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American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy Doubles Enrollment Due to Success of ProgramWeek-Long Enrichment Program for Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders Features Leadership Training and Interactive Sessions with American Express CEO Ken Chenault, Futurist Andrew Zolli, and Business, Government and Nonprofit Icon Vernon Jordan
NEW YORK,  April 26, 2010 -- 

American Express today welcomed 48 emerging nonprofit leaders to participate in its fourth American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy, a nation-wide training program to develop the next generation of leaders in the nonprofit sector. The American Express Nonprofit Leadership Academy is a week-long program created in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) that immerses participants in a series of leadership training and development courses. Through the Academy, participants polish the personal, business, and leadership skills needed to run a successful nonprofit enterprise in the "new normal" of today's complex economic climate.

Participants in the program will hear from American Express senior executives, including the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth I. Chenault. Futurist Andrew Zolli will also lead a discussion of the complex relationships between technology, sustainability and demographics—all elements crucial to enacting social change. Other speakers include Vernon Jordan, whose achievements as a lawyer and in the nonprofit, government and business sectors have made him one of the most influential figures in American politics and business.

"Now more than ever, nonprofit organizations need leaders who are prepared to adjust to the new reality of a post-recessionary climate, and American Express is pleased to provide this important development forum to the next generation of emerging leaders," said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. "Our curriculum focuses on helping participants gain a better understanding of how best to use their own personal strengths and styles and applying their knowledge in practical situations, and our alumni are using the knowledge they gain in the program to advance real change in their individual organizations."

Launched in 2008 to address the need created by a growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector, the Academy brings together forty-eight emerging leaders from within community, environmental, international relief and cultural organizations. Past classes have enrolled twenty-four participants, but this year, American Express has doubled the size of the incoming class due to the success of the program. The forty-eight participants are selected based upon a competitive application process and were selected from eight national and local nonprofit partners from a variety of sectors:

  • City Year
  • Community Health Charities of America
  • The Foundation Center
  • Independent Sector
  • The League of American Orchestras
  • The National Consumers League
  • United Way Worldwide
  • Women Impacting Public Policy, Inc.

The local nonprofits based in American Express Service Center locations are:

  • The Able Trust (Ft. Lauderdale)
  • Arizona Science Center (Phoenix)
  • Emerge (Phoenix)
  • Family Life Council (Greensboro)
  • KUER 90.1 (Salt Lake City)

The program curriculum features media training, individual Myers Briggs assessments, leadership training, experiential exercises, individual executive coaching, and team activities. Participants in this session are also paired with program alumni, who act as mentors, answer questions about what to expect during the week, and generally give guidance about how to get the most out of the Academy experience.

Recent participant John Abodeely, Program Manager for National Partnerships at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts said, "The Nonprofit Leadership Academy has helped me to crystallize my own best practice in building relationships, managing both an internal and external reputation, and affecting the type of slow organizational change that we require. Also, I have an awareness of resources and information that can help me to solve problems; and that is the greatest asset from the Academy—that awareness."

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on, and

American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow

One of American Express' three platforms for its philanthropy is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit sector, American Express is making grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century.

About the Center for Creative Leadership

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that helps unlock the potential of individual leaders and organizations through its exclusive focus on leadership education and research. Founded in 1970 as a nonprofit, educational institution, CCL serves more than 20,000 leaders and 2,000 organizations annually in the corporate, education, government and nonprofit sectors.



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