NIH Senior Leadership Program


The NIH is committed to playing an active role in advancing the skills of senior-level, administrative and scientific 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 1,900 alumni, the program has offered senior leaders at NIH the opportunity to develop leadership skills for over 21 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, and Business Acumen. The program also complements the NIH Leadership and Management competency model

Program Features and Structure

  1. A virtual orientation and a 3-day opening (overnight, off-site retreat for in-person sessions) 
  2. Session duration of 4-5 months with 13 total training days 
  3. Cohort size of 28 participants from across NIH, both scientific and administrative 
  4. Initial 360-degree feedback, Myers-Briggs Type personality type indicator (MBTI), and Firo-B assessments 
  5. Personal virtual coaching (4.5 hours) and small team virtual coaching (2 hours) 
  6. Leadership development plan focus 
  7. For blended sessions, local (in-person) 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, and developmental planning, as well as a three-day intensive kickoff session.

Content and Current Cohort Program Schedule

  • Orientation
    • Introductions
    • Program Overview
    • Prep for 360, MBTI, FIRO-B
  • Program Topic Areas
    • Emotional Intelligence
    • Learning Culture
    • Results-Based Accountability
    • Racial Equity/Diversity
    • Polarities in Leadership
    • Succession Planning
    • Innovative Technology
    • Resilient Leadership
    • Interest-Based Negotiation
    • Necessary Art of Persuasion
    • Spotlight on Leadership
  • Coaching
    • One-on-one
    • Team

View PDF version of table below.

Cohort Program Session Schedule FY24

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 placement consideration. Please contact your supervisor for additional details on your IC's specific nomination process. 

2024 Program Status:

  • 2024 SLP Call for Nominations is closed. Check back the end of the summer for 2025 SLP Call for Nominations updates. 
  • Sessions One and Two are completely virtual – tuition is $11,500. 
  • Sessions Three and Four are blended (with virtual coaching and technology dates) – tuition is $13,300. 
  • IC funding is required. 

Contact Information

Sandy Giordano
SLP Program Manager
NIH Training Center
Phone: 301-443-3334