Our Purpose

The mission of the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) is to support visionary, action-oriented, and diverse leadership for a just and sustainable future. ELP aims to catalyze change by providing environmental and social change leaders with the support and guidance they need to launch new endeavors, achieve new successes, and rise to new leadership positions. We believe in a broad definition of leadership that goes beyond positional power and recognizes that leadership is present and possible at all levels of work in our sectors. Since 2000 we have created a dynamic network of over 1,400 environmental and social change leaders across the U.S.

Our Vision of Environmental Leadership

Our plan of action is guided by strong convictions about the nature of leadership and the need for it within the environmental community. We believe that:

  • Leadership begins with relationships and the personal skills needed to develop them. Our greatest impact will lie in the collective capacity of the network we are creating.
  • Meaningful diversity is a crucial component of public leadership. Environmental leaders must themselves reflect the broad diversity of the country and actively cultivate the skills and awareness needed to work effectively across difference.
  • Leadership relies on individuals daring to take calculated risks and action towards needed change.
  • Communities and individuals most impacted by the environmental and social ills we face must be recognized and uplifted as leaders in responding to these issues.

Guided by these principles, we are building a broadly diverse community of leaders across a spectrum of career and lifework, and creating programs to support their development.

What We Do

We train and support environmental and social change leaders characterized by diversity, innovation, collaboration, and effective communications. We address the needs of people working in academia, business, government and non-profits to develop their leadership by:

  • Providing training and learning opportunities to understand their existing leadership strengths and increase their capacity through our Fellowship Programs;
  • Connecting Fellows with peers through our regional and national networks;
  • Linking Fellows with experienced environmental leaders through substantive interactions and mentoring opportunities;
  • Focusing attention on the need for the environmental community to recognize and develop leadership to bring about a just and sustainable future.