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):

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. 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

Orientation Day 1-3 Day 4


1/2 day Program Introduction

3-Day Offsite Kickoff

Assessments, Coaching, Leadership, Development, Action Plan

Results-Based Accountability

Leading for Impact

Day 5 Day 6 Day 7

Polarities of Leadership

The Wisdom of "And"

Negotiation Styles

Leadership in Conflict and Collaboration

Racial Equity

In Health, Healthcare and Medical Research

Day 8 Day 9 Day 10

Art of Persuasion

Credible and Compelling Leadership

Leadership & Resiliency

Resiliency During Change and Excessive Stress

Emotional Intelligence


FY 20 Sessions Orientation Date Opening Session Dates Days 4/5 Days 6/7 Days 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

Alumni Share Takeaways from the Senior Leadership Program (SLP)


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

Eligibility/Selection Process:

  • The Call for FY20 Nominations will go to NIH Executive Officers in Fall 2019.
  • EO or designated IC Points of Contact must internally approve IC nominations and then submit all approved nominees to the Training Center by the deadline.
  • If you are interested in participating, please speak with your supervisor to express your interest in the program, to ensure your EO is aware.
  • 2020 SLP tuition: $10,500. IC funding is required.

Contact Information

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