Executive Director Leadership Program

The Executive Directors Leadership Program (EDLP) is a three part, six-month program designed to give Executive Directors the knowledge, skills, and support they need to effectively lead, manage and move their organizations forward.

Participants will formulate strategies to grow and strengthen their organization by learning directly from peers, seasoned Executive Directors, nonprofit experts, and funders. Through a six-month, one-on-one coaching process, participants will be able to implement lessons learned and sharpen their skills.

Grounded in LEAP’s Leadership Framework and philosophy “Keep Your Values. Develop New Skills ®”, this program examines leadership development from an Asian and Pacific Islander cultural lens. Participants will combine personal and professional growth in the context of their work, explore and advance meaningful leadership practices, and sharpen strategic management skills.


Program Objectives

The Executive Directors Leadership Program will address and foster the following:

      • Understand the specific roles and responsibilities of an Executive Director in relation to his/her board members,, staff, funders, and constituents.
      • Insight on how to increase ones effectiveness as an executive director in areas such as board relations, fiscal management, program development, strategic planning, etc.
      • Application & implementation of key learnings developed throughout the sessions.
      • Networking among peers, funders and mentors


Executive Director Leadership Program is sponsored by:










Southwest Airlines is the official airline of the Executive Director Leadership Program.


Topics Covered

      • 21st Century Leader
      • Action Planning
      • Effectively Managing Staff
      • Fiscal Frankness
      • Insights on Individual Giving
      • Legal Issues
      • Lessons from Experienced Executive Directors
      • Networking and Mentoring Lifestyle
      • One-on-One Executive Coaching
      • Powerful and Persuasive Presentations
      • Strategic Thinking and Planning
      • Successful Fundraising Strategies
      • Teambuilding Project and Facilitated Exercise
      • Understanding Your Cultural Values
      • Working with the Board Chair and Board of Directors
      • Working with Public, Private, Educational & Community Sectors


Program Components

Through the program, Executive Directors will formulate strategies to grow and strengthen their organization by learning directly from peers, experienced Executive Directors, nonprofit consultants, and funders.  Through a six-month coaching process, participants will be able to implement their lessons learned and sharpen their skills.

The Executive Directors Leadership Program consists of 3 parts:

Part 1: 5-day classroom session which includes skill-building, experiential learning, facilitated panels, case studies, a leadership simulation, interactive problem-solving, and action planning.

Part 2: Six sessions of one-on-one executive coaching.

Part 3: 3-day reconvening for additional intensive skill-building, facilitated panels, small group work and action planning.

Part 2 & 3 of the EDLP are designed to reinforce the lessons learned from Part 1 – the initial five-day classroom training.  Parts 2 & 3 also introduce individualized learning and support that compels participant follow-through and accountability toward their goals.

*Participants must commit to attending all 3 sessions in order to be accepted into the program.


Previous Program Location and Dates

Part 1: June 17 – 21, 2013- Pomona, CA
Part 2: Ongoing (One-on-one coaching)
Part 3: November 11-13, 2013 – Pomona, CA


2011 LEAP Faculty

      • Debbie Ching, Management Consultant and former Executive Director, Chinatown Service Center
      • J.D. Hokoyama, Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, Inc. (LEAP)
      • John Kobara, Senior Vice President, California Community Foundation
      • Gail Kong, Executive Director, Asian Pacific Fund
      • Alan Kumamoto, Partner, Kumamoto Associates
      • Vanna Novak, President, Speak to PersuadeTM
      • Grace Toy, Vice President of Finance and Administration, LEAP
      • Audrey Yamagata-Noji, Vice President of Student Affairs, Mount San Antonio College


The EDLP will be co-facilitated by Alan Kumamoto, Partner, Kumamoto Associates and Linda Akutagawa, President & CEO, LEAP.


Who Should Apply

Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Executive Directors of local, statewide, regional, or national nonprofit organizations who have less than 7-8 years experience as an Executive Director. Participants do not have to lead an Asian American or Pacific Islander organization.



Tuition will include workbook materials, meals, round-trip airfare, shared lodging, and executive coaching sessions.

Sliding scale based on organization's size and budget.

Fee A – under 499K $500.00
Fee B – 500k – 999K $600.00
Fee C – $1mil – $3mil $700.00
Fee D – over $3mil $800.00


2008-2010 LEAP Speakers and Panelists

      • Mary Anne Foo, Executive Director, Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance (OCAPICA)
      • Irene Hirano, President, Japanese American National Museum
      • Joel Jacinto, Executive Director, Search to Involve Pilipino Americans
      • Henry Jordan, Regional General Manager & Vice President, Wal-Mart
      • Kenneth S. Kasamatsu, President of Branch Banking, Pacific Commerce Bank
      • Charles Kim, National President, Korean American Coalition
      • EunSook Lee, Executive Director, National Korean American Service&    Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
      • Chanchanit Martorell, Executive Director, Thai Community Development Center
      • Karen Narasaki, President & Executive Director, Asian American Justice Center
      • Shantu Roychoudhari, Manager of Asian Pacific American Market, Wal-Mart
      • Christine Sato-Yamasaki, Executive Director, Go for Broke National Education Center
      • Paul N. Shishima, Partner, Sasaki Shishima & Co.
      • Latonya Slack, Senior Program Officer, California Perspectives, The James Irvine Foundation
      • Najeeba Syeed-Miller, Executive Director, Western Justice Center Foundation
      • May To, Executive Director, Asian Youth Center
      • Bill Watanabe, Executive Director, Little Tokyo Service Center
      • Linda Wong, Vice President of Civic Engagement, Communications and Administration, California Community Foundation


How to Apply

Interested applicants must register online and have the following items in order to complete and finalize registration: A personal statement, a brief description of what you would like to gain from the program, and a letter of endorsement from your Board Chair.

This program is currently not being offered at this time.

Sign up for updates at: www.leap.org/empower_edlpinterest.



Applications will be accepted until the class is filled.


For more information, contact:
Connie Oh, Program Coordinator
(213) 485-1422 x4118