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The American Express Foundation's Leadership Academy Nurtures Next Generation of Not-for-Profit Leaders
LONDON,  October 31, 2011 -- 

The American Express Foundation, in partnership with Common Purpose, is running its second American Express Leadership Academy for not-for-profit leaders from 1-4 November 2011.

The Leadership Academy was launched in the UK last year to support the development of the next generation of talented leaders in the not-for-profit sector.

"We are currently operating in ever more challenging times, and not-for-profit leaders will need to learn to lead in new ways, with new partners and stakeholders if they are to successfully navigate their organisations through them" said Julia Middleton, Chief Executive, Common Purpose. "There are few opportunities for not-for-profit leaders to develop these skills, which is why the American Express Leadership Academy is a very welcome initiative for emerging leaders."

This year's Leadership Academy brings together 25 emerging leaders from some of the UK's leading charities, with participants including representatives from organisations such as Save the Children, Centrepoint and Action on Hearing Loss. The four-day Academy, delivered by Common Purpose, will focus on building the personal, management and leadership skills needed to run a successful not-for-profit organisation. Participants will explore collaborative leadership, one-to-one coaching and personal and organisational branding.

Timothy J. McClimon, President of the American Express Foundation, said "Training and funding for personal development are often the first hit when budgets come under pressure. The Leadership Academy is a demonstration of how the private and not-for-profit sectors are working together to give current and future not-for-profit leaders the chance to build and hone leadership skills that are critical to the success of the sector."

The Leadership Academy is tailored for participants who hold a manager-level position, have dedicated themselves to a career in the not-for-profit sector and have built strong momentum in their field. To ensure the lasting impact and effectiveness of the Leadership Academy, participants set goals and action plans during the training, with ongoing support to achieve these goals provided through online tools and telephone coaching sessions from Common Purpose.

Laura Smith, Acting Head of Global Xchange, VSO, attended last year. She describes the Leadership Academy as "a valuable opportunity to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses as a leader and identify clear goals for development, both professionally and personally, with the opportunity to build a network of support and contacts."

About American Express
American Express Company ( is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

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 recognises the significance of strong leadership in the not-for-profit sector, American Express is making grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century.

About Common Purpose
Common Purpose ( is an independent international leadership development organisation. Over the past 21 years, Common Purpose has designed and delivered courses that help people at all stages of their career become more effective leaders in society.

Common Purpose runs courses that give people from the private, public and not-for-profit sector the inspiration, skills and connections to become better leaders both at work and in society. They help people, organisations, cities and regions to succeed, by broadening the horizons of their leaders and developing their ability to work together and lead complex change.


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