Leadership Dallas

The Dallas Region’s premier leadership program.  

About Leadership Dallas

Up to 55 diverse leaders are selected each year to engage in a ten-month leadership development program that includes a retreat, nine monthly topic areas with homework, and a class project. Class members will learn from subject matter experts about issues most important to our future through educational experiences and discussions.


Olympia Newman
Managing Director, Leadership Programs

  • The Program

    Leadership Dallas, founded in 1975 by the Dallas Regional Chamber (DRC), is the region’s premier leadership development program; a group of diverse individuals are selected each year in a competitive process based on proven leadership potential within their organization and in the community.

    The goal of Leadership Dallas (LD) is to improve the quality of life in our region by:

        • Identifying a pipeline of future leaders.
        • Educating LD class members about the issues most important to our future.
        • Connecting LD class members to their classmates and other highly motivated individuals in the community.
        • Inspiring these leaders to apply what they learned in the LD program to create positive change.


    The Leadership Dallas program enables class members to develop a greater understanding of issues most important to our region, build strong relationships with business and community leaders, and empowers them to create the positive change needed to improve our region’s quality of life.

    Leadership Dallas inspires class members to increase involvement in their organizations and communities. The program helps them identify where strategic alliances might be formed. Employers will see increased awareness of issues most important to our region and inspiration to create positive change. The community will experience immediate benefit from increased involvement on the part of the participants and will reap future benefits from the collective commitment to effective leadership by the graduates of Leadership Dallas.


    When participants are selected each year, it is with an eye toward diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, industry, socio-economic status, age, political beliefs, and perspectives to encourage a collaboration of ideas and viewpoints. The program is a professional development opportunity for men and women who are both acknowledged and aspiring leaders. All participants should demonstrate:

        • A passion for the people and future of our region and a personal commitment to help improve our quality of life.
        • A commitment to the community through past and current activities.
        • A capacity for leadership within their own organizations through significant achievements.
        • An interest in enhancing their leadership capabilities to meet the demands of today.
        • A commitment to the time and energy necessary to complete the program requirements, which expects the full support of their organizations.
        • A commitment to supporting the continuation of leadership and trustee development in our region.


    Graduation from the class represents the beginning of a lifetime of opportunity as a member of the Leadership Dallas Alumni network. Alumni have the responsibility to foster continued leadership development in the region and are expected to support the work of Leadership Dallas. In addition, it is expected that alumni will apply what they have learned and their talents to create positive change. The DRC encourages Leadership Dallas graduates to serve on committees, boards, and organizations throughout our region. Critical to the program’s continued success is the support from past participants in program guidance, financial contributions, and marketing the program to future participants.



    Leadership Dallas (LD) is a 10-month leadership development program that includes a two-day in person retreat, eight monthly curriculum topics, leadership development, a class project, and several other highly engaging opportunities. If you are selected to participate in the program, Leadership Dallas class members may miss up to 16 hours of class days and still graduate. Attending the retreat – in its entirety – is mandatory. At the retreat, class members receive an overview of requirements, are assigned to working committees, begin leadership development coursework, and get to know their classmates. Following the retreat, additional meetings will be required outside of class days. These dates will be provided at the retreat. Class members will be expected to meet regularly to help plan their assigned class days, develop the agenda, confirm speakers, and create engaging homework for the class.

    Each of these sessions is mandatory and in person.

        • Welcome Reception | Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023
        • Retreat | Thursday, Sept. 14 – Friday, Sept. 15, 2023


        • Past, Present, Future | Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
        • Health Care | Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
        • Public Policy | Friday, Nov. 10, 2023, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
        • Regionalism | Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
        • Education | Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
        • Workforce | Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
        • Criminal Justice | Friday, March 22, 2024, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
        • Innovation | Friday, April 12, 2024, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
        • Arts & Culture | Friday, May 3, 2024, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
        • Launch Day | Friday, May 17, 2024, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • Applying to Leadership Dallas



    All applicants must submit a $100 application fee. Applications will be considered complete for review only if payment is submitted. Applicants will receive a link to pay the application fee online with a credit card only after the online application has been submitted.


    The Leadership Dallas Selection Committee reviews every completed application packet. Committee members seek to identify those who are most likely to utilize their leadership abilities for the long-term benefit of our region.

    It is an honor to be invited to participate in Leadership Dallas. With so many qualified candidates from which to choose, the selection of each year’s class presents a difficult challenge. Many graduates of the program are not selected the first year they apply. Candidates who are not chosen are encouraged to apply again.


    The tuition fee for Leadership Dallas is $9,000. As a valued supporter, DRC members receive a discounted tuition rate of $7,500. If your company is not currently a member but is interested in joining the DRC, please contact memberinfo@dallaschamber.org.

    The tuition fee covers the cost of all program execution. Tuition is nonrefundable.


