Women's Global Leadership Program

The CSIS Women's Global Leadership Program (WGLP) is a year-long program designed for rising executives who wish to deepen their understanding of critical geopolitical trends in order to thrive in a complex and competitive global environment.

At a Glance

Course Date

February 1 – November 15, 2024


CSIS Headquarters



Registration Deadline

November 17, 2023


The CSIS Women's Global Leadership Program (WGLP) is a year-long program designed for executives who wish to deepen their understanding of critical geopolitical trends in order to thrive in a complex and competitive global environment. Those nominated by their organizations will join a select network of senior-level professionals in seminars on global issues and participate in executive leadership and communication training.

Fellows first come together for an intensive week-long retreat at CSIS headquarters in Washington, D.C. in early spring. In addition to monthly videoconferences and interactive online programming, fellows will reconvene in Washington for two-day, on-site conferences in the summer and fall.


WGLP seminars are led by world-class scholars at CSIS, guest speakers drawn from the senior ranks of the policymaking and business communities, and top-flight leadership coaches. Fellows also gain the skills to navigate and engage the power structures of the nation’s capital. The program is built on CSIS’s well-established reputation for bipartisanship, policy relevance, and analytic rigor and its innovative approach to executive education that encompasses both professional and personal growth. The program combines the following elements:

In-person sessions

Each in-person session includes a mix of interactive leadership development and communications training; seminar discussions on the global economic, security, and technological landscape; and a dinner event with a prominent speaker.

Emphasis on executive skills

The program’s leadership and communication training addresses specific challenges faced by women executives and builds critical skills to boost Fellows’ career trajectories. Fellows gain skills through a variety of experiential team-based challenges that foster good communication, strategy, and collaboration. Executive communications training, including on-camera training, gives participants tools to hone their message and present ideas with power, passion, and presence.

Monthly conference calls on timely international developments

These calls connect geopolitical themes to current events shaping the global environment.


CSIS accepts 20-25 nominees to participate in each Women’s Global Leadership Program cohort. Successful nominees will generally have  

  • at least 15 years of experience  
  • the potential to serve in senior executive positions in the corporate, nonprofit, or public spheres, 
  • demonstrated experience and commitment to advancing women's leadership.

Nominees may be drawn from anywhere within their organization’s structure, including business units, government relations teams, international divisions, and corporate strategy offices. While designed for women leaders (and likely most beneficial to those who identify as such), the program is open to all who otherwise fulfill the admissions criteria.

How to Apply

For questions about participating or nominating someone on behalf of your organization for this next year’s cohort, please email Barbara Petzen, Director of Learning Experiences, at bpetzen@csis.org


Previous and current fellows include senior women representatives from:

Aramco Services, Arconic, ATHENA International, BAE Systems, Barclays, Battelle Memorial Institute, BASF, Bechtel, Chevron, Citigroup, Clifford Chance, Coca Cola, The Cohen Group, ConocoPhillips, Credit Suisse, CVS Health Corporation, Deloitte, Department of Defense, Department of State, DynCorp, Equinor, EY, Federal Bureau of Investigation, General Dynamics, Hogan Lovells, Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inter-American Development Bank, International Rescue Committee, Jacobs, KPMG LLP, Leidos Holdings Inc, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin, Marine Corps, Médecins Sans Frontières, Morgan Stanley, National Counterintelligence and Security Center, National Counterterrorism Center, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Northrop Grumman, ODNI, Oxfam America, PepsiCo, Raytheon, SAIC, Save the Children, Schlumberger, Siemens, Statoil, TransUnion, Uber, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Agency for International Development, U.S. Army, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, Walmart Inc, World Wildlife Fund

Program alumnae are invited to return to CSIS regularly to network with CSIS experts and other fellows.


For more information, please contact Barbara Petzen, CSIS Director of Learning Experiences, at bpetzen@csis.org.