Leadership Fairfax has been developing community leaders since 1988.  Our graduates, numbering over 1,400, connect the Fairfax community across all sectors – public, private and non-profit.  Our vision is to create community trustees, who are individually and collectively responsible for the strength of the county.

Leadership Fairfax Institute

The Leadership Fairfax program (LFI) is a 10-month program that provides a forum for representatives of the business, nonprofit, and public sectors to better understand the issues and opportunities facing Fairfax County.  Through seminars, study groups and interaction with community decision makers, Leadership Fairfax develops leaders with vision and commitment. 

Who Should Apply?

The program is designed for established leaders, mid-level to senior, from all walks of life, who represent a cross section of the Fairfax County community, including large and small business organizations, educators, government officials, and staff, executives and volunteers in the nonprofit world. Approximately 45 to 50 will be selected for each program year. 

Goals of Leadership Fairfax:

  • To enhance the communications network among leaders from diverse backgrounds and interests.
  • To identify leaders in business, government and the community, and assist them in expanding their skills in, and commitment to, voluntary civic responsibility.
  • To provide these men and women with a practical, in-depth understanding of what major community issues facing Fairfax County are.
  • To encourage development of “community trustees” who will assume leadership in their diverse communities around a variety of issues.
  • To facilitate access between Leadership Fairfax class members and the current leadership of the community.

Benefits to Participants:

  • Learn in-depth about Fairfax County, its role in the region and the state, what issues it faces, and how to effect civic engagement.
  • Interact with established community leaders and elected officials.
  • Expand your network of contacts through other class participants and alumni.
  • Evaluate your leadership style and enhance your ability to relate to others
  • Discover opportunities to play an active leadership role in your community.
  • Engage in problem solving discussions around solutions.

Program Commitment:

The LFI program begins with a two-day opening kickoff in September, followed by nine monthly program days. From January to May, class participants engage in an intensive study of five topics representing important and diverse local issues that affect the quality of life in Fairfax County and the region. Divided into five teams, teams will be studying, researching and presenting these issues through various perspectives.  A year of discovery and growth is capped off in June with a final closing day and commencement celebration.

Program days are generally held on the third Thursday of each month from 8 am to 6 pm, including social networking time at the end of the day. Outside speakers, site visits, tours and/or hands-on exercises allow for active engagement at each class day.  Time outside of regular class days is required to assist in preparation of participant team’s class day.


Individuals who live or work in Fairfax County and who have demonstrated a capacity for leadership, a record of community service and a willingness to commit time to the LFI program are invited to apply.

Applicants must meet all of the following criteria:

  • have a demonstrable connection to Fairfax County through living or work
  • show evidence of leadership in the workplace and in the community. 
  • be willing to commit the required time to the Leadership Fairfax program.
  • be committed to utilizing leadership skills and knowledge for the long-term benefit of the community
  • attend the opening program days in September.


Tuition for the Leadership Fairfax program is $4,000. If accepted and enrolled into the program, you and/or your organization will be obligated for the full tuition fee of $4,000 payable by September 1st.

Tuition covers all program costs, plus:

  • Complimentary invitation to the annual alumni reception
  • Member pricing on Leadership Fairfax events including the NVLA luncheon and Board of Supervisors Breakfast
  • Two tickets to Commencement (one ticket for graduate, one ticket for guest)

Expectations for the LFI Program:

As a participant in the LFI program you will be expected to attend each program day and in addition take on an active role outside of the program days as a team member in planning and executing an LFI program day.

As an LFI Alum:

Following your class year, as a graduate of the LFI Program of Leadership Fairfax, you will join a cadre of over 1,300 remarkable, accomplished fellow alumni. Each year you will be invited to join with them for updates on community leadership issues, community projects, networking and social activities.

LFI Alumni are Community Trustees for Fairfax County - we give you the county knowledge and background, and set the stage for what you will do with that once you've graduated from the program. Your knowledge, skills and experience will benefit the county, in whatever way you choose. 


  © 2017 Leadership Fairfax, Inc.
8230 Old Courthouse Road, Suite 100, Vienna, VA 22182 | (703) 752-7555
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