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American Express Foundation Launches Leadership Academy in the UK


LONDON - The American Express Foundation will launch the American Express Leadership Academy tomorrow in the United Kingdom. The programme will help develop the next generation of leaders in the not-for-profit sector.

The first American Express Leadership Academy in the United Kingdom will be run in partnership with Common Purpose and builds on the successful launch of the Academy in the U.S.

The Leadership Academy will feature sessions with American Express Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth I. Chenault and Sir David Bell, Chairman of Common Purpose.

The Leadership Academy will bring together 25 emerging leaders from some of the UK’s leading charities including community, educational, international relief and cultural organisations. The Academy is part of a broader commitment from the American Express Foundation to work with these and other organisations to develop a broader pool of world-class leaders committed to working in the not-for-profit sector.

“In the current climate, it is even more important that leaders in the not-for-profit sector are equipped to be highly efficient and effective within their organisation and in their work with new partners and stakeholders, but they will need to achieve this while holding true to their own unique sense of purpose,” said Sir David Bell, Chairman of Common Purpose. “There are few opportunities for not-for-profit leadership development available, which is why the American Express Leadership Academy is a very welcome development for emerging leaders in this sector.”

The Leadership Academy will focus on building the personal, management and leadership skills needed to run a successful not-for-profit organisation. American Express and other executives participating in the Leadership Academy will focus on topics that include career development, business strategy, and customer service.

“For our inaugural American Express Leadership Academy in the UK we have assembled some of the finest emerging leaders who are dedicated and poised to play a key role in the not-for-profit sector,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president, American Express Foundation. “At American Express, we appreciate the impact that talented leaders have in business, in the community and in society. We are committed to providing current and future not-for-profit leaders with opportunities to build and hone leadership skills that are critical to the sector.”

Participation in the first UK Leadership Academy has been offered to 25 emerging leaders from 10 national and Brighton-area organisations. Each of the participants holds a manager-level position, is dedicated to a career in the not-for-profit sector and has built strong momentum in his or her respective field. To ensure the Leadership Academy has a lasting impact and to measure its effectiveness, participants will set goals and action plans during the training, and will have access to follow-up support from Common Purpose in the form of online tools, telephone coaching sessions, and a six-month review session to complete their training.

About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on, and

American Express: Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow
One of American Express’ three platforms for its philanthropy is Developing New Leaders for Tomorrow. Under this giving initiative, which recognises the significance of strong leadership in the not-for-profit sector, American Express is making grants focused on training high potential emerging leaders to tackle important issues in the 21st century.

About Common Purpose
Common Purpose is an independent and international not-for-profit organisation that has designed and delivered leadership development courses for over 30,000 people in 11 countries since 1989.

People at all stages of their career in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors have learned how to lead more effectively as an individual, within their organisation and in wider society as a result of completing a Common Purpose course.


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