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Our Programs

Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders

Today corporations and high impact organizations face the growing challenge to diversify their workforce and management corps by launching robust recruitment campaigns. Yet, the inability to retain those recruited suggests the need for a unique leadership excellence program that focuses less on the important external skills of leadership, and more on the internal qualities of high level, successful leaders as the strength of character, integrity, dependability, empathy, confidence, resiliency, relationship and team building. The Master Series of Distinguished Leaders has uniquely crafted a program for people of color in middle management, ages 25-45, which strengthens the inner qualities of leaders that will be manifested in higher productivity, organizational team building, emotional intelligence, and performance.

Now accepting applications

MSDL Fellows move from PURPOSE, or the work a leader is called to do, to PROMISE, or the difference a leader is called to make to improve the human condition.

The unique benefits of the MSDL program include:

  • Outstanding faculty.

  • Exposure to high-level leaders and decision-makers.

  • Renowned veteran leaders as Master Coaches

  • Mastery of effective communications.

  • Life-work balance; executive wellness lectures.

  • Public Policy making skills development.

  • Active MSDL Alumni network.

The Masters Series for Distinguished Leaders (MSDL) was co-founded in 2008 by Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, together with the late Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Chair Emerita of the National Council of Negro Women, The Honorable Alexis Herman, former U.S. Secretary of Labor, The Honorable Constance Newman, specialist in African affairs who served under seven different U.S. presidents, as well as other members of the African American Leadership Family. The Leadership Family is a cadre of accomplished veteran leaders, committed to nurturing and developing a new generation of difference-making executive level leaders. Through this global leadership excellence and public policy shaping program we have recruited and mentored more than 150 young, high performing corporate and nonprofit leaders with the same character and quality as these veteran leaders that have advanced African Americans through Civil Rights and the Post Civil Rights Movement era, and reinforced a value system of service, giving back, intergenerational coaching, team and coalition building. MSDL has been so successful that it has attracted enrollees from corporations and organizations like Coca-Cola North America, Enterprise Holdings, Microsoft, Verizon, ExxonMobil, United Way, Shell, AARP, Northrop Grumman, and Toyota Motor Corporation.


MSDL's success is first rooted in a bipartisan, intergenerational faculty of expert leadership developers, with access to top leaders across the globe, and a proven track record of equipping young leaders for exceptional performance.

National Leaders
National Leaders
Clergy Leaders
Masters Series for Distinguished Clergy

Masters Series for Distinguished Clergy is our unique program that equips clergy leaders to move past symptoms of injustice such as poverty and racism, and address the systems that produce these symptoms. The MSDC program addresses the special needs, pressures, and temptations facing high impact clergy, which often results in behavior that is destructive to leaders, their families, their health, and their ministries. MSDC also focuses on such critical internal leadership qualities as character strength, integrity, empathy, courage, confidence, and resiliency needed to “stand in the gap” on behalf of the poor and vulnerable.

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The unique benefits of the MSDC program are:

  • Discovering your prophetic call to ministry as promise driven leaders.

  • Becoming personally fortified against the pressures of high impact leadership.

  • Becoming equipped with tools for effective legislative advocacy.

  • Becoming equipped with media skills to act as effective moral messengers.

  • Joining a support network of like-minded activist clergy leaders.

MSDC has become a premiere program for clergy who seek to become the next generation of high character leaders, operating as difference-makers and society changes that impact the human condition.

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