WeLead Campaign Training Program

Women bringing women into the powercenter of politics

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

powerpoint slide about female elected officials

Oct 17: WeLead Expert Speakers Amanda Hunter and Lisa Montenegro explored the question of why there aren't more women in public office by looking at self. others, and trends in gender politics. Hunter shared research on women overcoming obstacles and getting elected, as well as on women leading effectivley in a crisis. Montenegro encouraged these emerging leaders to "Do the work to discover your authentic self. Double down on your strengths. And ignore the rest."   Read More

digital crowd of women

OCT 13: WeLead Expert Speaker Atima Omara writes for Gender on the Ballot that the modern Democratic Party has a brand built on expanding access to affordable healthcare, protecting the environment, and enhancing social safety net programs, which dovetail nicely with women candidates’ strengths. Read how that might impact the 2020 election here

graphic of US vice president debate

OCT 8: As the first-ever woman of color on a major party presidential ticket, Kamala Harris has no roadmap for her candidacy. WeLead Expert Speaker Amanda Hunter unpacks what she saw during the Vice Presidential debate in this Gender on the Ballot blog post here

front of US Supreme court building

SEP 28: In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death, WeLead Expert Speaker Amanda Fuchs Miller underscores the importance of having representation on the federal bench as well as in our legislatures, and among our elected offices. Read the full Gender on the Ballot blog post here

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 (D)(SPA/BA '01) and Kristin Davison (R).

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 signature mentorship 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 alumna keren johnson headshot

WeLead Alumni Spotlight

Keren Johnson, Founder and Principal Consultant, The Everstone Group (2008 Alumna)

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WeLead alumna Ellen Kamei headshot

WeLead Speaker Spotlight

Ellen Kamei, Vice Mayor, Mountain View, California and External Affairs Area Manager, AT&T

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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 election 2020.

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WPI Newsletter

Sign up for the WPI Newsletter to view recent highlights and learn about upcoming opportunities and events.

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