​Certificate in Public Leadership

​The Certificate in Public Leadership (CPL) is the most flexible of WashU at Brookings certificate programs.

Open to all U.S. federal, state and local government employees, the CPL is recognized as a mark of distinction for today’s public leaders. Not only does the curriculum provide you with the skills and mindset you need to lead in today’s turbulent environment, it offers opportunities to establish important networks to leverage learning across government.

Apart from one required course, any of our course offerings are credited toward completion, including custom programs. You can increase your knowledge of complex policy challenges, enhance your management capabilities, or develop your leadership capacity.

Proof of vaccination is required to attend in-person courses held on the WashU at Brookings campus.
One to two weeks prior to your course, you will receive further instructions on how to provide this documentation.


Twenty days of classes are required to obtain the Certificate in Public Leadership. You also must write a final three- to five-page essay describing the knowledge you have acquired and its application.

Ethics in Action: Leading with Integrity, a two day course, is required.

For the remaining 18 days of classroom learning, you’ll choose programs that match your strengths, personal or professional development plans, or interests. Five of the selected courses must be focused on leadership, rather than policy. There is no time limit or sequence for completing the 20 days of classroom learning.

You must register to participate in the CPL program (registration is free). You may receive credit for prior courses attended within a two-year period prior to enrollment. To register or to obtain more information, contact the registrar at registrar@brookings.edu or 800-925-5730.