Frequently Asked Questions

I am interested in applying. What are the application requirements?

Thank you for your interest! We are delighted you want to take the next steps to apply to become a Leadership Delaware Fellow. Below are the application components which are required of each applicant.

  • Attend one candidate reception
  • Complete and submit an online application
  • Send a high resolution head shot
  • Provide two letters of reference (reference cannot be an LDI Fellow or Board Member)
  • Sign and return the Applicant Statement page

Once all of the above steps have been completed, you will receive an email from the Leadership Delaware Team with your interview date and time.

How can I pay my Leadership Delaware tuition? Is a payment plan an option?

Tuition can be paid using the following methods:

  • Check or Credit Card from the applicant
    • Credit cards are accepted with a processing fee of approximately $127
  • Funding from the applicant’s employer
  • Funding from sponsor(s) of the applicant
  • As a result of a fundraising effort by and for the accepted applicant
    • Our Chairman & CEO, Terry Strine, will provide coaching if needed.
  • Paying via installments

Tuition must be paid in full on or before December 1st annually unless an installment plan has been agreed upon in writing. No tuition refunds will be granted.

The installment plan is outlined as follows:

  • Four installments of $1515 each (2020)
  • Due in December, February, April and July
    • Exact dates provided each year
  • A 5% installment fee will be included
  • Invoices are not generated for installment plan.
    • It is your obligation to pay timely or you will be suspended from the program


I want to participate in the program; however, I cannot afford the tuition. Is there a scholarship program?

Leadership Delaware does not have a scholarship program.

We understand it is not possible for some applicants to a) pay the tuition independently and/or b) obtain financial support from their employer; therefore, we are happy to partner with you to assist with raising the funds. Our Chairman & CEO will meet with you one-on-one to discuss how to approach this effort and provide you with the tools to be successful.

Leadership Delaware also provides an installment plan option. This includes four installments of $1515 each (2020), due in December, February, April and July. This type of payment must be requested and confirmed in writing.

What is the cost of the year-long program?

Tuition for the year-long program for the Class of 2020 is $5,775 and is due annually by December 1st unless a payment plan has been established.

Tuition is subject to annual increases at the discretion of Leadership Delaware. Check back regularly for updates.

How can I learn more about the program to decide if I want to apply?

On our website, you will find biographies of our staff, Fellows, speakers and Board Members, a program overview, Fellow testimonials and sample session data to outline the essence of our program.

In addition, during the application process, it is required that all prospective applicants attend one Candidate Reception. You will have the opportunity to speak with current Fellows, Alumni and the Leadership Delaware Board of Directors and Advisory Board Members. These receptions are fun and incredibly informative as you will receive first-hand information from our Leadership Delaware family.


I live in Maryland and/or Pennsylvania but work in Delaware. Can I still apply to the program?

Leadership Delaware, Inc. is open to all who work in Delaware and/or have their “roots” in Delaware. Participants are selected based on ability, demonstrated leadership, and a keen interest in their community, with a commitment to “making a difference.”  The application process is to ensure an outstanding class consisting of members from diverse backgrounds, experiences and geographical locations. Approximately 24-28 participants are chosen annually.

Is there an age limit?

There is not an age limit, but a strong preference. We expect our Fellows to have two full generations of leadership ahead of them.

Young leaders, ideally aged 28 to 38, will be recruited from throughout Delaware, without regard to gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or political persuasion. Participants are selected based on ability, demonstrated leadership, and a keen interest in their community, with a commitment to “making a difference.”  The application process is to ensure an outstanding class consisting of members from diverse backgrounds, experiences and geographical locations. Approximately 24-28 participants are chosen annually.

When can I apply to be considered as a Fellow for the Leadership Delaware program?

We will begin recruitment of each new class in August of the previous year. The final selection, and invitations to join the program, will occur in mid-November of each year.

Your first step is to attend a candidate reception. Dates for upcoming receptions are listed on the Event Calendar early summer of each year.

What if I miss a session?

Leadership Delaware is a big time commitment, but well worth it. Fellows are expected to arrange their time to be present for every session, every session reception, and many special events.

The program consists of 20 full-day sessions, and 10 evening sessions. Thursday sessions begin early, typically 7:15 am, and end as late as 9:00 pm.