    Barry Barker Scholarship Fund

    During the 1997-98 program year, Leadership Dallas lost long-time friend Barry Barker, a graduate of the first Leadership Dallas class, former President of the Leadership Dallas Alumni Association, and former chair of the curriculum committee. After his passing, the DRC and the Leadership Dallas Alumni Association renamed its scholarship fund in Barker’s memory. The Barry Barker Scholarship Fund helps future leaders of Dallas with their Leadership Dallas tuition.

    Patti Clapp Scholarship Fund

    For nearly 24 years, Patti Clapp served the DRC in a variety of critical roles, from Director of Leadership Development to Vice President of Education. As the Director of Leadership Development, she led the revitalization of Leadership Dallas, which contributed to the continued success of the DRC’s flagship leadership program. In honor of one the DRC’s longest-serving and most impactful, effective, and influential leaders, the Patti Clapp Scholarship Fund was established to help future leaders of the Dallas Region with their Leadership Dallas tuition.

    Diversity in Leadership Scholarship  

    In 2020, the Dallas Regional Chamber established a Board-level Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council and four sub-councils, including a Diversity in Leadership Sub-Council. The Diversity in Leadership Sub-Council is focused on developing opportunities for diverse representation in board rooms and the executive-suite of companies large and small. The Sub-Council will consider scholarships for qualified candidates from underestimated population groups that, without financial support, would not be able to participate in Leadership Dallas.


    To ensure the safety of all participants, the DRC continually monitors and evaluates Leadership Dallas programming based on CDC guidelines. All DRC programming follows state and local in-person business regulations. Please note the following:

        1. COVID-19 testing is required on an event-by-event basis. This is determined by the DRC.
        2. The DRC follows the site protocols of our partners when hosting Leadership Dallas programming.
        3. You are not required to be vaccinated to join the LD 2023 Class. However, some in-person class days and/or events will require participants to be vaccinated, and participants will be asked to submit proof of vaccination during registration. If you remain unvaccinated or choose not to submit your proof of vaccination, please know you won’t be able to attend the class day or event, and that missed time will come from your 16-hour allowance. A negative test result may be shown in place of a vaccination card when allowed by the event venue/our partners. Should the CDC’s recommendation on vaccination status change, the DRC and its partners reserve the right to adjust protocols and guidance. If your vaccination status changes, please advise our staff immediately.
        4. The Leadership Dallas 2024 experience is not a hybrid experience. It’s a combination of in-person and virtual programming to improve your overall experience. Virtual options will not be provided during in-person class days and events. In-person participation will be required often during the 10-month program.
        5. If selected to the next Leadership Dallas class, please make sure you are comfortable with these guidelines before accepting your seat.
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Where can I find the application?
    Leadership Dallas Class of 2024 applications were open on our website Monday, March 6, 2023 through Friday, May 5, 2023.

    Can multiple people from my organization apply to participate?
    While multiple people from your organization can apply, we generally only accept one applicant per company into the class. It is recommended that only one representative apply per year.

    Can I view the application prior to completing it online?
    Unfortunately, that is not available at this time. However, you will be able to return to your account throughout the process before submitting the final application for consideration.

    Do I have to attend an information session in order to apply?
    No, but it is highly recommended that you attend one. These sessions offer the unique opportunity to speak with alumni about their experiences and ask questions about submitting a standout application.

    What is required for a complete application to be considered?
    The application packet is made up of six components: application, resume, professional head shot (jpeg, minimum 1 MB), three completed references, employer participation agreement, and the application fee.

    All components must be received by the stated deadline for your application to be considered by the selection committee.

    Do I have to be a City of Dallas resident or employed by a company in Dallas city limits in order to apply?
    No, it is not a requirement to live or work within Dallas city limits in order to apply.

    Where and how do I pay my application fee?
    Upon submitting your final application, you will receive a confirmation email containing the link to pay your application fee.

    Where and how do I submit my resume and professional head shot?
    You will be asked to upload these documents during the online application.

    What formats are acceptable to upload for my resume?
    PDF only.

    What formats are acceptable to upload for my head shot?
    JPEG, minimum 1 MB in size.

    Is there tuition assistance?
    Yes, there is partial tuition assistance via scholarships. Please review the specifics in the applying to Leadership Dallas section above.

    Does there have to be demonstrated financial need?
    It depends on the scholarship. Please review the specifics in the applying to Leadership Dallas section above.

    Does my employer have to complete the Employer Participation Agreement by the application deadline?
    Yes. Your application packet is not considered complete, nor will it be reviewed, until all components are received.

    How and when will my employer be contacted?
    Your employer will be contacted via email upon you entering his/her email address into your application and requesting an employer participation form and/or automatically via email at the address provided in your application immediately upon submission of your completed application. The request will come from “Leadership Dallas” at noreply@mail.smapply.net.

    What will my employer be asked to do and how long will it take?
    Your employer will be asked to fill out a form and sign off on a statement indicating his/her support. It should take approximately five minutes or less.

