Frequently Asked Questions

What is the program and why is it necessary?

San Diego’s future quality of life depends on the quality of our future public leaders who are prepared to use their real-world business experience and talent to tackle our most pressing public challenges.

The Public Leadership Institute is a nonpartisan program of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce for business-minded leaders who are interested in exploring the possibility of entering public leadership and learning how to run for office or land a government appointment.  Classes are taught by experts in the fields of candidacy, appointments, public issues and leadership strategies.   Networking events provide members with invaluable opportunities to build contacts.

Classes will run from April through October.  (Learn more about the curriculum, meeting times and attendance requirement.) Members receive a 100% scholarship thanks to the generous support of program investors.

San Diego and the region have a rich history of outstanding public leaders who worked cooperatively to shape our vibrant economy and outstanding quality of life, but we must not take this for granted.  We need to build the bench of outstanding public leaders who understand how to create jobs, balance budgets and deal with regulations.   We’ve discovered business-minded leaders who want to serve in public leadership, they just needed to know how to start and what to expect.

Are you a campaign organization?

No.  The San Diego Public Leadership Institute is not a political action committee or a campaign organization.  The nonpartisan program cannot accept declared candidates and if a member or alumnus declares for office, that individual can no longer take part in the program while the campaign is ongoing.  Instead, San Diego PLI is a public leadership development program that educates and prepares leaders who have a desire to explore whether running for office or serving in an appointed position is right for them.

What do you teach and what’s the time commitment?

Members will learn to develop strategies for transitioning from private to public leadership and hear from experts on candidacy, appointments, leadership and public policy.  Members are exposed to business and elected leaders who share their experiences and insights.

The program will meet from April through October, allowing members more time to explore topics in-depth and develop sustaining relationships with class members. Class members must commit to faithful attendance in order to graduate from the program.

Who should apply?

The nonpartisan program is for business-minded leaders from throughout San Diego County who want to explore public leadership, either elected office or service on boards and commissions.  Successful applicants will have professional experience in business or management and leadership accomplishments in a civic, social or professional organization.  A selection committee will invite a limited number of applicants into the program.

If selected, do I have to run for office?

There is no commitment required to run for office or seek an appointment, merely explore those opportunities.

How much will this cost?

There is no cost to participate thanks to the generous support of our investors.