Cultivating, inspiring and challenging our region’s leaders

Leadership Charleston

Leadership Charleston

Through community immersion and interactions with diverse leaders, Leadership Charleston is cultivating leaders and igniting the advancement of the Charleston metro. The Chamber has been running this program for over 45 years – offering an intensive and up-close look at the most challenging issues and opportunities facing our region.

Leadership Charleston is a yearlong program that engages participants in experiences that help them become better community leaders.

Applications for the Leadership Charleston Class of 2021 are now closed. Sign up to be notified when applications open for the class of 2022.

The Leadership Charleston Class of 2021 has been announced! Congratulations!

5 Reasons to Apply

  • Expand your leadership capacity through immersion into the realities and opportunities of our community
  • Collaborate with the region’s top community leaders and organizations
  • Develop deep relationships with a network of diverse colleagues
  • Gain valuable insight into the most challenging issues facing our region
  • Inspire change in our region

Leadership Charleston Program Information

  • Demonstrate leadership in your community.
  • Be employed by a Chamber member company.
  • Have an interest in furthering your knowledge about the Charleston Metro Area and community leadership.
  • Commit to full participation in the Leadership Charleston program – the program requires a major time commitment.
  • Attend a mandatory orientation session on August 26, 2020 at Wild Dunes Resort.
  • Become active participants in advancing the community and making a positive contribution to the Charleston region post-graduation.
Application Process
  • Applications for the Leadership Charleston Class of 2021 are now closed.
  • If you submitted your application before 5:00 p.m. on Friday, July 24, you will receive confirmation of receipt within 48 hours of sending your application. If you do not receive confirmation, please follow up by email to to verify your application was sent correctly.
  • A letter of endorsement must be received by July 24. This should be completed by your company Chief Executive or local area executive. This can be uploaded with your application or sent by email to with the subject line Leadership Charleston Letter of Endorsement.
  • Upon acceptance, a headshot and profile information will be required.
  • You will need to supply an email address that Leadership Charleston can use to communicate important program information throughout the class year. The class will also utilize social platforms for communication (google forms, etc.).
Selection Process
  • All completed applications will be reviewed by a committee comprised of Leadership Charleston Alumni during a blind process.
  • Leadership Charleston class size is limited. If you are not accepted into this class, you are encouraged to reapply for an upcoming Leadership Charleston program.


  • Applications open June 1 – July 24
  • Select 2021 class participants late July
  • Notify all applications of acceptance status by early August
  • Tuition payment required upon acceptance and before August 19
  • Press announcement of class in August
Program Sessions & Attendance


Leadership Charleston begins with an orientation session on August 26 at Wild Dunes Resort and then meets one full day per month from September 2020 through July 2021.


Each of these monthly program days is focused on a facet of the community (i.e. local government, military, philanthropy, economic development, etc.). August 2021 is a final wrap-up session and a graduation celebration.


Attendance is mandatory for the virtual orientation on August 26. The monthly sessions are normally the third Thursday of each month. Only two absences for the one-day sessions will be allowed throughout the program. The schedule for each month’s sessions is below. Class members are also required to attend community meetings and a police ride-along on their own time outside of the monthly meetings.

  • August 26 – (Mandatory Orientation; Wednesday)
  • September 24, 2020 (Thursday)
  • October 13-15, 2020 (Thursday)
  • November 19, 2020 (Thursday)
  • December 17, 2020 (Thursday)
  • January 21, 2021 (Thursday)
  • February 10, 2021 (Wednesday)
  • March 18, 2021 (Thursday)
  • April 15, 2021 (Thursday)
  • May 20, 2021 (Thursday)
  • June 17, 2021 (Thursday)
  • July 15, 2021 (Thursday)
  • August 2021 (Graduation; date TBD)

Tuition for the Leadership Class of 2021 is $2,950 for participants employed by Chamber member companies/organizations. Upon acceptance to the class, tuition is due in full by August 19, 2020.

Tuition fee payments are final and are not refundable once the applicant has accepted their spot in the class. The deadline to submit your application is July 24.

Thank you to our 2021 sponsors

Presenting Sponsors
Training Sponsor

In Their Words

Leadership Charleston allowed me the opportunity to learn about important industries and issues in the region, along with tools to be a more effective and mindful leader.

Chelsea Ex-Lubeskie, Class of 2019

Want more information about Leadership Charleston?

Contact Us!