The Mesa Leadership Training & Development Program was inaugurated in 1981 with the belief that Mesa has potential leaders who are seeking the opportunity to serve and need the exposure to the information, organizations and leaders to make that service possible.

Forty years later, we are proud to say that over 800 alumni have graduated from the Mesa Leadership Training & Development Program. Many of our graduates have pursued public office, served on city boards and commissions and/or donated time and energy to benefit the city of Mesa and its residents.

Program Overview

The Program runs from August to May and includes monthly classes, tours and activities. Participation in Mesa Leadership is tracked using a point system. Points are accrued for classes, tours and activities. A minimum of 500 points is required for graduation. A complete packet with additional details will be provide at the first class.


There are nine class days, typically held on the first Friday of each month from 8am to 5pm. Each class highlights a different topic that relates to the city of Mesa such as city history, city government and administration, sustainable development, municipal services, the arts and education. Classes are led by leaders from community, business and non-profit organizations. Lunch and afternoon refreshments are provided.

Attendance at classes is a significant part of the program and absences must be approved. Any student who misses more than two (2) classes will not graduate with his/her class.


The class curriculum is augmented by a series of educational tours and activities to give participants access to the “inner workings” of Mesa. Tours are chosen based on the topics covered in monthly classes and have included trips to the Municipal Court, City Hall, Boeing, the Mesa Arts Center, United Food Bank, Phoenix- Gateway Airport and other locations.

Attendance at every tour is not required but students are encouraged to attend as many tours as possible to get the broadest exposure to the businesses, agencies and organizations that make up the Mesa community.


Each student must shadow a local leader and provide an oral and written report back to the class members and program advisors in order to earn the associated points. The shadowing activity is required for graduation.

Class Project

During the Program, the Mesa Leadership class is required to select and complete a class project which benefit residents or organizations in Mesa. Complete information will be provided at the first class. Participation in the class project is required for graduation.


Additional activities such as ride-a-longs with police, fire, code enforcement and parks departments and attending a board meeting for a non-profit organization is part of class participation. One ride-along and attendance at one non-profit board meeting is required for graduation.

Class Application 2022

The application period for the 2022 Mesa Leadership Training & Development program is January through May 2021. Class size is limited, therefore applications received outside of this window will be considered on a case by case basis, space allowing. Otherwise, applications will be held and reviewed for acceptance to a subsequent class.

Please complete all areas of the application. If you have questions, please contact us at [email protected].

Application Criteria

  1. Must be at least 25 years old by June 1, 2021.

  2. Maintain a residence or work in the City of Mesa at the time of application submission.

  3. Commit to completing the minimum requirements for Mesa Leadership Program participation and graduation.

  4. There is a $25 non-refundable application fee required at the time of application submission. If paying by check, please submit payment to the address below. Application will be processed when payment is received. The deadline to apply for admission to the Class of 2022 is May 15, 2021.

    Mesa Leadership Training & Development Program
    ATTN: Mesa Leadership Recruitment Chair
    165 N. Centennial Way #208
    Mesa, AZ 85201
    Make checks payable to: Mesa Business in Education Foundation

    You will receive notification when your application is accepted.

  5. Program tuition is $900 and is due in full by July 1, 2021. Your employer may be willing to assist with all or part of the tuition. Partial scholarships based on need may be available through Mesa Leadership and applications are due May 15, 2021. Contact Recruitment Chair at [email protected].

  6. Tuition will not be reimbursed to applicants who are selected, and for any reason, cannot complete the Program requirements for graduation.

The Mesa Leadership Training & Development Program is a 501(c)3 supported by the Mesa Chamber of Commerce and is part of the Mesa Business in Education Foundation. The Program is administered by volunteers who serve as board members, program and curriculum development committees and community liaisons.

Mesa Leadership does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, ancestry, age, religion or religious creed, disability, sex or gender.