Leadership Cincinnati

Premier Leadership Development

Leadership Cincinnati USA

This flagship leadership development program has a proud history reaching back four decades with over 1700 graduates in leadership roles across the region. Over 150 of those graduates welcome the new class every September as part of the “Call to Leadership” dinner.

Experiential Learning

Leadership Cincinnati is an active, immersive learning experience. The program employs the best adult learning practices allowing participants to "learn by doing," not just "learn about."

Class members will gain access to established leaders and have an opportunity to engage them in leadership conversations. The current class has talked with Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley, Johnna Reeder of REDI Cincinnati, Laura Brunner of the Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority, the head of OKI and many others.

Most importantly, however, participants learn by spending an intense year with the other members of their class. We work very hard to fill each class with people who bring a wide variety of experiences and perspectives to the program. That includes participants from large corporations as well as mid and small companies and entrepreneurs; from for-profit and not-for-profit organizations; immigrants as well as native born; and minorities (whether defined by race, religion or in other ways). That diversity allows us to reach our goal—to help each participant gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to step more confidently into community leadership roles and assuming responsibility for shaping our common future as a region.

But members of the class do not interact only with established leaders. We interact with people from every strata of the community. In November every participant rides for shift with a Cincinnati Police officer and attends a session of Felony Veterans’ Court, with an opportunity to talk with members of the court. In February, after spending a full day at the Islamic Center in West Chester (including Friday prayer), members of the class might have dinner in a Muslim or Hindu home, with Mexican immigrants, with the working poor or even homeless people, with returning citizens. In March we meet with people served by 10 different human service agencies (this year the focus is on childhood poverty). In April we will explore Princeton School District, one of the most diverse in the region. Over the course of the year, we will hold sessions in at least four counties from Campbell in the south to Butler and Warren in the north.

Class Experiences

Beginning with Class 39, we eliminated the traditional class projects from Leadership Cincinnati (now the focus of Leadership Action). This allows participants to explore the region more broadly through group experiences suggested by the program and the class members. This has also proven to be a more reasonable time commitment for senior executives. 


Leadership Cincinnati is a highly competitive program. Each year we strive to assemble a class that reflects the diversity of our metropolitan region. Out of the 54 members of each class, 27 men and 27 women, every class has leaders of large corporations, mid-sized companies, and entrepreneurs, as well as not-for-profit leaders and government leaders. In the spirit of the Chamber’s "Diverse by Design" initiative, we actively seek participation of immigrants as well as racial and ethnic minorities.


Applications for Leadership Cincinnati Class 41 (2017-2018) will open in February 2017.

Application Fee

There is a non-refundable application fee of $50. Pay now.


Tuition is $4,500 for employees of companies that are members of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. If your company or organization is not a member, call Amy Thompson at 513.579.3141 to discuss options. A limited number of partial scholarships are granted annual to members of smaller not-for-profits and entrepreneurs who require financial assistance.


Recommend a candidate for our next Leadership Cincinnati class.

Sponsored by:

First Financial Bank md

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