Lead For America's 2021 Fellowship Application is now open!

Apply here

From all of us, for all of us.

Schenectady, NY. Hosting Travis Ghirdharie, Hometown Fellow ’19

A renewed American community.

A more perfect union.

Schenectady, NY. Hosting Travis Ghirdharie, Hometown Fellow ’19

The problems facing our communities are immense.

The opioid crisis.

Intergenerational poverty.

Ecological devastation.

Lead For America operates on the foundational understanding that our root problem is one of disconnection from place and community. We seek to activate a community revival, spearheaded by the people who know their communities best. 


We are building a bench of 1 million convergent leaders 
by 2040 to catalyze a widespread revitalization of our nation’s communities. 


Lead For America's programs strive to build a critical mass of leaders and communities that will buoy this movement — until it is unstoppable. 

Amerra Webster-Yaqui,

Hometown Fellow '19



Lead For America exists to ensure that our nation's most dynamic and diverse leaders are working on our communities' toughest challenges. 

We ground our approach on three  pillars to comprehensively support a community revitalization: education, pathways, and systems change.


We are working to ensure that every young person leaves school understanding the power of local change-making, and has had the opportunity to effect change themselves. 


We are building pathways to public service for the next generation of representative leaders dedicated to serving community — at home and nationwide. 

Systems Change

We are joining forces with federal policymakers and assembling local coalitions to ensure this work can thrive beyond and without Lead For America in every corner of our country.

Joe Nail, CEO



Our challenges are best addressed by those who are, and have been, closest to the problem.

Public Institutions

Effective government + public institutions are our primary tools to tackle these challenges at scale. 

Representative Leadership

Institutions work best when they reflect the communities

they serve.

Resilient Togetherness 

We choose to show that another way of living,  rooted in

love and community, is possible.

Grant Kirkpatrick + 
Lorenzo Johnson,

Hometown Fellows '19

Shandiin Herrera,

Hometown Fellow '19

Grant Kirkpatrick
Lorenzo Johnson, Fellows

Our Impact to Date

93 Fellows
in 81 different communities 
45 Corps Members
selected and supported

Joe Nail, CEO

What People Say 

"Cities and communities are now the vanguard of problem solving. Lead For America marries the desire of recent graduates to make change in our communities and the need of local government for new ideas and capacity."

—  Bruce Katz
Inaugural Centennial Scholar at The Brookings Institution,
Author of The New Localism




Suidi Hashi + Nafeesa Edges,

Hometown Fellows '19



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© 2019 Lead For America


Mailing Address:

Lead For America
179 E Franklin St
PO Box 69

Chapel Hill, NC 27514