The Core Program brings together a group of influential leaders from around the state for an educational and inspirational experience that is unlike any other.

Leadership New Mexico’s Core Program is ten months in duration and its twenty-third class began in September. Core Program sessions are designed to address current issues facing the state. Each program session features speakers who are acknowledged leaders in their specific fields, while program participants actively engage in discussion and debate. The process offers an opportunity for inquiry, analysis, and development of solutions to the most pressing issues facing our communities and state.

Core Program sessions are held in communities all over the state in order to expose participants to the different regions of New Mexico and the local issues important to each region. In addition, program participants experience the unique culture of each community, weaving a broad-based and comprehensive understanding of the challenges facing a state with such geographic diversity.

Each program year includes a two-day retreat and orientation, followed by five educational sessions on the topics of:

  • Health and Human Services
  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Government, Crime and Justice, and Leadership

The Core Program is open to all citizens of the state. Each year Leadership New Mexico selects a class of 40-45 leaders who represent a cross-section of the various geographic regions of the state from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Special consideration is given to ensure diversity of race, gender, and occupational background. Participants are selected using the following criteria:

  • Commitment, motivation, and interest in serving New Mexico.
  • History of demonstrated voluntary leadership in community activities.
  • Record of accomplishments within his or her company or organization.
  • Interest in seeking future key volunteer and/or appointed leadership roles.
  • An occupational commitment to remain in the state.
  • Commitment to play a personal role in helping to shape New Mexico´s future.

Tuition for the Core Program is $3,500 and covers all program costs, transportation during sessions, and meals. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to the session locations and hotel accommodations. A limited number of scholarships are available for those requiring financial assistance. A request for scholarship assistance does not affect selection into the program.

2019 / 2020
Core Program Session Dates –

September 4-6, 2019 
Wednesday 2:00 p.m. to Friday 4:00 p.m.
Orientation & Retreat – Santa Fe

November 7-9, 2019
Thursday 5:30 p.m. to Saturday 12:00 noon
Health & Human Services – Las Vegas

January 9-11, 2020
Thursday 5:30 p.m. to Saturday 12:00 noon

Economic Development – Las Cruces

March 19-21, 2020
Thursday 5:30 p.m. to Saturday 12:00 noon

Education – Hobbs

May 14-16, 2020
Thursday 5:30 p.m. to Saturday 12:00 noon

Environment & Natural Resources – Farmington

June 10-12, 2020
Wednesday 5:30 p.m. to Friday 9:00 p.m.

Government, Crime and Justice, Leadership – Taos

 The first Core Program session, in September, will run Wednesday afternoon and all day Friday. The last Core Program session in June will run Wednesday evening and all day Thursday and Friday, with graduation held Friday evening. All other Core Program sessions begin Thursday evening (5:30 p.m.) with a reception with the local Chamber Board of Directors, City Council, County Commission, Community Business Owners and local leadership program participants and graduates. The class session will end Saturday at 12:00 noon.

To nominate someone from your community or company for the Core Program, contact Leadership New Mexico at 505-398-1500. If you would like to apply, please download an application and send it to

Download a Core Program flyer with 2020-2021 dates
Download a Core Program Application