Public Leadership Institute


About PLI

The Public Leadership Institute (PLI) is a comprehensive training program for business people who are interested in either elected or appointed public office. PLI is nonpartisan and works in concert with the Chamber’s efforts to make the San Diego region the best place to live and work by identifying and fostering the development of future pro-business candidates.

Why Join PLI?

PLI provides individuals the necessary skills and knowledge to potentially pursue elected or appointed positions in government, building a politically diverse bench of educated individuals who understand how policy decisions affect business.

By providing a foundational education on key elements of public service, the Chamber is helping ensure the next generation of government leaders is well equipped to address our region’s unique needs.


Participants meet one Thursday a month for five months, building relationships that fuel everyone’s success while exploring topics including:

  • Campaign strategy
  • Public speaking and messaging
  • Fundraising
  • Networking
  • Voter contact
  • Public policy
  • Boards and commissions
  • Political endorsements

Program Fee: Public Leadership Institute offers hands-on experience in fundraising by challenging participants to raise a minimum of $500 for the Chamber Foundation.

Meeting Dates & Times

All classes are tentatively scheduled on the following Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

  • May 7
  • June 4
  • July 2
  • August 6
  • September 3

Application Process

Applications for the 2020 program are now available. Completed applications are due by Friday, March 20, 2020. If you have questions, please contact program manager Sara Kamiab at


Selection Criteria

The Public Leadership Institute seeks bright, self-motivated leaders with a business background who have an interest in exploring future public leadership opportunities.

Criteria for selection includes:

  • Interest in pursuing political office or an appointment to a board or commission
  • Evidence of leadership experience with a business background
  • Ability and desire to build effective networks
  • Commitment to full participation and attendance requirements of the training


For general program inquiries, or if you are interested in supporting PLI as a program sponsor, please contact Sara Kamiab at