NIH Executive Leadership Program


The Executive Leadership Program (ExLP) offers GS 15 and SES (and equivalent) leaders an opportunity to refine their leadership skills with a small cohort of high-performing NIH executives. Through this 7-month program, leaders will have the opportunity to engage with scholar practitioners via interactive discussions, NIH case studies and experiential exercises. Participants will have the opportunity to directly engage with NIH leadership by working on projects, attending special events and receiving support from peer mentors.

The Partnership for Public Service, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with a mission to revitalize the government by transforming the way government works, is our new learning partner for the ExLP. The Partnership plays a critical role in developing more innovative and results-oriented leaders across the federal government through its many leadership programs, seminars, and team-building retreats.

The ExLP is a leadership experience for current and aspiring “Top 6” leaders:

  • IC Directors
  • IC Deputy Directors
  • Scientific Directors
  • Executive Officers
  • Clinical Directors
  • Scientific Executives
  • OD Leadership Positions

2022-2023 ExLP Program Dates

Session General Topics

August 25

NIH Campus - Building 31, 6C Room A&B

The Beginning of the ExLP Journey – What to Expect
#1 Leadership and Self-Awareness
Sept 19-22
National Conservation Training Center - Shepherdstown, WV
Emotional Intelligence, Executive Presence
NIH Special Event - Clinical Center Tour
October 13

NIH Clinical Center
Explore the NIH Clinical Center
#2 Executive Communications
October 19-20
The Partnership for Public Service, Washington, DC
Media Training and Presentation Skills

NIH Special Event - NCATS Research: Leading at the Cutting Edge of Science During COVID
November 9

9800 Medical Center Dr.

Bldg. B, 3rd Floor,

Main Boardroom

Discussion and Tour with Dr. Joni Rutter, NCATS Acting Director and NCATS Leadership
#3 Leading Amid Uncertainty
November 15-16

The Partnership for Public Service, Washington, DC
Stress Management, Resilience, Influence, Crisis Management
Action Learning Work-Out
December 1

The Partnership for Public Service, Washington, DC
Develop Recommendations for Critical NIH Issue
NIH Special Event - Exploration of the NIDA Mission and the Overdose Crisis 
December 2

NIH Campus
Conversation with Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA Director and Senior NIDA Leadership
#4 Leading Change
January 11-12, 2023

The Partnership for Public Service, Washington, DC
Change Management, Motivation and Conflict, Influence
NIH Special Event - Leadership Café with NIH Deputy Directors
January 31, 2023

NIH Campus - Wilson Hall, Building 1
Explore NIH's Organizational Priorities

#5 Commitment to Public Service
February 22-23, 2023

The Partnership for Public Service, Washington, DC

Collaborate Across Boundaries, Engage with HHS, Meet Members of Congress, Staffers and Key Officials on Capitol Hill
NIH Special Event - Leadership Cafe with Top 6 Leadership
March 7, 2023

NIH Campus - Natcher, E1/E2
Conversation with Current "Top 6" Leaders
NIH Special Event - Leadership Q&A with NIH Director
NIH Campus
Meet and Interact with NIH Director
March 23, 2023

NIH Campus - Lister Hill Auditorium, NLM
Celebrate Accomplishments

Participant Feedback

How has the ExLP helped you as a leader?

NIH ExLP Alumni

2022 ExLP Participants

2020 ExLP Participants

2018 ExLP Participants

2016 ExLP Participants

2014 ExLP Participants

2013 ExLP Participants

2012 ExLP Participants

2011 ExLP Participants

2010 ExLP Participants

2022-2023 Tuition: $16,750

For general program questions, please contact Keisha Berkley, Program Manager, NIH Training Center at

The ExLP is offered every other year. Recruitment for the 2024-2025 ExLP will begin in January 2024. For updates and announcements, bookmark this site and visit later this year.