LEADERSHIP Philadelphia, founded in 1959, is a non-profit organization that mobilizes and connects the talent of the private sector to serve the community.  It is the original and flagship model for 400 such organizations across the country.  Through its Core Program, LEADERSHIP Philadelphia enhances participants’ civic knowledge and awareness, and enriches their leadership skills.  LEADERSHIP Philadelphia serves as the hub of a diverse professional network.  It is a deeply trusted convener and thought leader in the region. Our mission is to mobilize and connect the talent of the private sector to serve the community.


Corporate leaders and associates of the Fels Institute of Local and State Government at the University of Pennsylvania began discussions in 1951 to expand participation in community leadership. The Community Leadership Seminar Program (CLSP, also known as LEADERSHIP Inc. and now known as LEADERSHIP Philadelphia), designed with support from the Fels Fund to provide information on public issues, held its first sessions in 1959-1960 for selected prominent executives and younger Philadelphians interested in community affairs. Now, LEADERSHIP Philadelphia trains and mobilizes 150 professionals to serve Philadelphia each year. The additional workshops and thought pieces in newspapers and journals amplify LEADERSHIP’s impact in Philadelphia.

Staff at the Fels Institute first administered the CLSP. For several years it operated from the Office of the President of the University of Pennsylvania. It has been an independent non-profit organization since 1978. It was run by Steven Sweeney until 1978, when Anne Hearn took the lead. Anne ran the organization until 1993, when current president Liz Dow took over.

Watch video on LEADERSHIP’s newest program
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    All donations to LEADERSHIP Philadelphia will go toward our mission to mobilize and connect the talent of the private sector to serve the community. Thank you for your contribution.

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