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Center for Leadership Development
Schedule at a Glance

Leadership for a Democratic Society


  • Nov 4, 2021-Mar 4, 2022 at *ONLINE*, online course, Tuition: $18000  (#25713)   REGISTER
  • Jul 14-Nov 4, 2022 at *ONLINE*, online course, Tuition: $18000  (#25722)   REGISTER

    Our initial offerings of the Leadership for a Democratic Society (LDS) program’s fiscal year 2022 schedule will be delivered online beginning in November 2021. Additional dates for residential deliveries for the remainder of fiscal year 2022 will be posted in the coming weeks.

    Please see below for information on the four program formats and associated tuition rates.


Embark on life-empowering and career-strengthening leadership experience through our renowned Leadership for a Democratic Society (LDS) program. Serving as an enduring foundation of your personal and professional growth journey, the LDS program offers an unmatched learning experience to prepare you for the complex challenges of leadership.

The Leadership for a Democratic Society program focuses on three crucial areas for effective leadership: Vision, Alignment and Execution. Every leader must create a compelling vision appropriate at their level and work with people above, below and across to align with that vision as the championing results Both experience and research highlights that time and attention is often lacking in regard to building alignment and often a cause for failure. How often do strategic plans wither and die because there was a lack of alignment? Completing this program will improve your proficiency in these three key areas.

Using the U.S. Constitution as a principal foundation, the LDS program guides you to understand the diverse goals of the government and the citizens it serves. The LDS program is anchored in current leadership theory, OPM’s Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs), and leadership competencies. You’ll engage with faculty experienced and credentialed in leadership development, human capital management, education, political science, behavioral science, international affairs, public administration, adult education, and more.

How You Will Benefit

Through a combination of larger class sessions and small teams, you’ll expand your professional networks and gain knowledge on leadership concepts, models, and tools from a variety of assessments, readings, case studies, written assignments, and individual presentations.

An integrated mix of readings, lecture, discussion, field experiences, assessments, and case studies will help you to:

  • Develop a stronger awareness of how your values and prior experiences influence your success as a leader.
  • Gain a better understanding of how the U.S. Constitution impacts your leadership in the federal government.
  • Personalize your learning through course selection within the program and further recognize that no two leaders are alike.
  • Network and learn from your colleagues across government to harness the diverse talents and resources found within public servants like you.
  • Learn ways to improve resiliency, mental and physical wellness, and work-life balance from peer-to-peer learning guided by expert faculty.
  • Become part of a learning community by leveraging the expertise and experience of faculty and your peers within your program.
  • Create an organizational change plan that turns knowledge into action with strategies that align with your agency’s vision.
  • Create an individual change plan to improve your leadership knowledge, skills, and behavior to help accomplish your mission.

Who Should Attend

  • Senior Executive Service members, GS-15 employees, and equivalents in other pay systems.
  • Selected senior non-federal employees, to include private sector, state, and local government who are of an equivalent grade/level, as determined by program administrators.
  • GS-14 employees and equivalents in other pay systems with executive-level duties who are approved for a grade waiver.

How to Register
All registrations should be submitted online via this website. If you or your agency training office have any questions about the process, please email the Federal Executive Institute (FEI) registrar at or call (434) 980-6232 for more information.

Additional Information

To receive a certificate of mastery, you must complete short written assignments, give at least two presentations, and create both an individual and organizational change plan.

Please refer to the FEI Handbook or LDS program description for additional information.

  • Leadership Assessment Instruments
    • Work of Leaders: Crafting a Vision, Building Alignment, and Championing Execution
    • OPM Leadership 360™

  • Program Formats
    The Leadership for a Democratic Society program is offered in four formats. All four achieve the same learning outcomes, provide executives with the same access to faculty and educational-support opportunities unique to the LDS program, and equally meet the for the certificate of mastery requirements.
    • Online (FY22 Tuition Rate - $18,000)
      The online learning format (OL) consists of a variety of learning modules over 14 weeks. You’ll be expected to devote approximately 20 hours per week for the first two weeks, then six hours per week for the rest of the program. The program consists of a combination of virtual classroom and self-paced work. The first two weeks of the program consist of virtual classroom sessions and short learning modules. This foundation is then enhanced by participation in courses and electives which allow you to reflect and apply ideas, tools, and strategies immediately in your workplace.

    • Blended (FY22 Tuition Rate - $20,250)
      The blended learning format (BL) is designed to meet your leadership development needs if you’re unable to be away from work or home for an extended period, or if you prefer to learn through distance education. The program consists of three sessions:

      1. In-residence session
      2. Coursework consisting of virtual classrooms and self-paced sessions
      3. Two days in-residence learning

      Residential (FY22 Tuition Rate - $22,500)
      The residential learning format (RL) is a four-week continuous, in-residence immersion program. The program consists of in on-campus learning sessions, off-campus field experience activities, and small-team learning environments. You’ll engage in a variety of activities while attending sessions Monday through Friday for four weeks (including some evening sessions), along with a full weekend of sessions during the first weekend.

    • Applied (FY22 Tuition Rate - $22,500)
      The applied learning format (AL) challenges you to apply knowledge and skills gained through coursework to your workplace. During an intersession between two residential sessions, you’ll go back to your agency and apply program context to your work environment, promoting a deeper understanding and application of leadership. ALP consists of three sessions:

      1. Two weeks in residence
      2. Intersession
      3. Two weeks in residence