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University of Minnesota Extension
Community Vitality Leadership

Our leadership and civic engagement educators help emerging, existing and elected leaders grow their skills, confidence and willingness to lead through long-term cohort groups and local training sessions.

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Perspectives On Leadership

Watch Perspectives on Leadership

Vice-President Hubert Humphrey once said, “You don’t have to save the whole world, just save your hometown. It’ll add up.” Extension celebrates the everyday leaders who make a difference – whether they work on very local issues or make their town proud by providing leadership at the county, regional, state or even national level. Leadership comes from everywhere, and we are eager to work with people who provide community leadership in Minnesota.

Leadership education is worth the effort because studies have documented a connection between successful communities and strong leadership. Successful communities are good at:

  • Building and transitioning leadership over time;
  • Supporting a diverse group of individuals to fill leadership roles – individuals such as women, young people, and new community residents;
  • Providing opportunities for new leaders, emerging leaders, midcareer leaders, and retiring leaders to learn and contribute;
  • Using the assets of local people to create a better community; and
  • Focusing on leadership for the whole community, as well as leadership for groups and issues in communities.

Contact us to talk about bringing leadership education to your community or group.

Our Leadership and Civic Engagement educators deliver research-informed education in long-term cohort programs where participants can learn, connect with others, and practice skills. Our goal is to help emerging and existing leaders meet their challenges using information and connections to people and resources.


Giving back through leadership

Giving back through leadership

Red River Valley Emerging Leaders program creates and sustains a network of community leaders. More


More than 2,000 people have participated in our leadership education programs. Extension is committed to the continued support of these program alumni and the difference leaders make in communities. View our Leadership and Civic Engagement alumni site.

Our Sponsors

Program sponsors partner with Extension to bring leadership education to Minnesota. More

Program Outcomes

Extension studies the effectiveness of its leadership education program every year. More

Perspectives on Leadership

View stories of leadership program alumni.

Getting Started

Our Approach

Our educators deliver research-informed education in long-term cohort programs where participants can learn, connect with others, and practice skills. More
See Extension's leadership model (PDF)

Educational Resources and Tip Sheets

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