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©Zaara Kidwai

About the leadership institute

Nearly 70 percent of leaders in the wildlife profession are projected to retire in the next decade. TWS has a responsibility to prepare its members to meet the pressing need for well-prepared wildlife professionals and fulfills part of that responsibility through the TWS Leadership Institute.

The Leadership Institute is an annual course established in 2006 to provide a select group of 10-15 promising TWS members with leadership training. The Leadership Institute consists of intensive activities and mentoring relationships that prepare participants for leadership positions, both in their workplace and in TWS.

The Leadership Institute is geared toward early-career professionals who are actively pursuing employment in the wildlife profession—whether that is seasonal, part-time or full-time experience. This program is not geared toward full time undergraduate or graduate students.

Class of 2024

The application period for the 2024 Leadership Institute is now closed. Check back in January 2025 t0 learn how to apply for next year’s cohort. In the meantime, meet the Class of 2024.

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©Ana Sapp

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©Mackenzie Taylor


From across the U.S. and Canada, Leadership Institute alumni represent the leading conservation organizations charged with managing and conserving North American’s wildlife and habitats – state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academia. Together, these alumni serve as the foundation for the next generation of wildlife leaders.

View a list of TWS Leadership Institute Alumni

Alumni are encouraged to stay engaged with the Leadership Institute via volunteer opportunities and/or events during TWS’ Annual Conference. To learn more about ways to share news, leadership development opportunities, and stay connected with other alumni and TWS, please contact leadership@wildlife.org.


For more information on the Leadership Institute, please contact leadership@wildlife.org