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Leaders Lab of Greater Charlottesville

Leaders Lab widescreen

The Leaders Lab of Greater Charlottesville is a leadership training program for everyone who wants to be great at collaboration! Current and emerging leaders build leadership skills, practice community problem-solving, and learn first-hand how people are working together on local issues.

Each cohort meets monthly for 9 months, September through May. We work on leading from our values, consensus building, ethical decision making, principled negotiation, equitable collaboration, cultural competence, self-awareness and much more.

Click here to apply for the next Leaders Lab cohort.

The Class of 2025 has room for a few more members. Until the class is full, applications will remain open through July 31, 2024. 

Primary Program Elements

Leadership Development

Participants will self-assess and build competencies in self-awareness, conflict management, collaboration, cultural competence and adaptability.

Community Knowledge-Building

Each session includes a community case study on local work in areas such as homelessness, food and health access, racial equity, education and entrepreneurship.

Community Problem-Solving

Participants will study and practice collaborative leadership skills essential for community problem-solving, such as equitable collaboration, consensus building, ethical decision making, community engagement, group facilitation, principled negotiation, conflict resolution and asset based community development

Click here for a sample agenda (PDF)

Participant Goals

Develop perspective and understanding of at least seven community issues

Demonstrate understanding of community problem-solving and skills development through practice

Apply learning to complete a personal leadership plan

Access a new network of community-minded leaders that supports individual growth/development AND collaborative action towards a more broadly thriving community.

Foundational Values

Diversity of community knowledge, experience & expertise

A collaborative mindset to improve the practice of leadership in our community

Humility and deep listening skills

A spirit of excellence with a strong work ethic to leverage assets to address community challenges

Leaders Lab partners in collaboration: Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce, Institute for Engagement and Negotiation at UVA, Center for Nonprofit Excellence, and Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service.

Questions? Contact Leaders Lab Director Ann Marie Hohenberger at or call 434.295.2808.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply for Leaders Lab?
Everyone has an opportunity to lead in some form – in our personal lives, on the job and in our community. We encourage you to apply if you live in the Greater Charlottesville area and want to deepen your leadership skills, practice collaborative problem solving, and put new skills to work immediately to build a stronger community.

In order to offer the broadest possible perspective and richest participant experience, Leaders Lab aims to enroll a cohort that reflects our entire community in terms of geography, industry, race, gender, age and more.

What will I gain by participating in Leaders Lab?
Collaborative leadership is essential in today's workplaces. As a program participant, you’ll learn best practices in conflict resolution, multi-party negotiations, cultural competence, meeting facilitation, and many more skills. You’ll evaluate your leadership competencies over time and create a personal leadership plan.

You will also have a chance to build relationships with other motivated leaders and emerging leaders. Program graduates become part of a “network of doers” in our region, with ongoing collaboration encouraged.

What will the sessions be like?
Leaders Lab meets for one full day each month of the 9-month program. Each session includes elements of leadership development, community knowledge-building, and community problem-solving. We will hear from local experts and engage directly with local issues. Be prepared to think, discuss, and learn a lot! Lunch will be provided during each session.

Click here for a sample agenda (PDF)

How much does it cost?
Program tuition is $2,900.

When is payment due?
Tuition is due by August 21, 2024 and may be paid by check, credit card or cash.

Any participant whose tuition is not paid in full before the first session on September 13 will automatically be dropped from the program. If the participant has made partial payment, their payment will be refunded (less any credit card processing fees).

What if I can’t afford the tuition?
First, check with your employer. Many employers are willing to cover all or part of the tuition through employee continuing education/training programs, or discretionary spending. Click here for a printable one-page program summary you can share.

Leaders Lab is committed to making this program accessible through robust scholarship support. Scholarship applications for the Class of 2025 are now closed.

Preference for scholarships will be given to applicants who represent minority-owned or women-owned businesses and 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations, as well as those who are deeply engaged in community service.

When does the program start, and how long does it last?
Sessions take place 9am to 4pm on the second Friday of each month, September through May. Session dates for 2024-25 are: September 13, October 11, November 8, December 13, January 10, February 14, March 14, April 11, May 9.

What if I can't attend every month?
If you don't expect to be available for all of the sessions, please consider applying next year instead. Each session is packed with valuable content and builds on previous sessions.

Participants who miss more than one session for non-emergency reasons will not receive a certificate of completion for the program. These individuals may complete the program by attending up to two missed sessions with the next cohort the following year.

Where will the program take place?
Leaders Lab sessions will be held at a variety of locations in the Charlottesville region.

Will transportation be provided?
Participants will need their own transportation to and from the sessions. If you do not have transportation, please let us know so that we can explore solutions.

Will there be a virtual option for this program?
All Leaders Lab sessions will take place in person only.

Are there any additional costs or fees?
The program tuition is all-inclusive for the nine monthly sessions. We will provide lunch and coffee, as well as cover any parking fees. There will not be any additional costs to participate in the monthly sessions.

We will sometimes invite participants to attend other events or activities that may have fees.

If I drop out, can I get a refund?
A participant who withdraws before the first session on September 13, 2024, is eligible to receive a 90% tuition refund or defer their enrollment until the following program year. A participant who withdraws before the second session may request a 75% tuition refund or deferment to the following program year, which will be granted at the discretion of the program director only in cases of significant extenuating circumstances. A participant who withdraws after the second session may request deferment to the following program year at the director's discretion. Scholarships cannot be deferred.

Can Leaders Lab provide documentation of my participation to my supervisor?
Absolutely! Please let us know what kind of documentation is required, and we will be happy to provide it.

Can I earn professional development credits?
This depends on the accreditation program for which you wish to earn credits. Check with your program administrator about the requirements for earning credit, and we will gladly provide appropriate documentation.

I’m a Leadership Charlottesville graduate. Can I participate in Leaders Lab?
Yes, Leadership Charlottesville graduates are encouraged to apply! Leaders Lab builds on the popular community engagement curriculum of Leadership Charlottesville. The new elements of focused leadership skills development will benefit anyone who previously participated in LC.

How will applicants be selected for the cohort?
A selection team will carefully review applications. We will craft the cohort based on individual excellence and enthusiasm as well as overall diversity in terms of geography, industry, race, gender, age and more.

When will I find out if I’m selected?
July 2024 applicants will be notified within 3 business days.

How do I apply?
Online applications for 2024-25 are open now! Click here to get started.

Questions? Contact Leaders Lab Director Ann Marie Hohenberger at or call 434.295.2808.