The Political Leadership Development Program (known as “Boot Camp”) generates tomorrow’s political leaders with the expertise to succeed and make a difference.

This highly-acclaimed intensive leadership development program is designed to help participants who want to become leaders, strategists, and key staff members.

Our non-partisan educational program is offered each summer in the national capital area. Approved applicants participate in a comprehensive curriculum developed and led by outstanding facilitators who help students learn proven strategies and develop skills that are critical to winning, including:

    • How to develop a winning strategy and develop and execute a successful campaign plan

    • How to develop and lead an effective campaign staff and volunteer team

    • How to develop and communicate clear and compelling messages that motivate others to take action

    • How to raise the funds needed to win

    • How to take advantage of the latest technology

Our approach to political leadership development is highly-interactive.  For example, all participants will engage in a simulated campaign.  They will fulfill specific campaign team roles, compete in an election with other teams, and experience what is required to develop and lead either an electoral or ballot initiative campaign, from the origins of the campaign through Election Day.

The first CBCI Political Leadership Training “Boot Camp” was held in 2002. Today, more than 700 graduates are putting the political leadership skills they developed to work. Alumni typically forge strong bonds and long-lasting relationships with their peers in the program. Most not only stay in touch through a variety of methods; they also support one another by making contributions, showing up to help run campaigns, or helping to teach future CBCI Political Leadership Training “Boot Camp” students.

Most alumni describe their time at the CBCI Political Leadership Training “Boot Camp” as a transformative experience. We invite you to apply to join this dynamic, powerful group of public and private sector policy leaders.


96.0% of boot camp graduates are employed 

92.8% of boot camp graduates are employed in a political/campaign related field

84.0% of boot camp graduates say the training prepared them for their current positions

82.0% of boot camp graduates have been involved in political campaigns since attending boot camp

86.0% of boot camp graduates say that they have or will run for political office



“The Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s Political Boot Camp program helped operationalize my desire to change the world. Boot Camp trained me and gave me the tools necessary to not only win elections also positively impact my community. The most valuable part of my experience was gaining an extended family of political experts. Ten years later, we are actively still supporting each other in our work whether it is running for office or tapping into each other’s expertise for campaigns and national partnerships. CBCI Political Boot Camp has truly rained some of the best political operatives and candidates in the world.”

-Waikinya Clanton

“The CBCI Boot Camp not only changed my life but it gave me a blessed assurance about the road I felt called to travel. The speakers, challenges, networking, team building, exposure, and the real world applications garnered during the experience have not only been helpful for me in politics and in business but most importantly the things I learned at Boot Camp have helped me to be a better servant leader.”

-Antjuan Seawright