The Emerging Leaders Program

2018 ELP banner

Saturday, June 2, 2018 to Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Washington, D.C.

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is designed for early to mid-career professionals and faculty leaders who have an interest in and talent for higher education leadership and who want to advance their careers in administration. The first portion of the program, a 3 1/2-day seminar, offers participants the opportunity to engage in a national dialogue with experienced leaders and experts in higher education and to develop a network of colleagues from around the country. The program also includes opportunities for hands-on practical exercises, a leadership self-assessment, and the development of a plan designed to help participants achieve their leadership goals. 

About the Conference

For more information about the program and how to apply, please read the information below.

Eligible Participants and Nomination Process

Click here to apply and nominate a participant! 

The program is limited to 25 early to mid-career staff professional and faculty leaders who have shown leadership potential and desire to advance to mid-level administrative positions. The university’s president/chancellor or another cabinet-level administrator must nominate participants.    

It is important that attendees have the opportunity to utilize the knowledge obtained at ELP when they return to their campus. To that end, we ask the nominator plan with the nominee a future project/initiative that will provide the attendee an opportunity to expand his or her leadership skills.  

Examples of university projects include the following:

  • Chairing or co-chairing an important division- or university-wide committee or task force that requires working with multiple constituencies, 

  • Managing a project for a division or university strategic initiative, or 

  • Conducting a research project that investigates an important challenge the university faces and provides an opportunity for the participant to influence campus decision-makers using data. 

Nominating a candidate for ELP also includes the responsibility to mentor or designate a mentor for the participant and to provide guidance and advice on the project, initiative or assignment. 
Nomination letters should be submitted along with application by Monday, March 26, 2018. Letter of nomination should contain:

  1. A nomination letter by the university’s president/chancellor or other cabinet-level member stating the nominee’s qualifications for the program, leadership strengths and areas for improvement, potential for advancement, and probable career opportunities.  

  2. A description of the nominee’s project/initiative that has been planned by the nominee and nominator. It should include the significance of the project to the university, what professional development opportunities the nominee would receive by accomplishing the project/initiative, and who will be the mentor that will work with the attendee to accomplish the project/initiative.  

For more information, contact: 

Dr. Kenneth Dobbins
Emerging Leadership Program Coordinator 
President Emeritus    
Southeast Missouri State University
(574) 450-9204 


Jennifer Whitson
Senior Program Associate - Events
(202) 478-4646


ELP has convened an impressive faculty of current and former presidents and chancellors and content experts. Kenneth Dobbins, president emeritus of Southeast Missouri State University, acts as coordinator of ELP.

Schedule top

The Emerging Leaders Program begins with a 7:15 a.m. breakfast on Saturday, June 2 and ends at noon on Tuesday, June 5. Participants are expected to participate in all sessions and to attend all group meals. A detailed schedule will be mailed upon acceptance.  

Following completion of the seminar, participants must commit to semi-annual quarterly check-ins with the Emerging Leadership Program Coordinator and nominating mentor regarding the status of the assigned project/initiative.

Please check back for more detailed schedule.

Registration Information top

This year, to minimize costs, hotel accommodations are included in the registration fee. This will save participants the 14.8 percent D.C. sales tax (approximately $40.00 per night).  

Accommodations at The Watergate are required for all participants. Please contact Jennifer Whitson at (202) 478-4646 with any questions.  

Registration Fees
AASCU member institutions - $950  
Four nights’ hotel accommodations at $269 per night - $1076 
Total Registration for AASCU member institutions - $2030

Non-AASCU member institutions - $1250  
Four nights’ hotel accommodations at $269 per night - $1076 
Total Registration for non-AASCU member institutions - $2330

The registration fee includes all program costs, materials, and all-but-one meal during the 3 1/2-day program. Participants are responsible for paying their own travel costs.   

Selected participants will be notified late March of their acceptance and will receive instructions on how to complete the registration. 

Accommodations top

The Watergate Hotel
2650 Virginia Avenue NW  
Washington, D.C. 20037 

Located in the heart of our nation's capitol, The Watergate is a short 10-minute walk from Georgetown shops and restaurants. A variety of popular D.C. landmarks and cultural attractions are also easily accessible, including the Kennedy Center, which is steps away.  

Attendees should arrive at The Watergate by Friday evening on June 1 and depart on June 5. Check-in at the hotel is at 4 p.m. and checkout is at noon.


Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA)  - 5.3 miles 
Dulles International Airport (IAD) - 28.5 miles 
Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) - 33.6 miles 

Many companies provide taxicab service at all area airports. 

Dress Code

Business casual





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