50 Innovative Nonprofit Leaders Convene at American Express' Annual Leadership Academy Alumni Summit

Jocelyn Seidenfeld  212-640-0555


Event Unites Graduates of the American Express Leadership Academy and Representatives of Prominent Leadership Development Programs to Further Develop the Sector’s Leadership Pipeline

NEW YORK, April 4, 2016 – American Express will host its second annual Leadership Academy Alumni Summit in New York on April 4 and 5, celebrating nine years of an industry-defining program that has developed more than 2,000 nonprofit and social purpose leaders. Distinguished program alumni will collaborate with representatives from ten top leadership development and entrepreneurship organizations, including Aspen Institute, Ashoka Changemakers, Points of Light, and Thunderbird School of Global Management, to advance the sector’s impact on society.

The Summit continues American Express’ commitment to tackling the deficit of leadership development programs in the nonprofit space, an issue identified in a recent study by the Bridgespan Group. In fact, 98 percent of Summit attendees cited leadership development programs as critical to the sector’s progression.

“For nearly a decade, American Express has dedicated a pillar of its philanthropic mission to strengthening the nonprofit and social purpose leadership pipelines,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “The Summit celebrates the accomplishments of our Leadership Academy alumni and is a rare opportunity to bring together the next generation of changemakers, ensuring that strong, emerging leaders remain excited about the future of the sector.”

Produced in partnership with Atlas Corps, the Summit will feature a variety of workshops and panel discussions, designed to provide participants with a stronger network and vital leadership skills.

To share the Summit’s teachings with emerging leaders worldwide, American Express will live stream a panel discussion featuring Tammy Tibbetts, founder and president, She’s the First, and Shawn Dove, founder and chief executive officer, the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, who will discuss their personal experiences and methods for leading during challenging times, on Monday, April 4 at 4:00 p.m. (ET). Members of the public are encouraged to register for the live stream here and join the conversation via Twitter using #amexleads.

The attendees include world class leaders who are tackling some of society’s most complex issues, impacting sectors ranging from education, the arts, social services, health, the environment and more. Notably, Simeon Ogonda, founder and chairperson, Enterprise Education-4 Change will be recognized with the American Express Leadership Academy Award, for his work promoting mentorship programs for college students and adapting technologies in rural areas of Kenya. His organization, will also receive a $25,000 grant from the American Express Foundation.

“The American Express Leadership Academy and its alumni network have provided me with the opportunity to learn new skills and engage in more creative collaborations with my peers," said Mr. Ogonda. “This American Express Leadership Academy Award will allow us to fund additional initiatives, increasing our small scale enterprise training program and advancing our mission across Kenya.”

To learn more about Mr. Ogonda and read the biographies of all 50 Alumni selected to participate in the Summit, please visit here.

Launched in 2008, in partnership with The Center for Creative Leadership, the Leadership Academy develops the personal, business and leadership skills of emerging nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs. Academies are tailored to fit cultural nuances and serve different nonprofit needs, such as social entrepreneurship and international nonprofit organizations. In 2016, nearly 700 nonprofit leaders and social entrepreneurs will participate in these global Leadership Academy programs.

To date, American Express has hosted more than 70 Leadership Academy sessions, with 10 partners in nine countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, India, Japan, Mexico Canada, China, Senegal and Kenya.


About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpresslinkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

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About American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow

One of American Express' three philanthropic platforms is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognizes the significance of strong leadership in the nonprofit and social purpose sectors, American Express makes grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century. More than 16,000 emerging nonprofit and social sector leaders worldwide have benefitted from American Express leadership programs, including the American Express Leadership Academy among others. Launched in 2008, the American Express Leadership Academy addresses the growing deficit of leadership talent in the nonprofit sector by bringing together emerging leaders from a diverse set of nonprofit, social sector and non-governmental organizations. For leadership journey stories and additional resources, visit http://leaderstories.org/.


American Express
Jocelyn Seidenfeld