The Leadership Development Initiative (LDI) program is an investment in the future leader. LDI is an 8 month long program for high-potential young professionals. This creative and innovative leadership training program has served as a model for several others around the country. Our faculty utilizes data-driven training models and provides access to experts who share their experiences as our community grooms the talented professionals who will lead this region in the coming years. LDI strengthens the bonds of this highly mobile talent pool with others in their cohort and with the region and serves as a retention and engagement tool for our area’s businesses and nonprofits.

LPInc. strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccinations and is a mask-friendly organization. LPInc. will continue to monitor local, state and national guidelines, including CDC guidelines, leading up to each in-person event and will share any updates to our policy as needed. Please note that masks, proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (taken within 72 hours of an event) may be required for entry into some sessions/events should the venue host require such. Ample advance notice would be provided.



Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Leadership Development Initiative application and selection process?

Leadership Development Initiative applications are due the first Friday in July for the class that would start in late September. Early applications are encouraged. Incentive tuition price is available for applications submitted by the first Friday in June. All parts of the application must be complete to be considered.

A selection committee will review applications in August. Applicants accepted for admission to Leadership Development Initiative will be notified by mid-September.

A letter of support from the organization that employs the applicant as well as letters of recommendation are required at the time of application. Entrepreneurs/Self-employed individuals are also welcome to apply. The selection committee seeks to have each class of Leadership Development Initiative represent a diverse cross section of our community, that is: diverse by race, occupation and personal experience.

Application information for the 2024-2025 LDI cohort will be available in January 2024.

How much is tuition? Is tuition assistance available?

Leadership Development Initiative tuition is $4,200 per participant (please note that this is subject to change in the future). Early applications are encouraged. Incentive tuition price for applications submitted by the first Friday in June is $3,900. All parts of the application must be complete to be considered.

Accepted applicants will receive an invoice which must be paid to ensure their spot in the class. Payment plans are available but must be arranged in advance with our team.

A limited number of partial scholarships are available and are primarily intended to assist participants from nonprofit organizations with limited resources. Participants seeking tuition assistance will be asked to complete a statement of financial need and should submit their request for assistance with their application. Tuition assistance information can be requested by emailing info@lpinc.org. Acceptance into Leadership Development Initiative is not influenced by the need for tuition assistance.

How is LPInc. programming responding to current concerns around public health?

LPInc. strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccinations and is a mask-friendly organization. LPInc. will continue to monitor local, state and national guidelines, including CDC guidelines, leading up to each in-person event and will share any updates to our policy as needed. Please note that masks, proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test (taken within 72 hours of an event) may be required for entry into some sessions/events should the venue host require such. Ample advance notice would be provided.


What is the program schedule?

All Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. activities always adhere to required standards of public health and safety. The information listed below is general and addresses a typical program year. 

In addition to the opening retreat, the LDI class usually meets twice monthly from approximately 1:00 - 5:00 PM on (typically) Thursday afternoons. The schedule is determined several months in advance. Credits are assigned to each session and most activities, and participants are required to earn a predetermined number of credits to complete the program. More credits are offered than required for the program’s completion in order to allow participants flexibility in arranging their personal schedules.

Twelve to fourteen sessions, held from October through June, focus on sharpening key leadership skills and capacities such as inquiry, dialogue, anti-racism, persuasion, conflict negotiation, and listening – skills that are critical to professional community leadership. Participants gain a better awareness of their own particular style of leadership and how it interacts with others of similar caliber. The LDI program helps participants hone skills while exposing them to avenues for civic involvement and critical-path networking across industries.

Welcome Reception and Orientation – Held in late September. (If possible, based on prevailing public health conditions.)

Initial Retreat – The retreat is critical to the formation of the cohort and is held on a Thursday through mid-day Friday. Applicants are strongly advised to take a look at the retreat dates on the schedule in advance of submitting an application. When held in-person, the retreat location is typically within 2 hours of driving distance from downtown Pittsburgh.  

Leadership Sessions – Participants meet for learning experiences on topics such as civic engagement, regional planning, understanding differences and serving on nonprofit boards. These sessions enhance leadership skills and expose the participants to community leaders and issues. Sessions typically take place on Thursday afternoons. Session locations are typically within a 1 hour driving distance from downtown Pittsburgh. Participants are expected to attend all of the regularly scheduled sessions in their entirety and earn sufficient credits to graduate. 

Community Impact Projects – LDI participants form teams to implement an Impact Project in our community. In addition to meeting a need in the community, the project provides significant learning experiences for the class members. Teams meet outside of the regularly scheduled sessions, where meeting times and locations are self-determined by the team. In recent years, the Community Impact Projects have taken the shape of PopUp! Pittsburgh. To learn more, click here.

