Apply for the American Express Leadership Academy

June 21-23, 2017

Application Deadline

A complete application and supporting documentation must be sent to and received on or before Friday, April 14, 2017. Applications received after the designated deadline will not be considered. No exceptions.

Award Date

Acceptance and declination notices will be distributed via email on Friday, April 21, 2017.

Please submit any questions to Shila Burney.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must currently be in the volunteering and service sector and have an interest in advancing into positions with greater leadership responsibility during their career. Specifically, applicants must be managers expecting to assume executive-level roles within five to ten years.
  • Applicants must have the support of their organization to participate, and if accepted, will be invited to participate in a year-long initiative that includes a Summit, webinars and additional resources.
  • Applicants must be complete all required pre-academy work; attend the entire academy and implement lessons learned during the academy at their organizations; and participate in all follow-up activities.
  • Applicants must be a citizen, a permanent resident of the U.S. or its territories, or a non-citizen who speaks English fluently.
  • Applicants must pay for travel-related costs. Travel related costs include the following items: meals, lodging, air travel, and ground transportation. Funds granted by American Express will cover costs to attend the Leadership Academy, a welcome dinner the night before the program starts, breakfast and lunch on day one, and breakfast on day two.

Selection Process

Applicants will be evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Individual demonstrates a high potential for assuming leadership roles
  • Demonstrates commitment to a career in the nonprofit sector
  • Geography, ethnicity, gender and professional background are all factors that will be weighted evenly during the review process

It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a complete and signed application and all the supporting documentation in one package. Incomplete applications or applications not in proper format will not be accepted. The decision of the selection committee is final and not subject to a review process.

Required Application Materials

  • First and Last Name, Title, Organization, Phone and Email. Optional: Gender, Ethnicity
  • Your resume
  • A 500- to 1000-word essay with the following questions answered in a comprehensive manner with complete sentences and in paragraph format:
    1. How would attending the American Express Leadership Academy benefit you/your organization?
    2. What are your organization’s current leadership challenges?
    3. Describe the nature of the work you manage and the challenges you have experienced as a leader.
  • Letter of recommendation from a direct supervisor.

Contact Information

General Inquiries

Conference on Volunteering and Service
Attn: Events
600 Means Street, Suite 210
Atlanta, Georgia 30318

Registration Inquiries

Volunteering Inquiries


For information on corporate sponsorship, contact Kate Nichols.


For media inquiries, contact Amber Gowen.

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What Others Are Saying

The emphasis on cross-sector collaboration was eye-opening, and everyone I met walked away with fresh perspectives and ideas. It broke down the silos of inward-facing sectors and showed us how much more powerful our work can be when we come together. An unbeatable experience!

— 2017 Seattle Attendee

The conference proved to be one of the most engaging and exciting professional gatherings of like-minded people I've ever attended. Although the topics, content, and presentations all appropriately centered around volunteering and service in some way, the sheer range of them was simply astounding.

— 2017 Seattle Attendee

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