apply?

You might consider applying for our Core Program if the following qualities describe you:

  • Passion for the people and the future of our state
  • Personal commitment to shaping Rhode Island’s future
  • Commitment to community through past and present activities
  • Demonstrated leadership within your organization and/or community
  • Desire to engage, connect with, and learn from cross-sector leaders with different perspectives

Why Apply?

The Core Program provides a return on investment for individuals, their organizations, and the community at large.


  • Develop leadership competencies that drive performance (visioning, collaboration, strategic thinking, appreciation for diversity and inclusiveness, emotional intelligence and coalition building)
  • Understand personal strengths and leadership style 
  • Access mentorship from peer leaders with diverse life experiences 


  • Expand your professional and business network across sectors and industries
  • Forge strategic alliances and innovative partnerships 
  • Acquire resources that accelerate solutions to organizational and business challenges 


  • Discover civic assets, issues and stakeholders
  • Advance personal purpose and pathways towards meaningful contributions 
  • Facilitate dialogue addressing community issues and drive change


Each year, Leadership Rhode Island selects a diverse group of established and emerging leaders to participate in an experiential community leadership program framed around statewide issues. Class members engage in shared experiences, events, socials, community engaged projects, strengths-based coaching, and individual learning opportunities. The program consists of an overnight retreat, ten monthly daylong sessions, and a small-group project. 

Session Day curriculum is developed by a program committee of selected LRI alumni, with a focus on experiential learning approach that includes virtual and in person experiences, events, socials, community engaged projects, strengths-based coaching, and individual learning opportunities.

Application Process

Participants are selected based on information provided on the online application, two letters of reference, and a personal interview. Please allow ample time to prepare the application and to obtain required materials to meet the application deadline.


Upon acceptance into Leadership Rhode Island, you will have several options to pay the tuition of $5,830,  covering all program costs including meals, materials, and resources associated with the retreat and session days.

A tuition assistance fund is available to those who demonstrate financial need. Requests for tuition assistance must be submitted by the application deadline. Contact Teresa DeFlitch at tdeflitch@leadershipri.org for tuition assistance forms. Requests for assistance will be kept confidential and considered independently from admission.

Selection Criteria

Leadership Rhode Island’s Selection Committee is made up of LRI alumni who select a cohort of approximately 65-75 leaders who demonstrate a commitment to Rhode Island and are driven to positively transform the state. The committee seeks to create a diverse, dynamic, and well-balanced class, with an emphasis on broad representation of sectors, industries, occupations, generations, racial/ethnic/cultural backgrounds, geographic residence, and community interests.

2021 Schedule

January 28-29 – Overnight Retreat
February 10 – Leadership in Action
March 3 – Economic Development
March 24 – Education
April 9 – Government
May 26 – Basic Needs
June 16 – Midpoint
June 30 – Crime & Incarceration
July 21 – Health
August 4 – Makeup Date
August 18 – Defense 
September 22 – Arts, Culture & Tourism 
October 16 – Graduation Party
October 20 – Commencement