Designed for participants at the Director level (D1/D2), the UN Leaders Programme explores successful leadership approaches, innovation and transformation practices, as well as their application to UN and international leadership.


UN leaders are expected to provide aspirational guidance and practical solutions to the complex challenges our world is facing, often in challenging conditions. The rapid pace of change in today’s world means that the best leaders are the ones who approach their leadership practice with a 'growth mindset'.

Participants in the UN Leaders Programme explore leadership in the context of innovation, transformation, collaboration and resilience; reflecting on strong and successful leadership approaches and their application, and forging deeper connections with colleagues from across the international and UN system through peer exchange and collegial support.

The UN System Leadership Framework (UNSLF) and the Adaptive Leadership Framework serve as the foundational frameworks woven throughout and informing this programme journey.


Through what will be an interactive online and in-person learning solution, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on emerging challenges, trends and opportunities based on a systemic view of the UN’s operations.
  • Interact with renowned experts and your peers, gaining insights and inspiration on how to respond to, and even anticipate, typical leadership challenges.
  • Build a peer support network, characterized by deep connection, collaboration, and partnership and re-energize!
Course methodology

The programme journey comprises three phases:

1. Online Preliminary Phase – (Estimated Time Commitment: 6.5 hours)

As part of this phase, you will:

  • Attend the programme orientation (2.5 hours)
  • Complete an e-learning module on the Adaptive Leadership Framework (3 hours)
  • Complete the UN 360-degree Leadership Assessment, based on the UN System Leadership Framework (UNSLF) (0.5 hour)
  • Formulate and reflect on a personal leadership challenge that you would like to work on (0.5 hour)

2. Core Programme Phase – (Estimated Time Commitment: 24 - 26 hours); In-person sessions in Glen Cove, New York from 15 to 18 April

Over a period of four days of in-person sessions, you will unpack and reflect on how to live out and practice the principles and ideals envisioned in the UN System Leadership Framework, complemented with tools and best practices from the Adaptive Leadership approach.

There will be approximately ½ hour of pre-work to be reviewed before each session.

3. Online Follow-up & Consolidation Phase – (Estimated Time Commitment: 7 hours)

During the Follow-up and Consolidation Phase, you will:

  • Work virtually in small groups, using a peer consulting protocol to reflect on your personal leadership challenge (4 hours)
  • This process will run over a couple of weeks, following which you will re-group with your cohort to debrief, action plan, and wrap-up the programme journey, over one synchronous webinar sessions (3 hours)

Executive Coaching to Contextualize the Programme Journey (Time Commitment: 2.5 hours)

Throughout the programme, you will work with an executive coach on pre-identified touchpoints to help contextualize the programme experience to your leadership practice and organizational context. There will be two such touchpoints of 90 minutes and 60 minutes respectively.

Course contents

The programme focuses on the following five thematic areas:

  1. Leading with Purpose - Delving into the UN’s unique organizational context and reflecting on the leaders we are called to be.
  2. Leadership in Action - Understanding how leaders can create the enabling conditions for their team and the organization to deliver on the organizational mission effectively.
  3. Leading Yourself – Highlighting the UN Mental Health Strategy, and drawing on neuroscience and mindfulness research, to foster self and team well-being and resilience.
  4. Leadership @ Work – Using a case-based approach to unpack the Four Ways of Working from the UN System Leadership Framework.
  5. Leadership Toolkit - Working through effective communication and presentation as tools to carry forward on your leadership journey.
Target audience

Senior UN staff at the D1 – D2 levels;

Senior staff operating in relevant fields of international cooperation. By open enrolment or nomination. (Please note that some UN organizations follow an internal nomination process to identify candidates for the programme).

Cost of participation

The fee is $6,750 which includes access to all sessions, assessments, executive coaching, and course materials.