Want better political leadership?

Want better political leadership?

Want better political leadership?

The Leadership Excellence in Politics coalition is working to upskill future politicians 

Four organisations have joined forces to launch a new initiative to bridge the gap between what we know about effective and ethical political leadership, citizens' expectations, and political leaders' actions.


GENEVA, Switzerland. 18 April 2024. The Apolitical Foundation, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), Kofi Annan Foundation, and NexusVesting are delighted to announce the launch of a new joint initiative, the Leadership Excellence in Politics (LEiP), to restore hope in political leadership. 

Politicians' actions and decisions impact us all, yet the role of a political leader is often undefined and unsupported. Without the attention, training, and research we give leaders in the private sector, we could be setting up politicians who fail in their efforts to lead us well. 

The Leadership Excellence in Politics initiative seeks to understand the gap between what citizens expect from their leaders and what their leaders do, and to find solutions to reduce this gap.


The Leadership Excellence in Politics (LEiP) initiative will run political leadership training, coordinate research and launch advocacy campaigns to:

  • Identify the cross-cutting leadership competencies and attributes needed to respond to emerging challenges;
  • Help more young people gain effective political power through political leadership training that equips them with critical policy- and decision-making skills; 
  • Bring together experts to answer the big questions surrounding 21st-century political leadership;
  • Increase healthier, constructive dialogue about expectations between politicians and citizens, and
  • Help rebuild trust in political leadership.


"We're not going to get the 21st-century political leadership we need without some effort from all of us living in democracies. Private sector executives, lawyers, and pilots all receive training, upskilling and support. Why don't we treat political leaders the same way?" — Kimberly McArthur, COO, Apolitical Foundation.

"Every aspect of our lives is affected by the actions of political leaders, from basic services to the safety, prosperity and futures of our families, societies, and planet. Yet, by comparison to other sectors, relatively little is done to identify, prepare, support, and hold politicians accountable. At the same time, public and media discourse about politics is overwhelmingly toxic. We intend to better prepare people for the opportunities of political leadership and elevate healthier public narratives and discourse to bridge the divide between voters and politics." — Peter Cunningham, Head of Leadership, GCSP. 

"Political leadership today is tough, maybe tougher than it's ever been. We need to elect the right people who represent all sectors of our populations and who have the right values and skills to tackle our world's pressing challenges. And we need to support them. This is what this initiative aims to do." — Kofi Annan Foundation Executive Director Corinne Momal-Vanian.

"There is no commonly accepted definition of what good political leadership entails. If requirements for political office were public and recognized, candidates could be assessed in a more systematic and less polarized way. We also lack standard criteria to evaluate politicians once they are in office. So generally, there are not only questions about the selection of politicians, but also regarding their preparedness for the job and their professional development." — Anne Gloor, CEO, NexusVesting. 


Political Leadership Training - Launching May 2024

In May 2024, LEiP will run its first Young Leaders political leadership training, a week-long educational programme on democratic leadership and multilateralism, designed for aspiring political leaders from around the world.

Eighteen young leaders from across all five continents have been invited to Geneva, Switzerland, to expand their skills and expertise in leadership and civic activism, ethical leadership, democratic principles and practices, and fostering inclusion, equality, security, and people's trust in national and public institutions.


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The Leadership Excellence in Politics initiative seeks to understand the gap between what citizens expect from their leaders, what experience shows about effective political leadership and what political leaders do in practice - and to find solutions to reduce this gap. Sign up for our newsletter to stay informed of the latest news and research from the Leadership Excellence in Politics initiative.


About the Partners

About Apolitical Foundation

The Apolitical Foundation is restoring hope in political leadership when we need it the most. Its mission is to update representative political leadership for the 21st century through a worldwide non-partisan movement.

Its approach is two-pronged:

  1. Empower excellence and better representation so upcoming and existing political leaders have the skills, knowledge, networks and reform ideas they need to deliver for democracy, people and the planet.
  2. Partner to update the system so it is attractive, impactful and sustainable to those who want to serve their communities through political leadership.



About Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP)

The Geneva Centre for Security Policy's (GCSP) mission is to advance peace, security and international cooperation by providing the knowledge, skills and network for effective and inclusive decision-making through executive education, diplomatic dialogue, research and policy advice.



About Kofi Annan Foundation

Founded in 2007 by Kofi Annan, the Kofi Annan Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to build on Kofi Annan's legacy for peace by advancing democracy, youth leadership and international cooperation.



About NexusVesting

NexusVesting creates and promotes new ideas for positive social change. We are working to strengthen responsible leadership, constructive dialogue, ethical investment approaches, and artful solutions for recycling.



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