Academy plans to groom emerging leaders

Written by Kirtika Suneja | Updated: Nov 24 2011, 05:46am hrs
After setting up the country's first academy to train leaders from the not-for-profit sector, American Express now plans to link it with similar initiatives across the world. Judy Tenzer, the company's vice-president for corporate social responsibility tells FE's Kirtika Suneja that the academy will help this sector as civil society is increasingly making its presence felt in India. Excerpts:

What was the idea behind this academy

This is a new concept in India and we found three areas that meshed well with the American Express themes regarding historic preservation, leadership development and community services. The American Express Leadership Academy in India will help develop the country's emerging leaders who are dedicated and poised to be at the helm of not-for-profit sector. The inaugural class of the academy will participate in a five-day programme created in partnership with Common Purpose, independent international leadership development organisation. This programme is also happening in the US, UK and Japan.

What is the focus of the academy in India and who all can enrol in it

The academy will bring together 24 emerging leaders from 12 non-profit organisations supporting causes including child rights, community building, education, and environment. It is part of a broader commitment from the American Express Foundation to work with these and other organisations to develop a diverse pool of world-class leaders committed to working in the not-for-profit sector. Leaders 6-10 years of experience can enrol in this.

How is the curriculum designed for this programme

The five-day programme comprises different instructive training, experiential and peer learning besides outside visits. There is no course fee and the programme is a residential one. It will occur once a year.

On what basis are the not-for-profit organisations selected from the applications received

We choose organisations which cross different sectors like environment, children's education, and homeless kids along with their reputation. If the organisation is making a mark through its services, it is selected. Factors like geographical diversity, issues for better learning and leadership potential are considered before the organisations nominate their representatives who then finally come here.

How will the participants of the programme in India connect with their counterparts in other parts of the world

We have created an online alumni network where these 24 people can communicate with others and bring together the content from all others academies.