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A renewed American community.
A more perfect union.
From all of us, for all of us.

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

The opioid crisis. Intergenerational poverty. Ecological devastation.

The problems facing our communities are immense.

Amerra Webster-Yaqui,

Hometown Fellow '19

Our Approach

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 person understands 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.


Shandiin Herrera,

Hometown Fellow '19

Grant Kirkpatrick + 
Lorenzo Johnson,

Hometown Fellows '19

Our Beliefs


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.

Joe Nail, CEO

Our Impact to Date

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

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

Our Stories 


Suidi Hashi + Nafeesa Edges,

Hometown Fellow