Application Information

Submission Deadline: April 30, 2020

Leadership South Dakota is looking for a diverse range of motivated, driven, and excited individuals  who are committed to a better South Dakota. Our application process reflects this commitment.


Application Process

Approximately 40 applicants from around the state will be selected to participate in Leadership South Dakota 2020-2021—joining an alumni of almost 250 Leadership South Dakota graduates. 

Following completion of the program, participants are expected to stay active in Leadership South Dakota, enhancing their leadership experience and helping to strengthen the program for the future. Please consider this ongoing commitment as you apply for the program. If you aren’t selected initially, we encourage you to re-apply for the next class through the Re-Applying Applicant Form.

Application Deadline has been extended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic until April 30, 2020 at 5:00pm CDT

Dates Location Notes & Details
September 16 – 18, 2020 Pierre Program Orientation & State Government
October 14 – 16, 2020 Brookings Agriculture, Manufacturing & Education
November 11 – 13, 2020 Rapid City South Dakota Tourism, Natural Res. & Military
January 13 – 15, 2021 Yankton Rural Initiatives
February 10 – 12, 2021 Kyle Native American History & Culture
March 17 – 19, 2021 Sioux Falls Health & Financial Systems
March 26, 2021 Chamberlain Graduation & Program Wrap-up

Applications for the 2020-2021 Leadership South Dakota Class are submitted online, opening January 21, 2020 and closing April 30, 2020 at 5:00pm CDT. Materials required for the application process include:

  • $50 application fee for first time applicants (non-refundable)
  • Completed application form
  • Current résumé and headshot
  • Employer Signed Statement
  • Leadership South Dakota Agreement Form

Printable Application Guide

*Please note that there are several long-form questions that will need to be answered on your application. See this document to prepare for those responses. This document is not meant to be filled out, but to be used as a resource for what will be expected.





Please read carefully. Failure to follow instructions will prevent the application from being considered. The following items must be submitted by March 31, 2020 at 5 PM CDT.

1. Online Application

The online application should be completed and submitted by April 30, 2020 at 5 PM CDT. If you are a Re-Applying Applicant, no application fee is required. If you are a First Time Applicant, a $50 fee (non-refundable) will be required. If you are unable to pay with a card, please contact us at All applicants need to complete and submit all application materials.

2. Résumé & Headshot

A current résumé must be uploaded to the application. The résumé should include any civic, professional and personal contributions you have made at the local, state or national levels. Additionally, please upload a professional headshot (preferably in JPEG or PNG format) of yourself. We prefer that your headshot be uploaded with your application; however, if you do not have a professional headshot readily available, please email to as soon as possible after submitting your application. Headshots will not be used in the selection process, but will be displayed on Leadership South Dakota’s website, if you are selected as a candidate.

3. Leadership South Dakota Agreement Form

A completed and signed Leadership South Dakota Agreement Form must be uploaded along with the application.

Download Agreement Form

4. Employer Statement Form

A completed and signed Employer Statement Form from your business or organization indicating their understanding and support of the time commitment of your participation in the Leadership South Dakota Program is required with the application.

Download Employer Statement Form


The cost to each participant is $3,000. This does not include travel expenses (transportation to and from session location and hotel expenses). These costs can be covered by your employer or yourself. Tuition is due around August 1 and may be paid as a one-time payment or a fee payment plan may be arranged.

Optional: Tuition Assistance
Applicants requesting partial financial assistance are required to complete and upload the Tuition Assistance Form with the program application.

Download Tuition Assistance Form


Other Application Notes

Selection of class members is determined by a committee of corporate sponsors and Leadership SD alumni. Any questions about the application process should be sent to We will provide a link once your employer or a Leadership South Dakota corporate sponsor has notified us.


Please Select Which Application Best Fits You.

First Time Applying

This is the application for those who are applying for Leadership South Dakota for the first time. A non-refundable $50 registration fee is required when submitting the application.

You will need:



This is the application for those who have applied for Leadership South Dakota in previous years. If you have submitted an application within the last five years, you do not need to pay another registration fee.

You will need: