WeLead Campaign Training Program

Women bringing women into the powercenter of politics

list of welead 2021 graduates

The Women & Politics Institute at American University is dedicated to closing the gender gap in the political arena. Now in its 16th year, our nonpartisan WeLead Campaign Training Program successfully positions young professional women to run for office or lead a political campaign.

As part of our commitment to public service and gender equality in politics, we are proud to provide this valuable program to admitted participants at no cost.

News Updates

seated group of women looking forward

May 3: WeLead speaker and GlobalWIN co-founder Helen Milby celebrates women in Congress who are leading from the middle and working across the aisle to create policy solutions and sustainable coalitions. Read her Gender on the Ballot post.

executive women walking

Apr 14: On the heels of the historic 2020 election, WeLead Expert Speaker Amanda Hunter looks ahead to a number of federal, state, and local elections with women candidates on the ballot for roles that have historically been held only by men. Read her Gender on the Ballot post.

Rep Lizzie Fletcher on WeLead zoom

Apr 10: We Lead concluded the 2020-2021 program year with a wide-ranging talk with Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-7), who reflected on the gains made by women in the U.S. Congress in 2018 and 2020, as well as how and where women can lead in the future. Read More

welead fundraising panel on zoom

Mar 18: Over 50 supporters of WeLead were inspired by the 'Powerful Women Championing Political Change' panel, including Mayor Ellen Kamei #WeLead2009, White House Advisor Carissa Smith #WeLead2019, Councilmember Leadra Craft, Honorable Delia Garcia, and Councilmember Christina Henderson. Advice from the panelists coalesced around the ideas of investing and believing in yourself, surrounding yourself with people you trust, and always remembering the importance of serving others.  

About WeLead

WPI Executive Director Betsy Fischer Martin, talks with top 2018 gubernatorial campaign managers Anne Caprara (D) (SPA/BA '01) and Kristin Davison (R).

Top Political Practitioners

Learn from and engage with elected officials and leading experts in campaign management, communications, fundraising, grassroots mobilization, polling, advertising and digital media. Pictured Left: Betsy Fischer Martin with 2018 gubernatorial campaign managers Anne Caprara(SPA/BA '01) and Kristin Davison.

Professional development coach Lisa Montengro

Professional Career Development

Sharpen leadership skills through interactive sessions on personal branding, resume building, effective mentorships and public speaking.  Professional development coach Lisa Montenegro is featured in this photo. 

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser at podium

Record of Success

Engage with our network of 600 WeLead graduates through our program. Our alums occupy the halls of Congress, campaign war rooms, K Street offices, state legislatures, city councils and corporate boardrooms across the country.  DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (SPA/MPP '00) shares her experience running for office.  

Lauren Underwood addressing WeLead graduates

Designed for Working Professionals

Our competitive application process limits our class size to a select group of 30-40 accomplished post-graduate women. Mindful of professional obligations, our six day-long training sessions are held on Saturdays at American University in Northwest Washington, DC.  WeLead Alumna Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-IL) addresses graduating women of the WeLead program. Full Story

WeLead speaker Lizzie Fletcher headshot

WeLead Speaker Spotlight

Representative Lizzie Fletcher
U.S. House of Representatives (TX-07)

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WeLead alumna Rachel Nitsche Mairella headshot

WeLead Alumni Spotlight

Rachel Nitsche Mairella
Financial Clerk, U.S. Senate
(2010 Alumna)

Read More

Panel at virtual book talk event

Government & Politics ·

Wave of Women Elected Shatters What It Looks Like to Serve in Congress

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WeLead Reader

A curated newsletter, delivered to inboxes on Saturday mornings, readers can catch up on a week’s worth of important new developments about women running for office, serving as leaders and engaging in the political arena.

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Gender on the Ballot Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all the latest news + gender analysis in politics.

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WPI Newsletter

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