Professional Development Programs

The Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center has a long legacy of developing excellent leaders. We serve as a pipeline for new and creative approaches to leadership development by providing customized training programs and events that distill research and provide in-depth tools for improving leadership and management competencies.

Customized Cohort Trainings

  • Available for government, nonprofit, and professional organizations
  • Programs include an organizational assessment, surveys, and/or focus groups that customize content to organizational needs
  • Multi-level evaluation to provide outcome measurement around participants’ improved knowledge and skills in leadership and management competencies

To create a customized cohort training, contact Stephanie Jacobs.

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Leadership Conference

With increased demands on nonprofits to deliver effective programs in well managed organizations with fewer dollars, more is required of our nonprofit leaders than ever before. Leaders of all levels and backgrounds are essential to building a sector that is responsive to today’s challenges and opportunities. These leaders must be connected and build a strong network of peers to be successful in their fields.

Annually, in June, PNLC co-hosts the day-long Leadership Conference with the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN). Participants discuss personal and organizational change, gain new knowledge, focus on key values, recognize current trends, and create a stronger community of nonprofit leaders. Whether leaders are focused on themes of leadership, management, or governance, the conference offers a variety of sessions to meet their needs. More information available on MCN website.

Theory to Practice

During the school year, the PNLC offers a series of learning events that takes what students are learning in the classroom on public and nonprofit leadership and management, and talks about what it looks like in practice. Faculty and experts in the field provide insight into what the research says on a topic, while practitioners and participants discuss how that research translates into the realities of working in the public and nonprofit sectors. Past topics have included nonprofit governance, leadership in hiring practices, and myths about private philanthropy. These events are free and open to students, alumni, and the public. Look for Theory to Practice events in our Upcoming Events.

Leadership and Capacity Development in Human Services

The Certificate in Human Services Leadership leverages the wealth of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, which is ranked second in the country for its nonprofit management program. The 12-credit graduate certificate program features topics ranging from human-centered service redesign and racial inequality to policy implementation and civic engagement. Students benefit from a cohort model and tailor their study to meet their own professional development goals. 

Minnesota Senior Leadership Institute

The Minnesota Senior Leadership Institute provides professional development programs for senior State of Minnesota officials. More.


Public Safety Leadership Program

The Public Safety Leadership Program is designed for mid-career public safety professionals. More.

Equity Works

The Equity Works Leadership Institute builds leadership capacity for racial equity across Minnesota’s workforce development sector. More.