In 1988, a task force was formed to develop a leadership program for the New Orleans region. The task force included representatives of the Metropolitan Area Committee, Young Leadership Council, Jefferson Leadership Institute, Leadership Slidell, West St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership Louisiana (a program of Council for a Better Louisiana). A concerted effort was made to include knowledgable members from all ten parishes in the metropolitan area

The original program designers determined that the broad elements of the leadership program would focus on:

  • Community Education: Educating participants about the community’s characteristics, culture, systems, opportunities, needs and issues.
  • Skill Enhancement: Developing participants’ skills in the areas such as collaboration, negotiation, coalition building, deeper understanding of self and others.
  • Trusteeship/Leadership: Fostering a deep appreciation of the moral dimension of community leadership; the fundamental meaning of holding the community “in trust.”

NORLI participants get an unparalleled opportunity to meet with the region’s leaders and experts during their one-year experience. The year begins with a two-day opening retreat, followed by seven educational sessions held throughout the 10-parish area. Participants hear from the area’s leaders on a number of important topics from education to crime to the environment. It is a unique and fascinating “classroom” that provides insights about the important issues facing our community.

Participants will be selected from those individuals who have submitted completed application forms. The NORLI Selection Committee will seek to identify those who are most likely to utilize their leadership abilities for the long-term benefit of our region. When the committee selects each group of 40 participants, it is with an eye toward diversity, so that there is broad representation from a variety of occupational, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, geographic areas, and community interests. The program is not a starting point, but rather a process for men and women who are both acknowledged and aspiring leaders.

NORLI is accepting applications for the NORLI Class of 2015.  Please submit your online application at by Friday, June 6, 2014