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 1,800 alumni, the program has offered senior leaders at NIH the opportunity to develop leadership skills for over 20 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


FY22 Sessions

Orientation Date

Opening Session Dates

Day 4/5

Day 6/7

Day 8/9

Day 10

Session 1

Jan 10

Mar 30-April 1

Apr 13-14

Apr 27-28

May 11-12

May 17

Session 2

Feb 07

Apr 18-20

May 4-5

May 18-19

Jun 1-2

Jun 8

Session 3

Apr 25

Aug 29-31

Sept 14-15

Sep 28-29

Oct 12-13

Oct 19

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.

Program Status:

  • All 2022 Sessions are full; the 2022 Call for Nominations deadline was November 2021.
  • The 2023 Call for Nominations will be made in October 2022.
  • IC funding is required.

Contact Information

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

Can we make this page better?

Let us know if you can't find the information you need, have a suggestion for improving this page, or found an error.

If your question requires an immediate response, please use the Contact Us form.

Do not include personally identifiable information (PII). Please review our privacy policy.