The application window for Leadership South Dakota 2021-2022 has closed. Please keep us in mind and revisit us next year to apply for the following year. However, if you’d like to understand more about the application process, below gives more detail and we encourage you to view the rest of our site to learn what Leadership South Dakota is all about.


Application Information

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 each year. 

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 deadlines for the 2022-2023 Leadership South Dakota Class will be given at a later date. However, 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



1. Online Application

The online application should be completed and submitted by a future date that will be later announced. 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.

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.


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.


Other Application Notes

Selection of class members is determined by a committee of corporate sponsors. Any questions about the application process should be sent to



COVID 19 Statement

COVID-19 has impacted how everyone works and that is also true for the Leadership South Dakota program. While we are hopeful for the vaccine and medical advancements to help return daily life and work to a pre-pandemic status, our staff monitors CDC guidelines and seeks to implement current best practices. Our primary COVID-19 operating policies are listed below; however, we readily acknowledge information related to the COVID-19 pandemic is dynamic and we will make adjustments as warranted.

Masks on the move

An integral part of the Leadership South Dakota program is experiencing new facets of our great state. This often includes group transportation, tours, meet and greet settings, etc. In these instances we ask for “masks on the move” to best protect one another, as well as those hosting and touring us around.


We ask that every participant monitor your health and any symptoms associated with COVID-19. Should you experience any of the following symptoms (CDC COVID-19 Symptoms List), we request that you notify one of the Leadership South Dakota staff members and recuse yourself from any program activities within the recommended quarantine period.

Commitment to Quality

Our commitment to providing a once-in-a-lifetime leadership development experience has not wavered. We have adjusted for the unique challenges presented by COVID-19, but we have not compromised on the quality of the content, experiences, and key leadership learning. If you have specific questions or concerns related to COVID-19 and are applying for the Leadership South Dakota program, we encourage you to reach out to our director, Rick Melmer via email –