Leadership Programs

In lieu of hosting the annual NIXLA Academy, we are offering smaller diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) intensives in our Professional Development Accelerator Series. These series address pressing current issues and provide leaders with consolidated, affordable leadership and development opportunities, via an online learning experience. Each accelerator is just three hours and focuses on a specific relevant DEI topic. Like in the NIXLA program, participants can attend as an individual learner or with a team of 5 to 25.


The National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy is a five-week, synchronous, online leadership development program. As the foremost qualification in its field, it is designed for experienced leaders who are responsible for thinking strategically about their institutions’ change agendas with regards to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

The Academy is dedicated to helping participants boost their Strategic Diversity Leadership skills, disrupt the status quo at their institutions, and become innovative game changers around DEI issues. Our vision is to build an outstanding cohort of leaders from across the country, who will collectively transform the higher educational landscape.

The annual NIXLA Academy is a powerful journey for those who are committed to making real and meaningful change in their lives, organizations and wider communities.

Our world-class program provides individualized support within a powerful group environment. It is designed to benefit senior leaders and staff; faculty members; chief diversity officers; deans; diversity committee chairs and members; diversity, inclusion and multicultural affairs officers; department chairs; and all those involved in student affairs, business affairs, enrollment management, legal counsel, marketing and communications, and academic affairs. The Academy serves higher education as well as select K-12 independent schools.

Academy BrochureFunding Request Toolkit


While the videos, resources, and tools used by the Academy are world-class, the true magic of the program is in the peer-to-peer connections. The Academy environment is designed to facilitate powerful teamwork and to encourage each participant to learn, grow and stretch. Each participant will work intensively within a five-person strategy team, and will also have opportunities to interact across the entire leadership cohort.

Within the Academy experience, your peers are just as integral to your learning as the faculty members and facilitators. You will be learning alongside talented academic and business leaders who represent widely diverse functions, industries and geographies.

You will remember (and be changed by) your fellow learners, building a community that will stay with you for many years to come. This is why the program is highly selective and competitive, designed to assemble an outstanding cohort of leaders who are committed to taking and continuing this journey together.


Each National Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy assembles a cohort of change-makers who will collectively challenge each other to go further than they ever expected.

Unlike most leadership courses, the Academy is more than just a one-off intervention. Our vision is to create a sustainable movement of change—not just during the program itself, but for many decades to come. The community and networks you build while at the Academy will continue to enhance your career long into the future, and provide a supportive network for your ongoing work in the diversity and inclusion field.

This experience will enrich your personal brand by adding respected leadership credentials in your professional development portfolio. Our certification will help you demonstrate competence, pursue new opportunities, command compensation, and illustrate your personal commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Here are just some of the concrete benefits of attending the Academy:

  • Professional Development Credential: You will be added into the LinkedIn “Inclusive Excellence Alumni Fellow” official community membership.
  • Letter of Commendation: You will receive a letter certifying your participation in the Academy (traditional and digital format).
  • Formal Certificate: We will send you a framed certificate of participation and learning.
  • Individual Development Vision: You will develop a personal Inclusive Excellence Leadership Manifesto.
  • Institutional Impact Plan: During the Academy, you will develop an Institutional Translation Plan to bring the transformation home.
Funding Request Toolkit


An immersive, dynamic experience, the annual Inclusive Excellence Leadership Academy will equip you with the tools, experiences and skills to lead change at your home institution. Attending the Academy will sharpen your understanding of the artful science of Strategic Diversity Leadership though learning, collaboration, application and reflection on what it takes to make real change happen.

The Academy program features:

  • Live online seminars
  • Live online “burning question” dialogue sessions
  • Exclusive video learning modules
  • Digital tools and resources
  • Real-world diversity and inclusion case studies
  • Small, high-intensity strategy teams
  • Best-in-class books, briefs and strategy templates
  • Individual learning and development plans
  • Personal and institutional coaching, along with world-class facilitation


You can attend the Academy from your home or workplace, but it does require a significant investment of both time and effort. Do not apply for the program if you cannot make a five-week, intensive commitment to yourself and your learning community.

Here are some minimum expectations, to help you understand what to expect from the Academy experience:

  • 15+ hours of course readings
  • 15+ hours of online video module content
  • 15 hours total of live class time (3 hours per week)
  • 12 hours total of live team time with your strategy pod (3 hours per week)
  • Preparation of one Individual Leadership Development Project
  • Preparation of one Institutional Translation Project with your strategy pod
  • Preparation of three Institutional Case Study Strategy Team Projects
  • Optional participation in “burning question” discussion forums
  • 1-2 hours of individual or team leadership coaching per week

Note that all readings, case studies, videos and tools will be provided approximately 14-21 days before program launch. Participants should plan to familiarize themselves with these materials prior to the launch of the Academy program. This effort ensures maximum group, application, reflection and team-time benefits for all participants.

Note also that you are expected to invest in a minimum of three hours of team interaction per week. The Academy is a rigorous leadership environment and it requires a thoughtful commitment from you, your family and your institution to make it truly work.

We expect you to work harder than you have ever previously worked online. In return, you will receive a significant level of professional, individualized support, along with a range of appropriate tools, and a community who are collectively striving to improve their abilities as strategic diversity leaders to do meaningful work that will create genuine change in the world.


  • Leaders will develop their own tailored Inclusive Excellence Leadership Manifesto & Institutional Translation Plan, by articulating the educational and business cases for diversity and inclusion at their home institutions, clarifying their own personal values and beliefs, and setting out the practical and actionable steps to be taken on their return.
  • Leaders will boost their strategic diversity leadership skills, by contributing and sharing their professional experience, participating in high-impact strategy teams, and engaging in real-world case-study activities.
  • Leaders will understand the Inclusive Excellence Model, with its multi-dimensional focus on diversity and inclusion, broadly defined to include race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, disability, internationalization, and economic background.
  • Leaders will understand the principles of developing and implementing institutional diversity plans, by leveraging accountability, incentive, infrastructure, and resource (AIIR) techniques, along with story-telling and branding, as part of their dedicated change management plans.
  • Leaders will engage in deliberate and guided practice as they respond to institutional diversity crisis scenarios, and develop multi-dimensional plans to tangibly improve the campus climate for students, faculty, and staff.
  • Leaders will understand the principles of developing a winning diversity recruitment and retention strategy for faculty and staff, by leveraging an aggressive “strategic sourcing” approach, setting realistic goals, balancing legal risk, and building supportive teams.


The Academy experience is highly intensive and requires a significant commitment from all participants. While this experience is not for everyone, if you know someone who might benefit from the program, we hope you will share this link and encourage their application through our competitive selection process.