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American Express Kicks Off Leadership Academy in New YorkSurvey Reveals that Americans Rely More on Nonprofit Organizations to Improve Society; American Express hosts Leadership Academy and Panel Discussion to Address Concerns Over Nonprofit Leadership Gap
NEW YORK,  November 1, 2010 -- 

American Express today released findings from a "Perspectives on Nonprofits" survey, which shows that while seven in ten Americans (71%) trust nonprofits more than they trust government or industry to address some of the most pressing issues of our time, more than eight in ten Americans (83%) believe that nonprofits do not always have the resources they need to invest in the growth and development of their employees.

"These survey results indicate a clear need for increased investment in nonprofit leadership, and support why we have been committed to dedicating our resources – both financial and intellectual – to address this important and critical issue," said Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation. "Our commitment to developing emerging leaders in the nonprofit sector continues to grow as we develop programs including the Leadership Academy and a panel discussion on the leadership deficit featuring well-respected thought leaders on this topic."

The survey findings were announced as American Express welcomes 48 emerging nonprofit leaders from around the country to participate in its fifth American Express Leadership Academy, a nationwide training program to develop the next generation of leaders in the nonprofit sector. Created in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), the Academy helps participants polish the personal, business and leadership skills needed to run a successful nonprofit enterprise in today's complex economic climate.

Leadership Academy participants come from a variety of national and local nonprofit partners including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Consumer Action, International Center for the Disabled, Taproot Foundation and UNCF. The program will feature keynote speakers including American Express Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth I. Chenault, as well as other notable figures such as John Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer of American Express and Geoffrey Canada, President and CEO of Harlem Children's Zone.

The Leadership Academy curriculum focuses on helping participants gain a better understanding of how best to use their own personal strengths and styles, and how to apply their knowledge to practical situations, as evidenced by alumni who are using the knowledge they gained in the program to advance real change in their individual organizations.

"The Academy has been invaluable to me not only for the skills I learned but also for the contacts I made during the networking and executive coaching sessions," said Yovanka Bylander Arroyo, President and COO of Citizens NYC. "Over the past year since attending, I've been able to apply my experience to grow my career, benefit my organization, and further the causes we're working for."

On the final day of its Leadership Academy in New York—Friday, November 5th—the American Express Foundation will host a panel discussion to address this nonprofit leadership gap moderated by Matthew Bishop, the U.S. Business Editor for The Economist and co-author of Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World. Panelists include the president of the American Express Foundation, Timothy J. McClimon, as well as representatives from notable nonprofits such as the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and academics from Northwestern University and University of Pennsylvania. The discussion will take place at the American Express Tower in Manhattan from 1:30-3:00 p.m.

About the Survey
StrategyOne conducted an online survey among 1,044 Americans, aged 18 years or older, between October 25-26, 2010 on perceptions of the nonprofit sector and its ability to address society's needs. The data is representative of census data of the American population. The survey, which has an overall margin of sampling error equal to ±3.03% at the 95% level of confidence and is larger for sub-groups, was conducted using the field services of ORC (Opinion Research Corporation).

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 philanthropy platforms 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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