Any Fellow who misses 23 hours or more of class and reception time will be excused from the program and will not be eligible to graduate. There will be no tuition refunds once the program begins at the Joint Fellow’s Reception.

Will I have to speak publicly?

Yes! We encourage public speaking during every Leadership Delaware session. For example, each month Fellows are assigned to introduce speakers. As part of the assignment, it is expected the Fellow meet with the speaker in person to discover relevant and interesting facts to share with the class during the introduction.

Additionally, impromptu public speaking will take place during each session, as well as several group projects throughout the year.


What is expected when I am not in a monthly session?

You will be assigned several group projects throughout the year. You will work with your group of Fellows to prepare for your presentations. Project lengths range from one month to six months.

In addition, following each session, it is expected each Fellow hand write and mail “thank you” notes to speakers, hosts and sponsors. Cards should be mailed within one week of the end of the month’s session.

Additional assignments, if required, will be provided to you via email by the Leadership Delaware team. It is important to note some speakers may also require pre-work as part of their presentation.

How do I prepare for a monthly session?

Each month, Fellows must review the credentials and biographies of the upcoming speakers. In addition, Fellows should review the topics, themes, session location, parking instructions and any additional session information provided by the Leadership Delaware Team or speakers to ensure preparedness for the two-day sessions.

When does the program start?

The program begins in late November with the Joint Fellows Reception. An intensive orientation and coaching begins in January to prepare the Fellows for the rigor of the program.  Coaching continues throughout the year. Mandatory two-day sessions begin in February and end in November. Graduation is typically held at the end of November or the first week of December.

What does the Leadership Delaware program include?

Our program offers a series of issue-oriented forums and experiences, which are based on the belief that knowledge is a key element and prime motivator of leadership. Ours is an intensive, fast-moving program…described by our Fellows as “an MBA in Delaware!”

The breadth and depth of our full-year program gives our Fellows the opportunity to meet and hear first-hand from 150+ speakers – those in the state who “make it happen” every day. These prominent and accomplished Delaware leaders include Corporate CEO’s, the Governor, members of the Cabinet, University Presidents, Legislators, members of the Judiciary, and leaders from every area of our Delaware community, who present and lead discussions on topics including: the Economy, Health Care, Education, Leadership, Government & Public Affairs, Law & the Judiciary, Delaware Industry, Nonprofits & Philanthropy, the Arts, Politics, Law Enforcement, and more!

Mandatory two-day sessions begin in February and continue through the month of November, totaling 230 hours of classroom time. Most sessions are held in New Castle County; however, May sessions are held in Sussex and September sessions are held in Dover.

There will also be several group projects throughout the year.

However, the items above relate only to curriculum. You will also gain an exceptional network of friends through bonding inside and outside of the classroom. Additionally, you will be exposed to many cultural events such as the ballet, opera, and theater, as well as one-on-one coaching regarding public speaking and etiquette.

Who are the Fellows of Leadership Delaware?

Each year, we recruit, interview and select an ever broader and deeper “slice” of our community, “filling the pipeline” with Delaware’s best and brightest young leaders, and building the foundation for generations to come.

To learn more about Alumni and current Fellows, check out our Fellows page!

Why Leadership Delaware?

We, Leadership Delaware, believe that leaders with vision and integrity, with the commitment to affect positive change in the Delaware community, and in our nation, are all too few.

To meet this pressing need, Gov. Pete du Pont, and Terry and Sandy Strine came together to create Leadership Delaware during the summer of 2008.  By all accounts and every measure, our Leadership Delaware program has already made significant progress in “building the bench” of Delaware’s next generation of leaders.  But, there is much more work to be done, and we are up to the task!

Our vision is to enable our Fellows to achieve the highest levels of leadership throughout the First State.

What is Leadership Delaware?

Leadership Delaware, Inc. (LDI) is a 501 (c) (3) non-partisan, nonprofit organization which recruits and mentors outstanding young Delawareans who have the “stuff of leadership,” those with the potential, passion, and courage to excel at community, nonprofit, political, professional, and corporate leadership within the First State.  Our graduates have the knowledge, vision, integrity, and networks to significantly impact and transform our communities.