Leadership Los Alamos Accepting Applications For 2018-19 Class

Leadership Los Alamos participants listen to a speaker during a recent session. Photo by Martha Katko

Staff Report

Leadership Los Alamos is accepting applications for its 2018-2019 class. Any person having an interest in the objectives of LLA, and who lives or works in Los Alamos County is eligible to participate.

The Leadership Los Alamos program is nine months in duration and has graduated leaders since 2003. Program sessions are designed to address current issues facing the community. Each program session features speakers that are acknowledged leaders in their specific fields, while program participants actively engage in discussion and debate. The process offers an opportunity for inquiry, analysis, and development of solutions to the most pressing issues facing our community and surrounding area.

Program sessions are held in Los Alamos and the surrounding area in order to expose participants to the different aspects of our community and the local issues important to each area. 

Quotes from LLA Sponsors and Graduates

John Gulas, CEO/President of Los Alamos National Bank: “LANB is proud to have partnered with Leadership Los Alamos for the past 12 years, inspiring new leaders to serve the needs of Los Alamos and surrounding communities. Many of LANB’s employees have benefitted from participating in the program and continue to contribute to the quality of life we all enjoy in areas of economic development, cultural arts and education.”

Harry Burgess, Los Alamos County Manager: “Leadership Los Alamos has been a great partner and resource for educating community members (including our staff). Their curriculum utilizes issues of local interest to demonstrate their goal of developing present and future community leaders.”

Roger Waterman, Owner of TRK: “Although we live in a government town, I found that the discussions at the Leadership Los Alamos sessions were more relevant and focused on small business concerns than I ever experienced in an institutional setting like the Lab or County.”

Jason Lott, Superintendent of Bandelier: “Leadership Los Alamos provides an exceptional opportunity for Bandelier staff to integrate and network into the community. Having staff working with the range of local organizations and events only serves to strengthen partnerships and work for the common good.”

In addition, program participants experience the unique culture of the area, weaving for themselves a broad-based and comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing our community with many cultures and geographic diversity.

Each program year includes a mandatory one-day leadership Orientation and retreat followed by educational sessions on topics such as:

  • Leadership
  • Cultural Issues
  • Economic Development
  • Local Government
  • Community Organizations
  • Education and Youth
  • Environment

The year concludes with a Closing Session and graduation.

The program is open to anyone who lives or works in Los Alamos. Leadership Los Alamos selects a class each year of 24 or so leaders or potential leaders who represent a cross-section of the community and surrounding area from public, private, and nonprofit sectors.  Special consideration is given to ensure diversity of occupational background, race, gender, and community involvement.  Participants are selected using the following criteria:

  • Commitment, motivation, and interest in serving Los Alamos
  • Demonstrated leadership in community activities
  • Record of accomplishments within his or her own company or organization
  • Interest in seeking future key volunteer and/or appointed leadership roles
  • An occupational commitment to remain in the Los Alamos area
  • Commitment to play a personal role in helping shape Los Alamos’ future

Note that active participation in the sessions and other activities to be completed during the year are required as stated in the Application Form and Commitment & Confidentiality Statement.

Leadership Los Alamos was founded in 2003 to identify current and emerging leaders in the Los Alamos area, enhance their leadership skills, and deepen their knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing our community. Leadership Los Alamos is dedicated to the development of informed leaders who understand issues, define problems, develop solutions, and achieve positions of higher responsibility in Los Alamos.

Leadership Los Alamos is nonpartisan, does not advocate for legislation of any kind, does not endorse political candidates, and does not take a stand on any political or social issues.  Leadership Los Alamos educates participants – leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors about community and regional issues.

Leadership Los Alamos is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax exempt New Mexico organization. It is funded by generous contributions from businesses, local government, and individual donors. Primary among these are Los Alamos National Bank and Los Alamos County.

Please visit the Documents & Links page to learn more about how Leadership Los Alamos serves Los Alamos and the surrounding area and how we accomplish the mission of educating the citizens of the community.

Vision and Mission

Los Alamos’ future prosperity is directly dependent upon the quality and contributions of its leadership. Leadership Los Alamos recognizes the need for educating existing and emerging leaders and providing them with effective tools to develop initiatives that will enhance the quality of life and address social and economic issues in the Los Alamos area. Every responsible, informed, and dedicated individual can have a great impact on the future of Los Alamos.

We must expand the circle of leadership in the community by looking beyond traditional networks for the talent and creativity we need. Then we must create opportunities that encourage commitment and action from more people.  Leadership Los Alamos is successfully addressing these challenges. Our role is to make sure that future leaders gain exposure to the most pressing issues and access to leadership opportunities.

By engaging people in solution-seeking communication, Leadership Los Alamos encourages program graduates to develop networks for effective leadership and assume leadership roles on issues affecting the Los Alamos community and surrounding area.

Program Objectives:

a) Identify and select highly motivated, emerging leaders to participate in the program.

b) Systematically inform, challenge, and educate participants regarding the opportunities and needs of the community as well as the dynamics of social and economic change.

c) Counsel participants on management and leadership skills and their application to civic and community leadership positions.

d) Develop interpersonal relationships and esprit de corps among participants to enable them to work together on community projects and programs.

e) Create dialogue and rapport among participants and existing community leaders.

f) Identify opportunities for individual and organizational community involvement. 

The program starts with a 2-day orientation on Sept. 9th and 10th. Then, classes meet for all-day sessions (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) one Friday each month through the middle of May 2018. See the draft schedule below.

Each session will focus on a different civic – oriented topic or issue. To successfully complete the program, participants MUST attend the entire Orientation and Closing sessions and at least five of the remaining seven sessions. Missing two halves of any of those sessions will count as missing a whole session.

In addition, each participant MUST actively participate in activities to observe, discuss and put  leadership into action during the year.


In addition to your time and dedication, LLA also requires a financial commitment. Tuition due upon acceptance to the program is $500. Many employers recognize the value of supporting their employee’s endeavors to enhance their skills and community involvement and we encourage participants to discuss tuition assistance with them.

A limited amount of scholarship assistance will be available to candidates who demonstrate financial need.


Any person having an interest in the objectives of LLA, and who lives or works in Los Alamos County is eligible to participate.

Selection of Candidates:

Participants will be selected for the program by the Board of Directors of LLA after submitting an application and participating in an interview with one or two Board members.

To apply

Go to the Leadership Los Alamos website at: http://www.leadershiplosalamos.com and fill out an application online. LLA is a unique opportunity for 20-25 individuals who live or work in Los Alamos and are committed to assuming roles of responsibility in civic, charitable, and governmental organizations in the region. Class participants will develop their skills to shape the future of the region.


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