American Express Leaderhip Academy participants sit at tables while listening to a lecture.

American Express Leadership Academy

An update on the next program year

For 14 years, the ASU Lodestar Center provided a Leadership Academy that has trained over 400 nonprofit professionals coming from over 250 organizations. We are currently developing a new iteration of the Leadership Academy that will continue our tremendous impact on organizational effectiveness and sustainability, prepare nonprofit professionals to excel at senior leadership levels and help solve the challenges nonprofits face today.

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Read a reflection on the program's legacy

While we plan our next chapter, consider the many certificate programs in our Nonprofit Management Institute that more than a few Academy alumni have completed.

American Express Leadership Academy

The American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center is an unparalleled leadership-development experience, designed just for Arizona's nonprofit professionals. Our program empowers you to grow as a leader, build new networks and advance your career.

Each year, the Academy accepts a cohort of Arizona's top emerging nonprofit leaders for this 10-month program that provides the knowledge and tools needed to take on leadership roles within the nonprofit sector. Candidates are selected through a competitive process, held in the spring.

The Academy is comprised of best-practice approaches to leading and managing nonprofits, from renowned professors and practitioner instructors at ASU, as well as established nonprofit leaders.

Participants will gain:

  • Practical knowledge and tools and the confidence to advance in your career;
  • An increased awareness and understanding of the nonprofit sector and issues affecting its prosperity, from fundraising to diversity;
  • Leadership skills and personal development;
  • A broad network of personal and professional relationships; and much more!

The program also includes:

  • 360° Feedback Assessments
  • 1-on-1 Executive Coaching
  • Emergenetics Profile and Assessment
  • Complimentary registration for the ASU Lodestar Center's Annual Fall Conference
  • Access to exclusive alumni networks

View an infographic about the American Express Leadership Academy.

Do you have questions about the Academy?

Browse the FAQ section, call the ASU Lodestar Center at 602.496.0500, or email

Brought to you in part by

American Express Leadership Academy logo.


The Academy Experience

Sadhna Bokhiria: What Is Leadership?

Sadhna Bokhiria, the chief operating officer for Kapoor Foundations, was chosen by her classmates to deliver the graduation speech for Class 11 on May 10, 2019. In her address, Sadhna spoke about what leadership means to her, the most magical aspect of the Academy, and why the program will forever take up a special place in her heart.


A group of people, with question marks above their heads, stand in front of a wall.

How much does the Academy cost? What is the time commitment? What is the curriculum? Is the Academy right for me? Find answers to those and many other questions.

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A graduate of American Express Leadership Academy sits and smiles.

Academy alumni reflect, in the words of one graduate, on "a transformational experience" and how the program helped them grow both professionally and personally.

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Use a Segal Award

2 people stand at the side and flex their arms.

AmeriCorps participants can use their Segal Education Award toward program fees for the American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center.

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More stories from the Academy

Class 13 of the American Express Leadership Academy at the ASU Lodestar Center graduated in June 2021. At the ceremony, we heard from graduates, alumni and guest speakers who all attested to the power of this program and the impact it makes on participants, their organizations and our communities.

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