LEAD and SEI logos

The New Face of SEI and LEAD

The curriculum and program structure for the Senior Executive Institute and Leading, Educating, and Developing were recently redesigned by the Virginia Institute of Government Leadership Development team. They new course design was based on rigorous research and conversations with local leaders about what they were looking for in a leadership development program. 


"SEI and LEAD have always been the premier leadership development programs for local governments and our desire is to maintain their legacies moving forward. As our world changes, so must our programming. We are redesigning and bolstering our curriculum so that it will be consistently delivered via a lens of inclusivity. We are offering new topics, such as psychological safety, leading change, and building holistic community relationships while translating and simplifying theory for ease of application. Collaborating closely with our local government partners, we are focusing our efforts on addressing the most relevant topics and challenges impacting organizations and communities today. We have recruited and assembled a diverse and highly skilled team of instructors, facilitators, and practitioners who will undoubtedly deliver the most meaningful leadership development experience in the world." 

Molly Harlow
Interim Associate Director, Leadership Development Programs


The program approach and curriculum is similar for both SEI and LEAD but SEI is tailored for senior executive leaders and LEAD for department heads and supervisors.

In this new format, program participants will 

  • Examine, discuss and apply the most relevant and powerful leadership practices, with focused discussions on the distinct and complex experiences of local government leaders
  • Deepen their understanding of inclusive leadership, with specific sessions on diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Develop interpersonal skills and community and organizational leadership skills
  • Create a clear roadmap of how they can immediately apply the concepts learned from the program to their specific  organizations
  • Build essential skills and awareness through team engagement. Participants will:
    • reflect on key experiences, role models and lessons learned that have shaped their leadership styles
    • learn coaching techniques 
    • create more self-awareness and empathy by listening and understanding others
    • explore personal values and their relationship to organizational values
  • Experience a learning environment that is 
    • highly interactive (less than 20% lecture), engaged and application-based, with every session including a concept to learn, a local government example and an application exercise
    • safe, supportive and built on trust and vulnerability, which allows for a nonjudgmental, open exchange of ideas and experience



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