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Executive Leadership in the Not-for-Profit Sector

Program Overview

This program offers professionals in leadership positions the knowledge and skills to be effective leaders in directing staff and programs as well as overall organizational management. In order to adapt to the continued challenges posed by changing social policies and accountability to communities, leaders need to be adept at assuming a vast array of responsibilities.
The program strengthens participants’ management skills, but the primary focus is on developing their leadership practice in not-for-profit human services settings.  Leadership requires commitment, focus, ethics, and vision. This program explores all of these factors as they apply to working with staff, funders, and government agencies. Students in this course gain an understanding of the real world of not-for-profit management, including how to work with constituencies from grass-roots community organizations to members of the board. Students will reflect upon their leadership practice, examine current research and work on cultivating their unique leadership style and approaches. Students will identify a challenge that they face in their organizations, develop skills for diagnosing it and create and implement an action plan. This is an applied, intensive and interactive course designed to strengthen students’ capacities for reflective leadership practice.
This course is targeted to social workers and other human services professionals with at least 5 years of management/leadership experience who are in senior management positions or middle managers on track to become senior managers.

From the Director: Interview with Phil Coltoff, MSW, LSW

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Program Requirements

The Executive Leadership Certificate Program meets Tuesdays from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm from February through April for eight (8) two-and-one-half (2.5) hour sessions. Assignments include weekly readings and a final learning assessment in the form of a project or test.

Great leaders don't set out to be a leader. They set out to make a difference. It's never about the role; it's about the goal."
- Lisa Haisha

Program Highlights

  • Adaptive Leadership, a practical leadership framework that helps individuals and organizations adapt and thrive in challenging environments
  • Guest lecturers including current and former CEOs, government officials (such as New York Times Corner Office* columnist and author Adam Bryant and Adaptive Leadership consultant, Marc Manashil)
  • Hiring and talent development
  • Development and fiscal management
  • Stakeholder relations (board, community, government)
  • Case studies
*Corner Office is a weekly column in the Sunday Business Section of the
New York Times focused on leadership and management issues via
interviews with leading CEOs.

2015-16 Program Calendar

Tuesday (4:00 pm to 6:30 pm)
  • February 16, 23
  • March 1, 8, 22, 29
  • April 12, 19, 26

Continuing Education Contact Hours

20 NYSED-approved Contact Hours will be awarded for this program.

Apply Now

To apply for this program, please click on the application link below.

You will be taken to a new page and prompted to set up an application account.  Once you create an application account, you will be able to begin an application for one of our certificate programs.  Make sure to select the application for "Executive Leadership in the Not-for-Profit Sector" from the list of available applications.

NOTE: If you have an NYU email address, you should not use this email address when creating the application account.

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This certificate program was a rewarding experience. The course has helped to replenish and motivate me to think and integrate innovative ideas into practice. It has also helped me to understand the various dynamics and structures of a non-profit organization and what role I play in it. With every session, I walked away with tools that I could use in my daily management and practice. This program reminded me of the importance of investing in myself and taking the time to participate in a learning environment that will help prepare me for the next steps in my career.
- Rodney Lee, MSW, Deputy Director, Children’s Aid Society