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Certificate in Public Leadership

Earn a widely recognized credential that distinguishes you as a public leader.

WashU at Brookings’s Certificate in Public Leadership (CPL) strengthens your ability to lead change in a complex, uncertain world. It also provides a network of professionals from across government who share your commitment to public service and offer a wealth of knowledge and resources.

Twenty class units of credit are required to complete your certificate. You do not have to take courses in a specific order or finish the program within a certain time frame. Class credit also is conferred for any WashU at Brookings course taught at your agency.


  • Open to all U.S. federal, state and local government employees
  • 20 total class units
  • Ethics in Action: Leading with Integrity class
  • A minimum of 10 leadership units
  • Active class participation
  • Three- to five-page paper documenting the impact of certificate courses


  • Certificate from a highly regarded institution
  • Deeper, broader leadership skills
  • Connections with leaders from across government
  • No deadline for program completion
  • Interactions with Olin Business School faculty, Brookings scholars and other subject-matter experts

Note: You must be enrolled in the CPL to receive course credit for the certificate. You may receive credit for WashU at Brookings courses you attended within a two-year period prior to enrollment in the CPL program. You also may apply up to 10 units of class credit from policy courses taken for the CPL program. There is no application or fee to enroll.

Contact or call 800-925-5730.

“Course topics were right up my alley, particularly the subject matter and tools focused on leadership, ethics and innovation. My Brookings experience was exactly what I needed.” – Certificate in Public Leadership recipient

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