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Become a Part of Arkansas’ Future Network of Business Leaders

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Leadership Arkansas is a unique program designed to take a comprehensive view of the economic and political challenges that face this state. First introduced in 2005 by the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce and Associated Industries of Arkansas, Leadership Arkansas allows individuals to experience first-hand the dynamic interactions between cities, industries, governmental units and the people they serve.

Leadership Arkansas is grounded in the belief that real progress is achieved by bringing diverse interests and backgrounds together. Through shared experiences and frequent interactions, Leadership Arkansas participants, facilitators and alumni learn and grow as they advance through an innovative nine-month program designed to expose class members to the challenges and opportunities of our local communities and their impact on the state.


Leadership Arkansas has helped more than 950 graduates deepen their background and understanding of issues facing the state and provided them with effective tools to develop initiatives to improve the quality of life in Arkansas. We have also helped create a statewide community to generate dialogue on those issues, setting the stage for progress throughout the state.

Participants have been developing, strengthening and connecting with emerging leaders in Arkansas for several years. Many of our program graduates become well-established political, business and community leaders.


The mission of Leadership Arkansas is to build a strong, diverse, statewide network of leaders with a shared commitment to connect our communities and to make Arkansas a better place in which to live and prosper.

Leadership Arkansas sessions include: 

  • Annual educational, issues-oriented, nine-month class program.
  • Eight day-and-a-half sessions held in various communities throughout the state.
  • Arkansas leaders who represent a wide geographic base and who have diverse backgrounds and vocations.
  • Exposure to the many social and environmental complexities of the state.
  • On-site demonstrations and tours.
  • Diverse geographical and cultural experiences.
  • Insight into the people, places and history that influence public policies.
  • Fun and casual settings that foster new relationships and camaraderie.

Class members gain:

  • An inclusive network of colleagues and resources.
  • A broad understanding of state issues and developments.
  • A better sense of personal leadership potential and enhanced leadership skills.
  • Employers and sponsoring organizations acquire:
  • Employees connected to a diverse network of dynamic leaders.
  • Individuals with knowledge to discuss a variety of issues at the state and community levels.
  • Staff energized and motivated to apply program information to organization situations.
  • Leaders prepared to address issues and keep companies in action.


The Leadership Arkansas Selection Committee seeks to identify individuals most likely to use their leadership abilities for the long-term benefit of the state of Arkansas. Class size is typically between 45 and 50. Due to space limitations, several highly qualified applicants may not be selected for Class XIX.

Applicants who are not selected are encouraged to apply in subsequent years.

The selection committee will seek diversity in areas including, but not limited to, profession, geography, education, state of career, ethnicity and gender. Leadership Arkansas does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, religion, sexual orientation or national origin.

Successful candidates will be well-rounded and actively involved in many facets of their communities, such as business, education, the arts, religion, government, community-based organizations and volunteer service, and will reflect the diversity of Arkansas’ communities. Prior leadership program participation is not required but may be noted on your application.


Leadership Arkansas’ tuition fee is due upon notice of acceptance into the program and will cover the cost of meals and hospitality during each session. Participants will be responsible for their own lodging expenses at each session apart from the orientation retreat on Sept. 15-17, 2024. Participants will also be responsible for their own travel expenses.


Leadership Arkansas will make a limited number of partial, need-based scholarships available to candidates for whom tuition presents a barrier to participation. Please know that Leadership Arkansas may not be able to provide the full amount requested but will work with you to create an affordable payment plan. Contact Toni Lindsey at tlindsey@arkansasstatechamber.com to request tuition assistance.

All inquiries are kept confidential and must be made before the application deadline.

(To ensure your inquiry doesn’t get lost, please put LAR19 Tuition Assistance in the subject line.)

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