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Looking to be a better leader? Eager to drive change? Keen to operate on the global stage?

But unsure what the next step in your leadership journey should be?

If so, the Stern Leadership Academy is for you.

SLA collaborates with the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education to offer a sixteen-week online executive training programme taught by Stanford academics. They will leverage evidence-based academic research to teach you actionable pathways for becoming a resilient leader ready to guide your organisation or business to greater growth.

SLA runs one course each year with up to forty of the most promising emerging leaders from Poland and neighbouring countries. The 2024 course will be our third.

The Stern Foundation aims to foster cooperation between Poles and Americans, in part through promoting the shared history of Poles of all backgrounds and their impact on the development of science, technology and innovation in the United States. The Stern Leadership Academy hopes to nurture human capital in the region as a step toward improving relations between Poland and countries with a large Polish diaspora such as the USA and Israel.

Key benefits:

  • Applied knowledge. We provide research-driven, evidence-based
    education which not only inspires but also equips participants with practical tools. The programme gives participants an opportunity to practice and deploy these skills in a case-based educational model.

  • Negotiation skills. You’ll learn analytical approaches to negotiation
    and be able to practice these skills in an educational setting.

  • World-class education with a local flavor.
    We believe that tailoring the course specifically for leaders in this region sets this course apart from others.

  • Unique networking opportunities.
    Our programme is
    designed to gather the most talented and ambitious leaders from the Three Seas region,
    people who are poised to play a major role in the development of this region for a generation to come.

  • Metamorphic development. You'll learn how to put health,
    happiness and purpose on the same level as leadership.

  • Diversity management. We believe that how good you are
    at tapping into employees' potential and understanding their varied backgrounds
    and qualities determines how well your organisation will operate.

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education certificate. The certificate is recognised globally and can open a path to many new career opportunities.

  • Stern Leadership Academy alumni programme. Life-long
    connections through our selective networking program.

What does the programme consist of?

The three-day Stern Leadership Academy kick-off programme in Prague, an on-site intensive course designed by the Stern Foundation;

The sixteen-week Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education Programme consisting of live sessions online, asynchronous content and virtual coursework;

An optional in-person wrap-up session and graduation ceremony at Stanford;

An alumni networking programme to carry forward opportunities for shared learning and cooperation within the SLA network.

The working language of the program will be English.

Is this course right for me?

The course is open to early- and mid-career executives with ten or more years of business experience who are on a leadership path in their organisation. You can be from the private, public or NGO sector.

The SLA embraces diversity as a core value; you should value it too. Together with the Stanford Graduate School of Business Executive Education we bring together people from different sectors with different experiences, perspectives and opinions.

Our unique recruitment procedure aims to gather together a group of remarkable people.

Are you an emerging leader who knows how to inspire? Are you able to harness your knowledge, in-depth insight and life experience to lead teams to make change? Are you forward-looking and ambitious about making a real difference? If so, please apply!

Formal requirements:

Candidates should have at least 10 years of work experience, with 5 of them in a managerial position. Although there are no formal educational requirements, most candidates hold a university degree. If you have not studied or worked in English for at least a year, you will need to have your English-language proficiency evidenced by a certificate such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or Cambridge English: Advanced or Proficiency (CAE or CPE).

Faculty profiles

The Stanford Faculty Director of the programme is Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, a world-renowned expert on organisational behavior. Prof Pfeffer is the author of fifteen books including the bestsellers Dying for a paycheck, Leadership BS and Power.

Curriculum Highlights

The Stanford programme for SLA consists of eight study modules and nine live sessions with instructors from Stanford. The three-day kick-off retreat will expose you to new ideas and introduce you to the rest of your cohort.

Alumni programme

Upon graduating you become a life-long member of the SLA alumni network.


The strategic partner of the Stern Leadership Academy is Fundacja Empiria i Wiedza

The honorary patron of the Stern Leadership Academy is BGK

How do I apply?

Keen to join the 2024 SLA cohort? Complete the application form to start the recruitment process. If you are qualified to take part in the program, we will interview you so we can learn a bit more about you.

What is the deadline for applications?

The recruitment campaign begins on 31 October 2023. Applications close on 28 November 2023. We aim to interview promising candidates as soon as we have evaluated their forms. We will allocate places on a rolling basis – so don’t dawdle!

Can I still get a place if I send in my application form on the last day of the recruitment campaign?

We will interview promising candidates as we get their applications. If you wait too long, we may have already filled all our places. Don’t miss out: apply as soon as you can!

Fees & conditions

Thanks to the generosity of our strategic partner Fundacja Empiria i Wiedza, Fellows’ Stanford programme fees will be fully funded.

Fellows will be responsible for their own travel to the kick-off in Prague, and for travel and accommodation if they choose to attend the wrap-up event in Stanford.

The Foundation also envisages inviting up to ten “Institutional Fellows” who will be able to participate in the SLA program thanks to funding by their own organisations. If you or your organization is interested in funding places for SLA fellows, please contact us for more details.

Course schedule 2024

Applications open

Final deadline for applications

Announcement of results

Kick-off session in Prague

Start of online Stanford programme

In-person session in Stanford

31 October 2023

28 November 2023

20 December 2023

12-14 January 2024

16 January 2024

22 April 2024 (tbc)


About 10 hours. Some activities and assignments can be completed in your own time, but you will also need to make time to attend scheduled online classes and group activities.

Unfortunately, no. Meeting the rest of the cohort in person and taking part in the kick-off activities is compulsory.

You have to attend all on-line classes and complete all course activities to graduate. Only serious and documented health or personal problems are acceptable as reasons for absence.

The wrap-up session at Stanford is optional. It will include a face-to-face instructional session and a graduation ceremony. Attendance is not compulsory, and participants will have to cover their own travel, accommodation and subsistence costs.

Yes, but don't forget to tell us about your life and career path in detail in your application form.

If you cannot prove that you have studied or worked in English for at least one year, you will have to show a certificate (usually the TOEFL, CAE or CPE).