NIH Senior Leadership Program


The NIH is committed to playing an active role in advancing the skills of senior-level staff. While providing a collection of junior professional development as well as mid-level and executive leadership programs, the Senior Leadership Program is our longest running leadership program. With over 1,500 alumni, the program has offered senior leaders at NIH the opportunity to develop leadership skills for over 19 years. The Senior Leadership Program provides a core component to our deliberate continuum of leadership development for inspired NIH staff.

Leadership competencies addressed in the NIH Senior Leadership Program correspond with the five SES Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs):

ECQ Outline

The program also complements the NIH Leadership and Management competency model.

Program Features and Structure

  1. An orientation, 3-day off-site opening session, three 2-day and one final day training session taking place over a period of five months
  2. Cohort size of 28 participants
  3. Initial 360-degree feedback, Myers-Briggs Type personality type indicator (MBTI), Firo-B, and StrengthsFinder assessments
  4. Personal coaching (4.5 hours) to review 360-degree feedback and assessments and develop/refine your leadership development plan
  5. Leadership development plans
  6. Local sessions hosted at Rockwood Manor

This program provides GS-14/15, SES, and equivalent employees with the opportunity to enhance individual leadership skills and develop effective leadership competencies to address challenges and contribute to the NIH mission. The NIH Senior Leadership Program combines case studies, interactive discussions, experiential learning, assessment data, developmental planning and a three-day intensive kickoff session.

Content and Current Cohort Program Schedule



1/2 day Program Introduction

Day 1-3

3-Day Offsite Kickoff

Assessments, Coaching, Leadership, Development, Action Plan

Day 4

Results-Based Accountability

Leading for Impact

Day 5

Polarities of Leadership

The Wisdom of "And"

Day 6

Negotiation Styles

Leadership in Conflict and Collaboration

Day 7

Racial Equity

In Health, Healthcare and Medical Research

Day 8

Art of Persuasion

Credible and Compelling Leadership

Day 9

Leadership & Resiliency

Resiliency During Change and Excessive Stress

Day 10

Emotional Intelligence


*Session 5 dates just added. Session 5 may not reflect Session 1-4 format.

FY20 Sessions

Orientation Date

Opening Session Dates

Day 4/5

Day 6/7

Day 8/9

Day 10

Session 1

January 8

March 4-6

March 18-19

April 1-2

April 15-16

April 29

Session 2

February 24

April 20-22

May 6-7

May 20-21

June 3-4

June 11

Session 3

June 8

August 12-14

September 9-10

September 23-24

October 7-8

October 21

Session 4

August 10

October 14-16

October 28-29

November 12-13

December 2-3

December 10

Session 5

April 6

June 22-24

July 23 and August 18

September 17 and October 22

November 19 and December 8

December 9

Alumni Share Takeaways from the Senior Leadership Program (SLP)

Video file


Current GS-14/15, SES, and equivalent employees

Eligibility/Selection Process:

Individual nominations are vetted at the IC Executive Office level. Nominations are then forwarded to the NIH Training Center for priority placement.

2020 Program Status:

  • 2020 Nominee submissions closed in November 2019, and Session placements are complete.
  • 2020 SLP tuition: $10,500. IC funding is required.

2021 Call for Nominations to be released in Fall 2020.

Contact Information

Pamela Welbon
SLP Program Manager
NIH Training Center
Phone: 301-496-3090

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