    Will I be notified when my employer completes the agreement?
    No. However, you can login to your account at any time to see if the agreement is pending. If it is still pending, you can send a reminder email from your online account.

    My employer states that he/she did not receive an email request. What should I do?
    Upon submission of your application, an email is sent to the email address you provide in the application. As some email servers are more sensitive than others, it is possible that the email goes to junk or caught in the spam filters. Have your employer double check those locations, if possible.

    If I am self-employed or the top executive in my company how should the Employer Participation Agreement be completed?
    For application status tracking, please complete the form with your contact details and fill out the agreement. We apologize for the inconvenience but want to ensure your application is considered complete and reviewed by the selection committee.

    Can my employer have the opportunity to serve as a reference also?
    Yes, but you must list them in the reference section as well for them to provide any feedback beyond their support of your application.

    How and when will my references be contacted?
    Your references will be contacted via email upon you entering their addresses into the application requesting a reference. The request will come from “Leadership Dallas” at noreply@mail.smapply.net.

    What will my references be asked to do and how long will it take?
    Your references will be asked to answer a short questionnaire about your leadership capabilities, both witnessed and potential. It should take approximately 30 minutes after he/she creates an account. The more detailed information and the more specific examples provided, the stronger the reference will be.

    Do my references have to be completed by the application deadline?
    Yes. Your application is not considered complete, nor will it be reviewed, until all components are received.

    Will I be notified when my reference(s) complete his/her response(s)?
    Yes. You will receive a system-generated notification when each reference submits his/her response.

    What if I can’t attend the retreat?
    Attending the retreat — in its entirety — is mandatory if you are selected to participate in the program. At the retreat, class members receive an overview of requirements, are assigned to working committees, begin leadership development coursework, and get to know their classmates. If you are unable to attend the retreat in its entirety, we recommend that you apply during a year in which you are available for the retreat.

    When will I be notified of the decision regarding my application?
    We expect to notify applicants of their status in late July or early August.

    When will the class officially be announced?
    The class will be officially announced via a DRC press release in late July or early August.

  • View the 2024 LD Class

    Congratulations to the members of the 49th class of Leadership Dallas, the premier leadership development program in the Dallas Region. Learn about this ambitious group of professionals.

    Click to enlarge.


    First Name Last Name Company/Organization:
    Ambika Cheruvu GS Dallas LP
    Ashley McConkey Texas Instruments
    Brett Jackson Comerica Bank
    Brian Kenjarski, MD Methodist Health System
    Chase Proctor Haynes and Boone, LLP
    Christie Newkirk Carrington Coleman
    Christina Goodman Baylor Scott & White Health
    Christopher P. Bacala Bare Roots Landscape Solutions
    Claudia B. Coleman Thomson Reuters
    Crystal Cantu Lerman The Beck Group
    Dallas Stark American Airlines Center
    DeVon Lang Truist
    Emily Redfield BCG
    Herschel Acosta Jacobs
    Hiral Shah Grant Thornton
    Hussain Manjee DHD Films
    James Brownson McKesson
    James George Toyota Motor North America
    Jamika Doakes AT&T Inc.
    Jay Kadi FORVIS
    Jennifer Federici YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas
    Jennifer Stimpson Hattie Hill Enterprises
    Jessica Watts Axxess
    John Lawrence Baker Botts L.L.P.
    John Sidorek The Boeing Company
    Kay Shelton Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
    Kayla Welsch Hillwood, a Perot Company
    Kelly Biegler Atmos Energy Corporation
    Kim Cummings Children’s Health
    LaKia Ross BGSF
    Lamont Hill Oncor
    Laura Klempay Health Care Service Corporation
    Linda Braddy American Red Cross
    Liz Schaab JPMorgan Chase
    Maricarmen Tamez Turner Construction Company
    Mario Perez Dolan Jackson Walker LLP
    Marissa Eddings 7-Eleven, Inc.
    Marjorie Murat Dallas Afterschool
    Mary Perrotta PwC
    Melody Bell UT Southwestern Medical Center
    Michelle Alden Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program
    Nicole Fox Southwest Airlines
    Perla Molina Dallas College
    Prashant Karanam Ernst & Young LLP
    Renee Castillo CBRE
    Ryan Schutt HKS, Inc.
    Stephen Tigh Regions
    Steven Schulman Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP
    Tandra Allen Junior League of Dallas
    Taylor Vaught Frost
    TianEn Stephenson Accenture
    Tiffany Northern Texas Health Resources Presbyterian Dallas Hospital
    Todd Westerburg Bank of America
    Tyler Kleinert Hunt Realty Investments, Inc.
    Yolanda Bevill The University of Texas at Arlington



Thursday, December 7, 2023
6:00 - 9:00 pm
Vetted Well
Wednesday, January 17, 2024
3:00 - 6:30 pm
Music Hall at Fair Park