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 1,400 alumni, the program has offered senior leaders at NIH the opportunity to develop leadership skills for over 18 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):

Leading change, leading people, results driven, building coalitions/communications, business acumen, and ECQs.

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. Four-and-a-half hours of personal coaching 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

Orientation Day 1-3 Day 4


1/2 day Program Introduction

Assessments, Coaching, Leadership, Development, Action Plan

Results-Based Accountability

Leading for Impact

Day 5 Day 6 Day 7

Polarities in Leadership

The Wisdom of "And"


Leadership in Conflict and Collaboration

Energy, Risk, and Technology

Frontiers for Leadership

Day 8 Day 9 Day 10


Credible and Compelling Leadership

Leading to Learn

The Importance of Implicit

Emotional Intelligence


FY 19 Sessions Orientation Date Opening Session Dates Days 4/5 Days 6/7 Days 8/9 Day 10
Session 1 January 10 March 4-6 March 27-28 April 10-11 April 22-23 May 8
Session 2 February 25 April 29-May 1 May 15-16 May 29-30 June 12-13 June 19
Session 3 June 10 August 14-16 September 4-5 September 18-19 October 2-3 October 10
Session 4 August 12 October 16-18 October 29-30 November 13-14 December 4-5 December 12

Alumni Share Takeaways from the Senior Leadership Program (SLP)


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

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 Call for Nominations to be released in Fall 2019.

Contact Information

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