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The Snelling Center for Government created the Vermont Leadership Institute (“VLI”) in 1995, with the goal of stimulating citizen enthusiasm for and participation in public service. The Institute gives participants the information, tools and inspiration to make greater contributions to their organizations, to their communities and to Vermont.


VLI is an intensive program consisting of eight overnight sessions, totaling nineteen seminar days between September and June. Each session is held in a different region of the state to convey a sense of Vermont’s rich historic, geographic and cultural diversity.


  • VLI recruits Vermont professionals from the private, public and nonprofit sectors.
  • VLI engages outstanding faculty from across the state and throughout the nation.
  • Participants learn directly from a variety of other leaders and their stories.
  • Experiential activities, journaling and small-group conversations encourage exploration of individual and organizational values and options.
  • The learning environment features an appreciative, collaborative approach and lively interaction.
  • Thoughtful support for and among participants—before and during sessions—develops from the very beginning.


  • A keener understanding of yourself and your impact on others.
  • Habits of reflection, listening and inquiry.
  • Ability to bring a systems perspective to key complex issues.
  • Awareness, empathy and authentic engagement with those of diverse backgrounds, viewpoints and styles.
  • Heartfelt connections and a bias for collaborative leadership.
  • Tools and inspiration to lead transformative change both professionally and personally.
  • A long-lasting and supportive network post-graduation.

Please see:

VLI Curriculum Overview

How to Apply

FAQ About the Program

Alumni Perspectives

Vermont Excellence in Leadership Award