Click Here to download the 2023-2024 LDI cohort schedule. 

What is the Community Impact Project: PopUp! Pittsburgh and how does it relate to LDI?

PopUp! Pittsburgh is the shape that the Community Impact Project (CIP) has taken in some of our LDI classes, where a hands on project serves as a key component of the LDI program.

CIP provides a “real-world” and hands-on opportunity for leadership skill practice and development. This living, breathing “case-study” is undertaken by the group of high potential emerging leaders of LDI, working together with a defined regional neighborhood’s stakeholders, to deliver significant value to the host neighborhood/s, its people and businesses. The development, design and execution of PopUp! Pittsburgh/CIP provides highly talented and motivated emerging leaders from our region’s corporate, public and nonprofit sectors opportunities to hone the skills/strategies taught throughout the program year while getting to know a neighborhood at a deep level and engaging civically.

Initial planning time for CIP is provided in the first half of the program year. The scale of the project is typically determined by the LDI participants in consultation with the host community’s stakeholders. The project is typically completed by end of May.

Past CIP/PopUp! Pittsburgh projects were all very unique – one focused around the filming of a zombie movie called Spineview, another involved pulling off a mass wedding vow renewal to celebrate love in the community, a 5K and community festival in Mt. Washington’s Emerald View park system, one focused on “shining a light” on Larimer with a laser show, another was focused around fresh produce in the community, a community festival in Wilkinsburg which told the story about the neighborhood’s past, present and future and one physically showcased the faces of the Carrick neighborhood as a part of an international art installation program. CIPs have drawn significant positive attention to the assets of the host community from those who live there as well as others who may not be as familiar with the neighborhoods.

To learn more visit www.PopUpPittsburgh.com

Who are Leadership Development Initiative participants? 

Successful applicants who get the most out of LDI are typically between 26 and 35 years of age.  They are in positions as an emerging manager, professional associate or significant individual contributor. They represent corporate and professional organizations, as well as civic entities.  Entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals are encouraged to apply as well. Our LDI participants exhibit high levels of energy, enthusiasm, a strong sense of self-reflection, dedication to community well-being, a desire for personal growth and to be part of something larger than themselves. Individuals with these characteristics do well in the LDI program.

Leadership Development Initiative participants are:

  • Fast-track young professionals in business, nonprofit, government and civic entities
  • Ready to challenge other dynamic professionals with their own unique views
  • Ready to invest 10-15 hours each month to learn, grow, and contribute as collaborative leaders
  • Ready to acknowledge the perspectives of others
  • Looking for a leadership experience that is reality-based and fun
  • Seeking to broaden professional and personal networks
  • Interested in acquiring skills and knowledge that would make them stand out within their company and the community as a Star Performer©
  • Wanting to climb the career ladder faster
  • New to the area OR want to contribute to the community in which we live, work, & play
  • Open to people, places and opportunities in the Greater Pittsburgh region
  • Committed to joining about 40 other fast-track professionals from every walk of life to learn and to inspire positive change in our community
Who is in the Leadership Development Initiative most recently graduated class?

Click Here to view a listing of the 2021-2022 LDI XXIX Class.

Who has graduated from Leadership Development Initiative?

Click Here for a comprehensive list of our LDI Alumni by class year.

Click Here for a comprehensive list of our LDI Alumni by last name. 

How can I refer someone to the learn more about this program?

Email info@lpinc.org today with your recommendation's contact information and we will get in touch with them to share more information regarding the program. Or use this REFERRER FORM to share their information. Thank you for helping to spread the word and strengthen our mission delivery!

Please use this separate form to submit a LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION that will accompany a potential candidate's application. 

I have been asked to write a letter of recommendation, now what?

The Leadership Development Initiative Selection Committee considers letters of recommendation in the application process. We strongly encourage each applicant to submit at least two letters of recommendation. Successful applications in prior years tend to be accompanied by a letter of recommendation from the applicant’s supervisor/head of business unit in addition to recommendations from LPInc. alumni (see under "Who has graduated from Leadership Development Initiative?").

Recommendations are due to the Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. office by 5:00 PM on the FIRST FRIDAY OF JULY (same as the application itself). These can be submitted along with your application or separately via the online form; by email to info@lpinc.org; or mail to our office. 


I learned a lot through the program. LDI challenged me to continue to work towards being the best leader I can be, both at work and personally. The teachings were valuable, the interactions with the cohort were fantastic, and the overall experience was really a great one!
Daniel Guimaraes, LDI XXII
PNC Bank