The Leadership Program identifies and nurtures existing and potential community leaders by increasing their knowledge of the community and community issues while enhancing their individual effectiveness through exposure to leadership characteristics.

Leadership is a ten month program of monthly day-long seminars where participants engage in face-to-face discussions with experts and key decision makers from San Mateo, Foster City, Burlingame, and Hillsborough. This comprehensive program consists of presentations, tours, and interactive activities focusing on areas of vital interest to the community including Business and Economic Development; Government; Education; Law Enforcement and the Judicial System; Health Care, Human Services; Arts, Culture, and Media Relations; the Environment; Fire and Emergency Services; Transportation, Housing, and Planning.

Twenty years ago a small group of community and business leaders had a vision to create a program, which would recognize and nurture leadership potential through a year-long program. What began as Leadership San Mateo has expanded to include the Burlingame, Foster City, and Hillsborough communities with more than 30 eager class members each year representing business, government and non-profit organizations.

The Leadership Program’s graduates are over 700 strong. These individuals have made impressive contributions in their personal and professional lives, and many have committed to public service. The program’s visionaries could hardly imagine that among the Leadership graduates would be the mayors of all four Leadership cities in 2008, members of all four City Councils and Executive Directors of well respected nonprofits on the central Peninsula. We know from our graduates’ stories that participation in Leadership changed their lives.


Leadership Program is sponsored by the San Mateo Area Chamber of Commerce, Foster City Chamber of Commerce, Burlingame Chamber of Commerce, and the Town of Hillsborough.