25 Years of the Leadership Program

The Leadership Program identifies, nurtures and connects existing and potential community leaders, increasing their knowledge of the community and community issues, while enhancing their individual effectiveness through the development of leadership skills.

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-five 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 an average of 35 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.

Selection Criteria

Applications are evaluated according to the information provided on this application. The selection process seeks a cross section of the community – men and women from different career, educational, social, and cultural backgrounds.

  • The Leadership Program is open to persons living or working in the Central County area including San Mateo, Foster City, Burlingame, and Hillsborough. A maximum of 35 individuals are selected to participate in the program each year.
  • Participants must have the full support of the organization or corporation they represent or apply as an individual.
Tuition Fee

Tuition for the Leadership San Mateo, Foster City, Burlingame, Hillsborough program is $1,500 plus a non-refundable application fee of $100. When accepted into the Leadership program (please see Selection Criteria and Attendance Policy section), the full tuition amount is due by the application deadline, unless prior arrangements have been made.

Each participant, as an indication of personal commitment, is encouraged to pay a minimum of $100 of the program costs. Other tuition funding sources, such as employer or sponsoring organization, may be utilized to provide the balance.

Scholarships are also available. Please inquire when completing the Leadership application. Contact us for additional information.

Application Deadlines

Applications for the Class of 2017 are now being accepted. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2017. For additional information please contact us.

Program Dates (2016-2017)

2016 – 2017 Schedule

All Program Days are 8am – 5pm

  • Friday, September 9, 2016 & Saturday, September 10, 2016 – Opening Retreat (Attendance Mandatory)
  • Friday Sept 30, 2016 – Law Enforecement & the Judicial System
  • Friday, October 21, 2016 – Human Services
  • Friday, November 18, 2016 – Arts, Culture & Media Relations
  • Friday, December 9, 2016 – Education
  • Friday, January 20, 2017 – Government
  • Friday, February 10, 2017 – Fire & Emergency Services; Training/Book Groups
  • Friday, March 10, 2017 – Business & Economic Development
  • Friday, April 14, 2017 – Health Care & Healthy Communities
  • Friday, May 12, 2017 – Environment
  • Friday, June 9, 2017 – Land Use, Housing & Transportation
  • Tuesday, June 13 2017 – Graduation & Commencement Celebration

*Commencement Celebration – 5:30pm