Public Leadership Institute


The San Diego Public Leadership Institute is focused on helping to build a bench of business professionals interested in pursuing elected office or appointed positions. This program is nonpartisan and works in concert with the Chamber’s efforts to make San Diego the most business-friendly region in California by identifying and fostering the development of future pro-business candidates.


Participants meet in person one Thursday a month over five months. Topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Campaign Strategy
  • Public Speaking & Messaging
  • Fundraising
  • Networking
  • Voter Contact
  • Public Policy
  • Boards & Commissions
  • Political Endorsements


As part of fundraising skill development, program participants are required to raise a minimum of $500 for the Chamber Foundation 501c3 during the program year. If selected participants are unable to raise the funds, they will be required to cover the $500 which goes towards a portion of the associated training costs which are otherwise subsidized by program sponsors.

The program is committed to helping pro-business candidates become skillful fundraisers, and hands-on training is one of the best ways to perfect this skill.


Classes will meet at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, 402 W. Broadway #1000, San Diego, CA 92101.

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

February 8th

March 8th

April 12th

May 10th

June 14th

July 12th


Applications for the 2018 class are accepted through November 30th. All applications will be reviewed in December at which time selected applicants will be invited to interview in person. Final selections will be made by January 19th.


“As a small business owner, I developed sound financial management principles that now provide the cornerstone of my service as an elected official…PLI made a tremendous difference in my transition.”
The Honorable Bill Sandke
City of Coronado Councilmember
San Diego PLI Class of 2014


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.


Wells Fargo


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