What We Do

"Lead New Jersey was born out of a tremendous commitment on the part of leaders in New Jersey to find a way of nurturing a mindset of the state’s well-being." – Doug Forrester, LNJ '90, President, Integrity Health



Lead New Jersey Fellows explore the State House and experience a maximum security prison...the streams of the Pinelands and the streets of Newark...a Camden school room and Jersey City’s port.

Lead New Jersey year-long monthly seminars probe today's problems and tomorrow's prospects with current leaders, to sharpen our knowledge and hone our own responses. Seminars take place around the state to provide participants with direct experience of the issues, and combine site visits, case studies, debates, and simulations with presentations from and conversations with a wide variety of policy and leadership experts in New Jersey.  Read more about the Issues

“It was in our Lead New Jersey Education Seminar.  We’d met with an urban school principal, experienced a charter school, and witnessed teens engaged in hands-on science projects at the State Aquarium.  Now a group of us Fellows were brainstorming over a flip chart, preparing our recommendations for expanding college preparation courses for a group of real school board members brought together to help us in this real-life exercise.  I suddenly realized that next to me were a venture capitalist, an Assistant State Attorney General, a county college president, and a foundation executive.  And I thought, nowhere else could I get this! 


LNJ brings together individuals who are already leaders in their companies, organizations, communities, and professional fields. However, in our fast-paced, ever-changing world, even experienced leaders need to continue honing their skills and expanding their horizons. LNJ incorporates various leadership development tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Boundary Spanning Leadership into its seminars throughout the year, and continues to explore new leadership development training tools it can add to further enhance the program's value for Fellows and their employers. 

“My Myers-Briggs personality profile training was an “ah ha!” moment.  I couldn't understand why my work team wasn't clicking.  It was like they were all talking past one another, and while I could see it happening, I felt powerless to steer us in a better direction.  Now I see that ‘perceivers’ aren't disconnected, they’re trying out new ideas in their minds.  And ‘introverts’ also need time to study all facets before adding their two cents.  Practical management insights like these have helped me bring cohesion to our team and new purpose to our work!”



In addition to public policy education and leadership development, Fellows who have shared the experience of our seminar program over the last three decades have created a vibrant network of engaged civic leaders. As a Fellow, you gain access to a network of more than 1500 leaders from New Jersey’s most prominent companies, nonprofits, and government agencies. Fellowship and camaraderie are built not only within each class, but across all of the classes. A variety of networking opportunities are available throughout the year, both at LNJ-sponsored events and gatherings at some of the largest convenings in New Jersey, such as the League of Municipalities Conference and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s annual “Walk to Washington.”

LNJ is dedicated to developing well-informed leaders, Fellows, who are prepared to cross boundaries between sectors, work effectively with people of all backgrounds, find common ground with those who may think differently about issues, and work in a spirit of shared commitment to our state’s success. Our network of Fellows is our state’s most valuable resource for professional connections and community service.

"I contact Lead NJ alum all the time whenever there’s an issue in New Jersey that I’m trying to address because they’re everywhere." - Preston Pinkett III, LNJ '93, President & CEO, City National Bank 



Participating in a Lead New Jersey (LNJ) class requires a shared commitment of time, attention, and finances from both the Fellow and his or her employer. However, the benefits reaped by the individual and their company/organization are priceless. 

Approximately 20 full days are required throughout the year. The seminar series begins with a two-day retreat in late January.  Subsequent sessions are held on weekdays (except July and August) and last for a one-and-a-half to two full days. There is also a one-day class meeting in mid-July for Fellows to begin planning their individual Leadership in Action projects. The seminar year concludes with the graduation of the current class and induction of the next class in early December. 

Lead New Jersey is a tuition-based program for the seminar year, which includes all expenses except overnight hotel accommodations.  Scholarship assistance for eligible nonprofit and government applicants may be available on a case by case basis. Applicants are considered on a rolling basis and will be available in late February, with the review period beginning in July.  All applicants must fill out the form in it's entirety and include a $100.00. application fee. Tuition for the 2020 class is $6,000.  All applicants who are accepted must pay the $1,500.00 tuition deposit by November 1, 2019.  The balance is due on December 31, 2019.