Executive Leadership Institute - ELI



A Professional Development Program for Senior-Level Public Servants


The Executive Leadership Institute (ELI) was established in 1987 as a program dedicated to grooming African American managers for the rigors of executive positions in public service organizations. As cities, counties, and states face an enormous array of critical problems - including escalating crime rates, growing demands for social services, rapidly deteriorating infrastructures, and diminishing Federal aid to localities - the need for talented, energetic, creative, resourceful, and capable executives from diverse backgrounds is increasingly present. ELI was established to sharpen the skills and capabilities of an elite core of managers and administrators who have already demonstrated superior achievement as assistant city managers, department heads, bureau chiefs, and the like.


This program is one of the few training Institutes in the United States that offers a curriculum mixed with both academic based theory and practitioner based experience through partnerships with universities and cities throughout the country. The ability to compare and contrast the impacts of urban renewal, transportation policy, economic development strategies, leadership, and other public policies, in seven cities over an eight-month period, is unique to participants of the Executive Leadership Institute. ELI candidates also have the exceptional opportunity to interface with elected and appointed administrators who grapple with public policy decisions daily, citizens who live in these communities and universities that study and analyze public management application and theory.


The Executive Leadership Institute has been developed to meet the needs of experienced managers and administrators. This program is designed for leaders - assistants or deputy/city managers and department directors - upon whom the chief executive officer relies to carry out policies, implement programs, and solve problems. We are particularly interested in admitting those persons intent on securing the position of city/county manager or agency chief within the next 2 to 5 years. In addition to aspiring to achieve an executive position, applicants should possess strong academic training, including a bachelor's degree (required) and a master's degree (preferred). Persons who fulfill these minimum requirements, demonstrate leadership skills, and a commitment to social responsibility will be considered. If you are selected as a candidate, you will be expected to become an active member of NFBPA, as well.


Developed with the advice and counsel of current and former senior
public administrators as well as faculty at some of the nation’s most
prestigious schools of public administration, the Institute curriculum
is divided into major and minor topics around core comp competency
areas within the public administration profession.

  • Core Curriculum areas include: • Resource Allocation & Financial Management • Economic Development & Planning • Public Policy Development & Analysis • Organizational Development • Civic Engagement • Data Analytics & Technology • Leadership
Upon completion of the program, ELI candidates will receive a
Professional Certificate in State and Local Government Leadership -
from the Georgetown University Schools of Continuing Studies.

The Executive Leadership
Institute is designed for
leaders upon whom elected
and appointed officials rely
on to carry out policies,
implement programs, and
solve problems. The program
has been developed for
middle and senior managers
with particular preference on
selecting persons who intend
to pursue the position of city/
county manager or agency

A highly selective annual search is conducted to identify candidates with:

• Strong academic training including a bachelor’s degree (required) and a master’s degree (preferred)
• Professional experience
• Strong written and analytic skills
• Demonstrated leadership experience
• Commitment to social responsibility
• Active membership within NFBPA


Tuition for the Executive Leadership
Institute is $11,000 which covers the cost
for instruction, venues, and registration
fees for NFBPA’s annual conference
(FORUM). The total transportation and
lodging costs for all program sessions
and the annual conference are not
included in the above fees. Tuition costs
much be paid by November 15, 2020.
Past ELI graduates have employed
various strategies for securing
sponsorship for participation in the
program. The overwhelming majority
of participants are sponsored by their
local and state government employers.
Others successfully supported their
participation in the Institute through a
combination of corporate, foundation,
and personal funds. If accepted, NFBPA
staff is available to provide


Application & Recruitment 

SEPTEMBER 17, 2020
Application Deadline

SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
Candidates Notified

NOVEMBER 1, 2020
Tuition Payment Due

Monthly Instructional Sessions

APRIL 2021
Graduation Ceremony during FORUM

You may use the following links to download the ELI Brochure and the ELI application

If you would rather receive the application via email, please contact our office at (202) 408-9300 ext. 101 or send an email to adminservices@nfbpa.org.