Leadership Network for Change Programs

Leadership Network for Change event

Leadership Network for Change Programs


CDDRL's practitioner-based training programs engage emerging civic leaders and social entrepreneurs who are working to achieve or deepen democracy and social justice in some of the most challenging environments around the world.

Golden Gate Bridge

Draper Hills Summer Fellowship Program

Draper Hills Summer Fellows in front of Encina HallLaunched in 2005, the Draper Hills Summer Fellowship on Democracy and Development Program is a three-week academic training program that is hosted annually at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. The program brings together a group of approximately 28 mid-career practitioners from transitioning countries that are working to advance democratic practices and reform in countries where democracy is at risk. From Afghanistan to Ukraine, our program participants are selected from among hundreds of applicants for the significant contributions they have made to their societies. In 2019 we had more than 1000 applications for our incoming class making this a highly selective program.

DHSF  is unique to academia because it provides a forum for civil society leaders to connect, exchange experiences, and receive academic training to enrich their knowledge and advance their work. Delivered by a leading Stanford faculty team composed of Michael McFaul, Kathryn Stoner, Stephen Krasner, Francis Fukuyama, Larry Diamond, and Erik Jensen, these seminars allow emerging leaders to explore new institutional models and frameworks to enhance their ability to promote democratic change in their home countries. Esteemed guest lectures are also presented by individuals from the greater Stanford community Pamela Karlan, Condoleezza Rice and Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuellar, and outside of Stanford such as Eric Schmidt (Former CEO Google), Carl Gershman (National Endowment for Democracy).

Our fellows live on the Stanford campus and become part of university life during the duration of their fellowship. Visits to Silicon Valley technology and social media firms broaden our fellows’ networks and allow them to examine the tensions between technology and democracy. They also deliver TED-style talks to refine their storytelling skills and learn how to communicate their work to a global audience.

Learn more about the Draper Hills Summer Fellowship on Democracy and Development Program

LAD Book panel

Leadership Academy for Development

Fukuyama teaching a workshopThe Leadership Academy for Development (LAD) at Stanford University trains carefully selected government officials and business leaders from developing countries who have responsibility for crafting policies and programs that will strengthen the private sector’s role as a constructive force for economic growth and poverty alleviation in their countries. Using a specially designed, innovative curriculum, LAD’s week-long intensive course modules provide participants with a robust analytical framework that will strengthen their ability to act as effective catalysts for policy reform in countries where government capacity to drive change is relatively weak. From a multi-disciplinary idea born in 2010, LAD has grown into a successful and far-reaching education program. 

With minimal staffing and a bare-bones budget, LAD has developed an original, robust curriculum and formed solid, ongoing institutional partnerships on three continents. We have executed successful programs in Peru, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Kurdistan and South Africa (among others) and taught over 1500 rising leaders from 60+ developing countries.

Originally based at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, LAD is now housed within the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, part of Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Funding to support LAD programs has been generously provided by individual donors, Luminate Group, the Hurford Foundation, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, and Stanford.

Learn more about the Leadership Academy for Development

UELP cityscape background

Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program

UELP in Bechtel Conf CenterThe Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program (UELP) is a 10-month academic training fellowship hosted at Stanford University. The program was founded in 2016 by the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute together with Oleksandr and Kateryna Akymenko (Stanford John S. Knight fellows) as an initiative to address development challenges in Ukraine and across the broader region.

UELP provides a unique opportunity to three mid-career practitioners working actively as policy-makers, legal professionals, entrepreneurs, and leaders of civil society organizations in Ukraine to visit one of the world’s leading research universities for an academic year. The program is designed to facilitate capacity building for fellows through faculty mentorship, community engagement, courses, events and site visits to Silicon Valley technology firms. UELP has been funded with generous support from Astem.Foundation (Rustem Umerov), Believe in Yourself Foundation (Victor and Iryna Ivanchyk), Dragon Capital (Tomas Fiala), MacPaw (Oleksandr Kosovan), Luminate, Liudy Maybutnoho (Svyatoslav Vakarchuk), and the Western NIS Enterprise Fund.

Learn more about the Ukrainian Emerging Leaders Program

Alumni Spotlight

In their spare time, LNC alumni both spearhead and collaborate on efforts to change public policy for the better. Check back here for project highlights and achievements featuring network members.
Elsa D’Silva Video

Elsa D’Silva's Series of Online Lectures on Uban Spaces and Safety during the Pandemic

LNC alumni Elsa D’Silva, Prathima Manohar, Shaili Chopra, and Nappinai NS partnered to host Learning Labs on Safe Urban Spaces in India. Rather than let a “little” thing like the COVID-19 pandemic stop them, they moved their panels online. This playlist features collaborations with other LNC alumni.