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School is in Session: American Express Enrolls Sixth Class in its Academy for Emerging Nonprofit LeadersThe International Training Program Extends Its Reach with Additional Leadership Academy at the Thunderbird School of Global Management
NEW YORK,  May 2, 2011 -- 

American Express today welcomed 75 emerging nonprofit leaders to the American Express Leadership Academy. And in a move to extend the opportunity to more leaders, the Academy will run concurrently in two locations – at the company's New York headquarters and at the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz.

The American Express Leadership Academy is an international training program, conducted in partnership with the nonprofit Center for Creative Leadership, designed to develop the next generation of leaders in the nonprofit sector. Participants in the program will hear from American Express senior executives, including the company's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth I. Chenault. Other speakers include Sanford I. Weill, Chairman Emeritus of Citigroup Inc., Joan Weill, a tireless supporter of several cultural, philanthropic and civic endeavors, and Judith Jamison, Artistic Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

"Nonprofit and social sector organizations are tackling some of our most challenging issues, and the ability for their leadership to inspire, motivate and drive success is critical," said Timothy J. McClimon, President, American Express Foundation. "The Leadership Academy has proven to be an effective tool for enabling that success and as we continue to extend to new locations, we are able to reach more organizations and welcome internationally influential speakers to share their thoughts and insights."

The Sixth American Express Leadership Academy
Launched in 2008 to address the need created by a growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector, the Academy brings together emerging leaders from a diverse set of nonprofit organization twice per year at American Express' headquarters in New York. Participants are selected based upon a competitive application process and were selected from national and local nonprofit partners. Attendees to this week's Academy come from organizations including the American Cancer Society, DoSomething, Girls Inc., KaBoom!, the League of Women Voters and Lighthouse International.

Designed in partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership, the program curriculum features media training, individual Myers Briggs and 360 degree assessments, leadership training, experiential exercises, individual executive coaching, and team activities. Participants will also have the opportunity to join a network of past Academy participants.

"Effective leadership is crucial for increasing impact and overall performance, and we take pride in helping leaders in the nonprofit sector, of which we are a part, build this capacity in their organizations," Center for Creative Leadership President and CEO John Ryan said. "It's a great privilege to continue our partnership with American Express on an initiative that is developing superb executives and helping entire communities thrive."

The American Express Leadership Academy at Thunderbird
Today also begins the first-ever American Express Leadership Academy at Thunderbird in Glendale, Ariz. This is an extension of Thunderbird's existing Academy, a program that American Express has supported since its inception, for leaders in the social sector. Thunderbird professors designed the curriculum and will teach courses with involvement from American Express executives, including a live-stream of the remarks from Chenault. Organizations represented at the American Express Leadership Academy at Thunderbird include Women for Women International, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Clinton Global Initiative, FARM-Africa and UNICEF.

"Thunderbird and American Express have collaborated on this five-day intensive learning experience to help bridge the leadership gap that exists within the social sector," said Joy Lubeck, Associate Vice President, Global Corporate Partnerships at Thunderbird School of Global Management. "Through this learning engagement, we work with emerging leaders in the social sector and strategically accelerate their individual and organizational leadership capabilities to better fulfill and deliver on their important missions."

About the American Express Leadership Academy
The American Express 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.

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 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

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.

About Thunderbird School of Global Management
Thunderbird is the world's No. 1-ranked school of international business with more than 60 years of experience in developing leaders with the global mindset, business skills and social responsibility necessary to create real, sustainable value for their organizations, communities and the world. Dedicated to preparing students to be global leaders and committed global citizens, Thunderbird was the first graduate business school to adopt an official Professional Oath of Honor. Thunderbird is sought out by graduate students, working professionals and companies worldwide seeking to gain the leadership skills they need to succeed in today's global economy.



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