Program Overview 2 - Leadership Program
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Leadership provides individuals from business, civic and nonprofit sectors with a framework for engagement in the communities of San Mateo, Foster City, Burlingame and Hillsborough. Participants develop a knowledge base and establish relationships with community leaders representing numerous sectors and issues – from health and housing to education and economic development. Local public, private and nonprofit leaders create connections between communities and constituents through a rich, cross-sector curriculum. For more than 25 years, the program has developed, engaged, empowered and connected leaders for positive community impact. The Leadership alumni network includes state and local government officials, nonprofit leaders and business executives.

Program Days

Police Services and Criminal Justice

Always popular – this action-filled day provides participants with a better understanding of San Mateo County law enforcement and the criminal justice system. Panel participants will provide an insider’s view of the criminal justice system, from enforcement to prosecution, incarceration, and rehabilitation. Learn first-hand from our criminal justice leaders about the unique leadership challenges and opportunities facing 21st century policing and criminal justice. Put yourselves in the role of Judge and jury, and interact with our police leaders as they describe navigating turbulent times and critical incidents and provide leadership to their troops and their communities. Engage in a hands-on experience as you walk in the shoes of law enforcement officers making critical decisions in split second incidents, and learn about the importance of the training, development and risk management strategies that leaders must provide to their organizations.

Media and Communications Day

This day of arts and media exploration includes opportunities for tangible and theoretical leadership skills development.  Participants are encouraged to use their innate creativity in responding to familiar and unfamiliar situations focusing on the art world and the media industry.

Human Services Day

Participants will gain a broader understanding of the human services challenges in our communities and the complex and collaborative network of public and nonprofit organizations who are addressing these challenges.  You will have an exciting opportunity to engage directly with leaders at the forefront of addressing critical issues such as  homelessness and food insecurity, individuals who inspire hope.  You will also get a chance to visit several different non-profits and see their work in action.

Education Day

What’s it like to be a student in school during the 21st century?  Join us for a comprehensive look at public education.  Education Day will include a field trip to one of our spotlight schools, a superintendents’ panel, an exploration of the community college system, and the opportunity to experience schooling as a student.  Questions we’ve addressed in the past include: What are the Common Core Standards and the new assessments?  How are schools dealing with meeting the needs of varied learners?  How are schools dealing with the teacher shortage? How do schools meet students’ needs in the areas of technology, STEM, and collaboration to enable them to compete in the world marketplace?

Government Day

Have you ever wondered how county and city governments collaborate to solve regional issues? Have you ever wished you could ask in-depth questions of your state and local elected officials? Government Day provides class participants this unique opportunity, as well as a chance to walk in their shoes in balancing conflicting constituent interests. You’ll come away with a new lens on what our local leaders do to make our communities work for everyone.

Leadership Skill Development

“Becoming the leader you aspire to be” provides the framework for the second goal of the Leadership Program–to identify and nurture potential and existing leaders.  Whether you are in the business, government, non-profit, or volunteer sectors, there are a variety of opportunities throughout the Leadership Program to learn and practice leadership strategies and skills. You will enhance your own skills through Leadership Book Groups and peer coaching and mentoring. By meeting with a variety of community leaders from throughout the region and learning their stories and how they make a difference in their communities, you’ll also have the opportunity to reflect on a variety of leadership styles.

Fire and Emergency Services

Participants will learn how their local fire departments work collaboratively to deliver the most efficient emergency response services to their communities. They will be provided an opportunity to view our fire apparatus and see demonstrations of some of the unique specialty tools we have in the County. They will be exposed to an overview of safety training and preparedness and how we educate the community about fire and life safety skills for everyday life.  We will also discuss future challenges to emergency response services.

Environment Day

From where our water comes from to where our waste goes, on Environment Day class members learn about the environmental issues facing our community and what organizations, local governments, and individuals are doing in response.

Health Care and Healthy Communities Day

The local health sector attracts dynamic leaders who are highly regarded by peers across the state and country for their innovation, collaborative approach, and forward-thinking orientation to our community’s health challenges.  You will hear from high-level executives who inspire their teams and partners across the community to excel in creating healthy, equitable communities and continually improving the delivery of healthcare for all of us who consume such services at some point in our lives.  A class participant had this to say after hearing from a local hospital CEO who addressed the program participants “…thank you for her.  She is a leader and she demonstrated why and how!”

Business and Economic Development Day

What’s the latest in terms of key businesses in the area and their plans? How are they fitting in with/affecting our cities’ bottom lines, and what are our cities’ strategies in today’s changing business world?  What are the challenges that could threaten the viability of our businesses, job retention, and job creation, and how can Leadership class members help?  Hear from the leaders of our key business segments and get insider tours, information, and contacts.

Planning, Housing and Transportation

The Planning, Housing, and Transportation Day will provide the Leadership class with an overview of how local planning efforts strive to balance housing, livability, and transportation needs in order to allow communities to grow in a thoughtful manner.  The class usually hears from local planning experts, takes a tour of local projects, and has an opportunity to simulate the challenges facing local planning commissions.

Selection Criteria

The Leadership Selection Committee seeks to accept a diverse class, representative of our community.  The ideal application is thorough, demonstrates a strong interest in the program and a rationale for completing the program.  You may be asked for more information or to interview with an alumnus.

  • 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 38 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 $1,650 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 2020 are now available and are due May 1, 2019.