Leadership Columbus is a program of the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce. The goal of Leadership Columbus is to identify leaders and volunteers to help guide the community through this decade and beyond. Leadership Columbus will expose highly talented and highly motivated leaders to economic, governmental and socio-cultural community issues with the intent of involvement, future direction, and ultimately, solutions.

Created in 1980 by the Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Columbus celebrated its 40th anniversary in the year 2020. Leadership Columbus is one of more than 450 Leadership Development programs throughout the United States.

Leadership Columbus participants will enhance their leadership skills and will gain an awareness of the community through a series of one-day sessions, September through June. Topics covered include education, healthcare, city and state government, utilities, transportation, military, public safety quality of life and economic development. Information is presented through lectures, panel discussions, hands-on activities, tours, on-site visitation and informal question and answer sessions.

First, the individual must be nominated for the program by a firm, organization or individual. Once an applicant is nominated, he or she will be asked to complete a detailed application. All applicants are review by a selection committee in early-August and final participants are selected from all applicants. All nominations must have prior approval of their supervisor, if applicable for this commitment. Supervisors must be aware that the class member will be involved with the program for approximately 140 hours over the eleven month period. CEO’S must approve every application submitted.

A Leadership Columbus application form can be completed online here

The objective of Leadership Columbus is to provide the region with a resource of leadership to guide the community into the future.

Each year, up to 30 people are selected from the Columbus region with emphasis placed on diversity of race, gender and backgrounds. They all have one thing in common: a demonstrated talent and commitment to community leadership. Class members must exhibit the ability and willingness to be involved in the learning process and must make a firm commitment to attend each session of the program.  Participants will commit to at least two years of volunteer service after completion of the program, which may include service on a Chamber committee, commission, leadership program or board within the city/community/region.

Leadership Columbus will require one day each month from September through June. The time commitment involves:

  • Ten one day monthly sessions ( 9 hours per day)
  • Eight (8) hours of volunteer time during the nine month period.
  • One night to ride with a police officer on patrol or shift at the jail. ( min. 4 hours)
  • Attendance at an art event (Springer, RiverCenter, – save ticket stub. ( 3 hrs.)
  • Two ( 2) hours to attend a Board of Education meeting.(Have agenda signed by MCSD Board member)
  • Two (2) hours to attend a City Council Meeting
  • Two (2) hours on a Metra Bus Ride
  • Project assignment (estimated 24 hours over an 9 month period)
  • Welcome Reception and Completion programs
  • Attend one Chamber Board Meeting during the year


The deadline for Leadership Columbus applications is June 30th, 2024.

Probably the largest single benefit of Leadership Columbus is the network that is created. The alumni have a mutual respect for the experience and are committed to working with other Leadership Columbus graduates to improve our community. You are encouraged to participate in the next year’s Leadership Columbus class days as a day chair or committee member and also seek out opportunities to serve on volunteer boards and commissions that serve the public.