National Wildlife Federation's Emerging Leaders Initiative

Emerging Leaders

The Emerging Leaders Initiative (ELI) is National Wildlife Federation’s premier young professional leadership program for post-graduates between the ages of 21—35 that’s engaging, empowering and expanding a network of young professional leaders who support the work and mission of NWF, our state affiliates and the conservation movement.

Building off the success of NWF’s Campus Ecology program, ELI is ensuring there is a strong young professional-focused leadership pipeline for post-graduates interested in strengthening the conservation movement in future years.

How Emerging Leaders Came About

During NWF’s 75th Annual Meeting in April 2011, 67 young leaders affiliated with NWF participated in an intensive 2-day assembly that included high impact speakers, thought-provoking breakouts and lunch with NWF's Board of Directors. After convening this Young Leaders Assembly, we developed a plan to gather support and feedback from the assembly to grow our network.

Young Leader

To further engage our emerging leaders, while assisting NWF with movement, mobilization, and program forecasting, we assembled the Emerging Leaders Council (ELC), an expansion of the Young Professional Advisory Council formed in the fall of 2010.

Marking our one year milestone, we convened a delegation of emerging leaders during NWF’s 76th Annual Meeting in April 2012. The delegation developed and passed a federation resolution to support emerging leaders in the conservation movement.

How NWF is Growing the Emerging Leaders Initiative

NWF staff is collaborating with the Emerging Leaders Council to drive the future of the ELI:

  • Engaging and Expanding a Network: A core network of young leaders will strengthen NWF, our affiliates and the broader conservation movement;

  • Empowering Efforts: We support them in pursuing initiatives and ideas they bring to their regions and the movement, and work to develop more career pathways; 

  • Elevating Their Message: We provide a national platform that allows young people to effectively engage other young conservation-minded professionals.


Join the Network!

Looking to connect with NWF's Emerging Leaders? Join our Emerging Leaders Listserv to network with fellow young professionals in the conservation field and receive our monthly NWF Emerging Leaders Bulletin which includes an Emerging Leader Spotlight, job and event listings and opportunities to take action on important environmental issues.

To join the listserv, please email

2014 Emerging Leaders Bulletin Archive

To read past issues of our bulletin click on the links below

January Bulletin

February Bulletin

March Bulletin

April Bulletin

May Bulletin

Join our Community:
Calling All Leaders
  • Young Leaders NWF offers Fellowships for post-graduate, young professionals (ages 21-35) interested in leadership in conservation.

    Learn more >>