Lead LA

Solutions to complex challenges in Southern California require leaders across industries who understand its unique civic and political landscape, have the network to leverage resources across sectors, and skill sets to work within and through systems.

Lead LA is designed for rising and established executives, thought leaders, and innovators eager to expand their leadership capacity, knowledge and networks in Southern California. The program utilizes Los Angeles as its classroom for lessons that can only be provided through first-hand experiences. Participants come away with a deeper understanding of themselves, the region, the power players, and the issues that all work in concert to create the unique fabric in LA. Through this immersive dive into the city, participants gain the tools and experiences necessary to lead and direct change within their own organizations.


Lead LA meets September through May and requires a significant time commitment both on weekdays and weekends. Sessions include:

  • A half-day Orientation
  • A 2-day overnight Opening Retreat
  • Personal Reflection Leadership Retreats
  • Networking Events (Leading Locally Series, Fellows Selection Day, and our annual Gala)
  • 5 Issue Days, public policy explorations of current, hot-button topics, selected and organized by small teams of participants to educate the entire cohort. Issue Days are held on Fridays.
  • Proposal, Design, and Debrief meetings (each 3 hours long) with VP of Leadership Development & Training for each team organizing an Issue Day. In addition, teams generally hold weekly planning meetings in the months leading up to the event.
  • Weekly optional civic engagement and personal reflection activities
  • Graduation & Celebration

Coupling the highly-successful Coro leadership model with inquiry-based learning from some of Southern California’s most respected multi-sector leaders,  Lead LA  provides the opportunity for Southern California’s top talent to:


  • learn how to navigate systems and sectors unique to Southern California
  • cultivate a large network of influencers and stakeholders in the region
  • utilize the city as a classroom to bring one-of-a-kind experiences to their leadership toolkit
  • play a role in tackling some of the most pressing issues of the region
  • utilize systems-thinking, strategic inquiry, and diverse networks to get things done
  • access Coro’s network of established leaders across sectors and industries
  • develop a deeper understanding of how to effectively lead teams towards achieving large and complex goals
  • put tools to practice through issue-driven, inquiry-based, group learning processes

Lead LA participants will strengthen their leadership toolkit within the following areas:


Leadership Development

  • Recognize their own leadership strengths, gaps, and blind spots and identify strategies to lead most effectively
  • Apply Coro’s signature leadership tools through complex group challenges, inquiry-based conversations with Southern California leaders, and exploration of regional issues
  • Engage in reflective practice and immediately apply tools to everyday work

Team Management

  • Create effective group processes to move through all levels of team tasks, from small meetings to large projects
  • Design experiential group learning experiences for diverse teams

Systems Thinking

  • Identify and effectively communicate with stakeholders on multiple sides of an issue
  • Analyze complex systems, (e.g. organizations, sectors, power dynamics, etc.)

Multi-Sectoral Issue Analysis

  • Understand the public, private, and nonprofit landscape in Los Angeles
  • Evaluate cross-sectoral problems and provide balanced solutions in response
  • Practice nonpartisan investigation into Southern California’s biggest challenges

Lead LA is for individuals who:

  • are committed to deepening their leadership capacity through Coro’s proven methodology
  • are looking to expand their professional and personal networks
  • are decision makers, managers and/or influencers at their respective organizations
  • have a minimum of 7 years of work experience
  • live and work in Southern California

Selected participants reflect the demographics of Los Angeles and come from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Applicants should be prepared for an immersive, group-structured experience in personal reflection for leadership growth and public policy exploration.


Tuition is $5,000 for 100+ hours of leadership development training, individual and small group coaching, lodging and meals at the opening retreat, and access to Coro alumni and cross-program events. Limited scholarships are available. Payment in full (or agreement with Coro on a specific payment plan) is required before the start of the program. Participants are encouraged to seek their employer’s or other sponsor’s support for the program.  Please contact us for information and guidance in seeking employer or sponsor support.

Thank You to the Lead LA Advisory Committee

Amy Held

Executive Director, Larchmont Charter School

Deborah Mack

Former Interim Deputy Director, Future of California Elections

Robert Jernigan

Regional Managing Principal, Gensler

Seleta Reynolds

General Manager, LADOT

Andrea Foggy Paxton

Managing Director, The Broad Center

John Kobara

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, California Community Foundation

Robin Kramer

Managing Director, Smidt Foundation

Shawn Landres

Commissioner and Chair, Quality and Productivity Commission, LA County

  Interest Form


Applications for Lead LA are now closed. Add your name to the Interest Form to receive updates about next year’s recruitment cycle.


Know someone who would be great for Lead LA?


View the brochure or download to pass on to a friend.

Current Participants

Meet the 2018-2019 Lead LA cohort.

  Program Benefits

Seeking employer assistance or fundraising? Download this guide on the benefits they will receive by supporting your participation in Lead LA.


See key dates and training in the program year.



Questions about the program can be directed to Jenny Vazquez-Newsum, VP of Leadership Programs and Training, at jenny@corola.org.