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©Zaara Kidwai

About the leadership institute

Nearly 70 percent of leaders in the wildlife profession are projected to retire in the next decade. TWS has a responsibility to prepare its members to meet the pressing need for well-prepared wildlife professionals and fulfills part of that responsibility through the TWS Leadership Institute.

The Leadership Institute is an annual course established in 2006 to provide a select group of 10-15 promising TWS members with leadership training. The Leadership Institute consists of intensive activities and mentoring relationships that prepare participants for leadership positions, both in their workplace and in TWS.

Participation in the Leadership Institute is geared towards early-career professionals who are two to three years out of school (either undergraduate or graduate school), currently working full-time in a wildlife professional position, and have demonstrated evidence of their leadership potential. A small number of slots may also be available for more recent graduates who have shown strong evidence of their leadership potential or for those who are working while concurrently pursuing a graduate degree.

Class of 2024

The application period for 2023 Leadership Institute is closed. Read more about our 2023 class here!

Check back in January 2024 for more information on how to apply to The Wildlife Society’s flagship leadership training program.

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©Ana Sapp

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©Mackenzie Taylor


From across the U.S. and Canada, Leadership Institute alumni represent the leading conservation organizations charged with managing and conserving North American’s wildlife and habitats – state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academia. Together, these alumni serve as the foundation for the next generation of wildlife leaders.

View a list of TWS Leadership Institute Alumni

Alumni are encouraged to stay engaged with the Leadership Institute via volunteer opportunities and/or events during TWS’ Annual Conference. To learn more about ways to share news, leadership development opportunities, and stay connected with other alumni and TWS, please contact leadership@wildlife.org.


For more information on the Leadership Institute, please contact leadership@wildlife.org