Apply for Water Leadership Institute Class of 2021

November 6, 2020


Nearly 350 water professionals have gained in-demand career skills as graduates of the Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Virginia) Water Leadership Institute program since its introduction in 2012. Join them by applying for the Water Leadership Institute Class of 2021 by January 14, 2021.

“The Water Leadership Institute is an instrumental program for the development of recent grads in the water field,” said 2014 Water Leadership Institute graduate Tina Pham, a water engineer for the City of San Jose, California. “I was able to gain leadership development training, opportunities for networking, and insight into how utilities will change and evolve in the future.”

Creating Water Sector Leaders

The Water Leadership Institute is an intensive, 7-month training seminar that develops leaders among water sector organizations and helps lay the groundwork for strong professional networks. The curriculum incorporates lessons about both managing personnel and addressing the water sector’s most pervasive issues.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF; Alexandria, Virginia) Water Leadership Institute program builds management skills while forging strong professional networks of like-minded water professionals. Applications for the Water Leadership Institute Class of 2021 are now open. Image courtesy of Julianne Jones/WEF

Prospective students undergo a rigorous application process. Those who are chosen gain access to a series of monthly webcasts as well as an intimate working group of peers. In addition to remote learning opportunities, this year’s program will involve a 2-day, in-person seminar near WEF headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, as well as a hands-on workshop at WEFTEC 2021 in Chicago. (WEF intends to offer the program’s in-person components for 2021, but virtual adaptations will be made if deemed necessary to protect students and staff.)

The program concludes with a capstone project, in which students work in teams to produce valuable resources to the entire water profession. In recent cohorts, for example, students have released webcast series on public outreach and workforce issues.

Application Details

The application process for the Water Leadership Institute Class of 2021 requires short answers to five questions as well as a 1-page reference letter from a colleague or supervisor.

Questions for this year’s application cover

  • relevant biographical information, such as education, tenure, job function, and hobbies;
  • motivations for applying to the program and what you intend to learn;
  • previous leadership experiences;
  • qualities of effective leaders you have encountered in your career; and
  • a hypothetical scenario to demonstrate your approach to management.

The Water Leadership Institute Selection Committee will choose top applicants to participate in the 2021 program. Neither advanced degrees nor previous leadership experience is required.

While applying to the program is free, tuition for selected students is $1,195 and includes complimentary registration for WEFTEC 2021. Prospective students also may choose to apply for scholarships during the registration process.

Learn more about the Water Leadership Institute program at the WEF website.


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