Western States Leadership Institute

The Western States Leadership Institute on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities is an opportunity to come together with other agency leaders to learn from each other, leading experts, self-advocates and their families, and funders. This program is being offered in-person September 18 – September 23, at The Arc of Pueblo in Pueblo, Colorado. The National Leadership Consortium will bring their week-long intensive program that will support leaders to transform supports in Western States and British Columbia for people who have an intellectual or developmental disability. Guest speakers and self-advocates from Colorado will be added to supplement an agenda of compelling workshops and presentations. The expected outcomes of the Western States Leadership Institute include:

Exploring new service models - developing leaders who think beyond the current "traditional" service models Succession planning - developing "next in line" leaders preparing them for executive level positions.

Applicants should work in areas of management or program leadership in organizations that provide, advocate for, or fund community-based services and support for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families. Participants will be selected through an application process administered by the National Leadership Consortium. Representatives from agencies and organizations will be chosen from across Western States and British Columbia. Application deadline is September 2nd, 2022.


September 18th - 23rd, 2022


Pueblo, Colorado


(includes most meals and all supplies. Does not include travel or hotel accommodations)

$800 per applicant (if application is received by August 24th before 5 pm MT) or $1000 per applicant (if application is received on September 2 5pm MT or later). All applications are due by September 2nd.


Limited to 40 current and emerging leaders from Western States and British Columbia, chosen by application process

Travel and Hotel:

Chosen participants will be responsible for their own travel and hotel reservations and costs. The Institute will have a room block close to the meeting space at a competitive rate. Check back for more information shortly.


September 2nd

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Why a Leadership Institute?

A crisis is looming in the field of developmental disabilities. Fully two-thirds of current CEOs and executive directors of nonprofit organizations, and an equal number of government senior managers, anticipate remaining in their positions for five years or fewer. Many leaders of disability organizations are reaching retirement age and there is not a “next generation” of leaders prepared to move into these positions. In a study by The University of Delaware, over 50% of the CEOs surveyed did not have a succession plan for their organizations. Almost without exception, the leadership crisis has been a major topic of focus at recent conferences for developmental disability professionals.

While some generic non-profit management and leadership courses are available nationally, none exist that are specific to leaders in the complex and changing field of developmental disabilities services. The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities recognizes the responsibility to respond to this emerging crisis and is joining forces with major developmental disability organizations to offer intensive week-long training for emerging leaders in the developmental disabilities field.

What does the Leadership Institute Offer?

The Western States Leadership Institute, sponsored by the May and Stanley Charitable Trust Foundation, offers a select group of future leaders from organizations across Western States and British Columbia, the opportunity to come together with a fabulous faculty of national experts on progressive supports for people with disabilities. The Institute supports the development of skilled leaders who are passionate about quality, have the leadership, management and financial skills needed to run solid not-for-profit businesses and government agencies, are capable of assembling top-notch teams of caring staff, and have a solid commitment to progressive values that assured lives of meaning and impact for the individuals receiving support.

The course emphasizes participation and collaboration. Extensive reading and structured assignments are required in advance. Written assignments and individual and group participation during the week are essential.

A highlight of the course for past participants has been the relationships that are built over the week-long experience. Participants will leave with a network of colleagues and enduring relationships with some of the most influential leaders in the field.

The focus of the Leadership Institute is on supporting participants to determine and set organizational direction to move their organization to a high-performance model, and build a lifetime network of peers and leaders to sustain career growth.

To learn more about the Western States Leadership Institute, e-mail Kristen Loomis at kloomis@natleadership.org.