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-sixth class began in September 2021. 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. Due to restrictions during the pandemic, the Core Program will begin in September 2021.

2021 / 2022
Core Program Session Dates –

September 9-11, 2021 
Thursday 1:30 p.m. to Saturday 4:00 p.m.
Opening Retreat – Santa Fe

November 4-6, 2021 
Thursday 5:30 p.m. to Saturday 12:00 noon
Health and Human Services – Los Alamos

January 6-8, 2022
Thursday 5:30 p.m. to Saturday 12:00 noon
Economic Development – Las Cruces

March 24-26, 2022
Thursday 5:30 p.m. to Saturday 12:00 noon

Education – Hobbs

May 19-21, 2022
Thursday 5:30 p.m. to Saturday 12:00 noon

Environment and Natural Resources – Farmington

June 15-17, 2022
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 Thursday afternoon, all day Friday and Saturday. 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 and end on Saturday afternoon.

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 leader@leadershipnm.org.

Download a Core Program flyer with 2021-2022 dates
Download a Core Program Application