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Leadership Institute

The Leadership Institute is a comprehensive professional development program designed to help current and future leaders in nutrition, health and wellness develop leadership, communication and career development skills—including executive presence, project management and decision making, interpersonal communication, strategic planning and team building. Through a combination of self-directed study, in-person training, networking opportunities, small group projects and virtual learning, participants will gain hands-on experience to become more effective leaders.

This program walks participants through a multi-faceted approach to leadership that fosters and deepens professional relationships while helping advance and elevate the role of the RDN and NDTR. Additional emphasis is placed on the intersection of developing as a leader and all facets impacting both personal and professional experiences. The program is intended for high-potential members who are looking to advance their leadership skills and accelerate their career growth.

The Leadership Institute spans approximately seven months from selection to completion. It includes live virtual programming, self-directed content and coaching and concludes at a face-to-face meeting prior to the annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo™.

The Leadership Institute program includes:

  • Leadership Institute registration

  • FNCE® registration

  • Round-trip domestic airfare for FNCE® and the Leadership Institute conclusion meeting

  • Two nights, single room hotel stay, live events and related meals

  • More than 60 CPEUs

  • Cost: $2,900

Frequently Asked Questions 

There are two avenues for participation: nomination by an affiliate, dietetic practice group or member interest group (approximately 80 seats) or application (approximately 70 seats).

Each state affiliate, DPG and MIG is invited to nominate and send members who have demonstrated leadership potential and interest in the long-term success of the Academy. Nominees must meet qualifying criteria and are required to submit a letter of recommendation from their respective Chair, President or President-Elect. While each Academy group and affiliate is encouraged to nominate at least one affiliate, DPG or MIG member, nominees are not guaranteed acceptance until approved by the Academy.

The other way Leadership Institute participants are selected are through an open application process for Academy members who are passionate about advancing the profession and becoming leaders in their fields.

The Leadership Institute is designed to provide leadership training and skill development across experience levels and practice areas and is intended for Academy members  who are passionate, engaged and well-positioned to take on leadership roles. It is designed to support both established professionals and current leaders interested in sharpening their skills as well as early- to mid-career members interested in pursuing leadership roles in the future.

Applicants are required to submit their resume or curriculum vitae and complete an online application form. Applications are evaluated using a standardized scorecard and selected based on:

  • Professional and scholastic excellence
  • Impactful contributions to the field of nutrition
  • Leadership aptitude
  • Professional visibility
  • Effective communication skills
  • Passion for advancing the nutrition and dietetics profession

No. The Leadership Institute is intended for members of any experience level who are seeking to advance their leadership skills. The intent is to cultivate current and future generations of leaders who reflect the vast range of experiences, skills, areas of expertise and characteristics that reflect our organization and professional now and moving forward.

Yes. All applicants must submit an application. State affiliates, DPG and MIG can nominate members from their respective organization. Those nominees need to submit an individual application form. all applicants will be prompted during the application process to indicate if they are representing a specific organization and will need to put the contact name and email address for the leader who is putting their name forward as a representative. The applicant will also need to indicate how much of the $2,900 fee will be covered by the nominating group.


Note: Affiliates, DPGs and MIGs are encouraged but not required to send a member to the Leadership Institute. In addition, any expectations of the nominated participant (e.g. reporting outcomes or sharing highlights of the experience) is determined by each affiliate, DPG or MIG. The Academy tracks and shares outcomes of the cohort projects.

Yes. Specific information about Continuing Professional Education Units is included in the materials for each year's program.

The Leadership Institute application and nomination process opens in February. A maximum of 100 individuals are selected for each cohort. The first round of notifications will be sent out in late March. Any remaining seats will be allocated using a rolling application process up through May each year. The application process will remain open with any additional applicants allocated to the next cohort.

Join the Academy

Members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics receive exciting benefits including complimentary continuing professional education opportunities, discounts on events and products in, invitations to exclusive members-only events and more!