Experiential Community Leadership

Core Program

Leadership Seacoast is one of 3,000 community leadership programs in the U.S. and follows a national design, which offers existing and emerging community leaders the opportunity to meet and learn from those who are actively involved with issues that will shape the future of the Seacoast.

The Core Program is an experiential community leadership program framed around regional issues that have a direct impact on the lives of seacoast residents. Class members engage in daylong interactive presentations and discussions, shared experiences, events, socials, exploration of servant leadership, and individual learning opportunities. Topics explored include:

Opening Day

Opening Day

The goal of Opening Day is to establish a safe, trusted environment for class members to release the many ‘hats’ they wear on any given day (personally and professionally). This is a time to create connections and build trust with others in the class, to establish a cohesive group dynamic which allow for engagement and dialogue over the next six months.

Health and Human Services Day

The learning objectives of Health and Human Services Day include providing members an expanded understanding of the network of social services in the region and through experiential learning, deepen the understanding of barriers to access. The discussion and presentations primarily focus on mental health and substance misuse issues.

Economic Development Day

The goal of Economic Development Day is to explore the elements that support a vibrant, healthy and viable community. Through interactive presentations and small group learning, members of the class gain a deeper understanding of the challenges that local decision makers face when trying to balance economic development in our communities and local conditions affecting development of the region’s economy.

Education Day

As a result of this program day, participants explore the framework of education in NH; the role of the school board, how mental health is being addressed in schools; early childhood education, non-traditional learning and higher education are examined.

Environment Day

During this program day, participants examine the impact of climate change both globally and locally as well as the environmental changes in marine life, water standards, and what shifts can be made on a personal level to reduce our carbon footprint.

Criminal Justice Day

During Criminal Justice Day, participants will be provided with a holistic view of the drug and mental health courts in NH and the interconnectedness of social issues, mental health and substance abuse on the criminal justice system.

Arts and Culture Day

As a result of this program day, participants will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and gain a deeper understanding of the impact that arts and culture has on our local economy and our quality of life.

Government Day

The objective of Government Day is to provide members of the class with a greater understanding of the legislative process, ease of access to that process in NH and importance of individual advocacy. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how funding for critical issues are prioritized and made in the state.

Closing Day & Graduation

This day is designed to allow participants time to reflect on the program, explore how the issues are connected and identify their next steps, know that they know.

Servant Leadership

“The best leaders are clear. They light the way, and in the process, let each person know that what they do makes a difference.” Robert K. Greenleaf

Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. Through the six-month program, participants will read the Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership by James W. Sipe and Don M. Frick allowing the opportunity for exploration of servant leadership.

we rise by lifting others

Who Should Apply

Each year, Leadership Seacoast strives to recruit a diverse group of existing and aspiring community leaders from all sectors of the region. The greater the variety of experience, skills, professions, ages, interests and geographical perspectives, the richer the experience for all participants.

Whether you are a seasoned professional looking to deepen your understanding of the region, a young professional looking to build your network and explore the issues and resources available on the Seacoast, or a mid-career professional hoping to re-energize your work and your involvement in your community, you should consider applying to Leadership Seacoast.

group picture

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted electronically by October 15th 2021.

In response to current conditions regarding COVID-19 and in an effort to provide a safe environment for all class participants, staff, speakers and volunteers, Leadership Seacoast will require proof of the COVID-19 vaccine to participate in the Leadership Seacoast Class of 2022, unless an applicant is not vaccinated because of a sincerely held religious belief or medical condition.

The Leadership Seacoast Board did not arrive at this decision lightly but feels that it is a step necessary for an experiential community program like ours.

Proof of vaccination will be required within two weeks of being accepted to the Class of 2022.

Applications Due October 15th 

Admissions Committee review/recommendation: November
Approval by the Board of Directors: November
Notification: End of November
Invoices emailed: Mid December
Acceptance due to Leadership Seacoast: Mid December
Program starts: January 5th, 2022

2022 Program Days

All Program Days are held on Wednesdays from 8:00am – 4:30pm
January 5: Opening Day
January 26: DEI Lunch + Learn
February 16: Health + Human Services Day
March 9: Economic Development Day
March 30: Education Day
April 13: Environment Day
May 4: Criminal Justice Day
May 25: Arts + Culture Day
June 8: Government Day
June 15: Closing Day + Graduation

All applications are reviewed by the Leadership Seacoast selection committee. We respect and value the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. We also believe that bringing diverse individuals together allows us to collectively and more effectively impact the communities of the Seacoast. Participants will be chosen on a merit basis by the committee. Selection for participation in Leadership Seacoast is made without consideration of race, religion, national origin, gender, or socioeconomic status.  Applicants will be notified of their status no later than mid-December.  Since the class size is limited, interested individuals who have not been selected the first time are encouraged to apply again.

Leadership Seacoast uses a two tiered tuition plan in an effort to make the program accessible to people from the for-profit, non-profit, and public sectors as well as those who are self-employed or participating independently. Please take a minute to review the tier descriptions.

All participants receive the same Leadership Seacoast experience. 

Tuition is non-refundable. Rare exceptions may be made at the discretion of the board.



This price most accurately reflects the full cost of operating and maintaining the program. This tier helps to ensure that Leadership Seacoast is available and thriving for leaders throughout the region.


Thanks to the generosity of our corporate sponsors and alumni, we are able to offer a tuition rate for organizations or individuals who are unable to underwrite the full cost of participation in the program.

Upon acceptance into the program, you will be asked to select the tier which is most suitable for you and your organization. This is an honor system and your choice does NOT impact the status of your application during review.

The board allocates funds for scholarships to support participants interested in attending who need financial assistance beyond what you and/or your employer may be able to provide.  We do ask that each applicant contribute something toward the cost of tuition. If you would like to apply for a scholarship to the program, please complete scholarship section on the application for consideration by the Admissions and Scholarship Committee.

The success of Leadership Seacoast depends on attendance by its participants. Therefore, attendance at each session is expected, and attendance at the opening and closing retreats is mandatory. As a condition of acceptance into the program, participants are asked to clear their calendars to allow for attendance at each session. To receive a Certificate of Graduation, participants must have no more than two excused absences.  The opening retreat and last program day are mandatory in order to graduate from the program.  Rare exceptions to this policy may be made at the discretion of the Board and Admissions Committee. Requests for consideration must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director.

A Special Thank You


Leadership Seacoast is deeply grateful to our sponsors for their generous support of our programs.

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