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 17th 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

woman in military camo saluting

Nov 11: While veterans are not well represented in Congress, the number of female veterans currently in the legislative branch is even more limited. Four female veterans serve in the House and two in the Senate writes WeLead alum Melissa Sullivan in her Gender on the Ballot post.

digital expert catherine algeri at welead 110621

Nov 6: The WeLead session on campaigns covered developing a platform and consistent message, rallying support and building coalitions, and integrating digital marketing into more traditional advertising and mail strategies. Pictured Digital Consultant Catherine Algeri. Read More

headshots of two women of color

Oct 18: With many women running for Governor or other statewide executive roles in 2022, WeLead expert speaker Atima Omara explores ways to increase women's representation, and especially more Black and other women of color. Read her Gender on the Ballot post.

WL Expert Speaker Kate Black with two students

Oct 2: WPI launched WeLead2022 with skills and advice about women running for office and leading from a WeLead alumni panel, a leadership coach, former EMILY's List executive Kate Black (pictured, center), and State Representative Melissa Shusterman (PA-157). Read More

About WeLead

Six WeLead alumnae standing by banner

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: WeLead Alumnae Melissa Sullivan, Sarah Rovito, Zandria Haines, Erika Dyer, WPI Executive Director Betsy Fischer Martin, and Alexandra Weinroth.

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 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 speaker Jeannie Carlson headshot

WeLead Speaker Spotlight

Jeannie Carlson
Founding Partner, Blue Nation Strategies

Read More

welead alumna Audrey Henson headshot

WeLead Alumni Spotlight

Audrey Henson
Candidate, U.S. House of Representatives (R-FL-13)

Read More

Panel at virtual book talk event

Government & Politics ·

Wave of Women Elected Shatters What It Looks Like to Serve in Congress

Read More

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.

Sign Up

Gender on the Ballot Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all the latest news + gender analysis in politics.

Sign Up

WPI Newsletter

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

Sign Up