Global Leadership Institute for Professionals

Developing professionals into internationally-minded business leaders.

What is the Global Leadership Institute (GLI)?

GLI is a rich and engaging, four months-long leadership development program from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. In this cohort-based model, participants build their cultural diplomacy and global fluency skills as well as increase their comfort and effectiveness when working across international cultures.

Four interactive training sessions led by Terri Morrison, the world-renowned author of the bestselling business book Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands®, will equip leaders with the tools to negotiate, supervise, dine and build relationships with people from over the world.

Participants can opt into a 3-month professional mentorship component to be paired with a regional business leader. Training is provided on how to maximize the impact of having a mentor.

Participants will utilize their cultural diplomacy training and “pay-it-forward” at the Bodine High School for International Affairs. This volunteer component helps grow the next generation of globally fluent leaders. The Council co-founded this public Philadelphia high school in 1981 and we provided structured opportunities for you to engage with the school.

Build relationships with dozens of other professionals in your cohort representing a wide variety of companies across Philadelphia.  Ample relationship building opportunities are integrated into the program.

Complimentary access to a variety of speaker programs and international networking events from the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia during your cohort, followed by a year of complimentary individual membership.

Who are typical participants?

Candidates are typically emerging leaders at the early-to-mid stage of their careers who have a growing interest in global fluency and cultural diplomacy. They want to operate successfully across international cultures, whether they are road warriors traveling the world for work, leading virtual meetings with customers abroad, or managing relationships at the home office with colleagues from around the world.  Candidates are eager learners who would like to leverage their interest in world affairs in order to achieve a better understanding of commercial, cultural, and political dynamics in the competitive global marketplace. Candidates should work/live in Philadelphia and the surrounding area and be willing and able to make the necessary time commitments.

When, where & how does the program operate?

  • Session 1 – In person – Kick Off & Cultural Diplomacy Training

  • Session 2 – Virtual – In-Depth Cultural Diplomacy Training

  • Session 3 – In person – International Dining Etiquette Dinner

  • Session 4 – Virtual – In-Depth Cultural Diplomacy Training

  • Session 5 – Volunteer at Bodine High School for International Affairs

  • Session 6 – Concluding program & World Affairs Salon VIP reception

  • Peer-to-peer networking

  • Mentorship from corporate leaders across the region

  • Attending world class speaker events and programs as you choose 

Why should someone participate?

For leaders to be successful, global fluency, world affairs awareness, and cross-cultural competency are critical. Over 95% of the world’s population lives, buys, and innovates outside of the U.S. Over 80% of global economic growth will occur outside of the U.S. More than 1 in 7 people in the U.S. are immigrants. One in five jobs in Philadelphia is held by someone born abroad. 

In addition to improving your own skills, participants will share their newfound expertise by helping train the next generation of local high school students in similar areas. You will benefit from being paired with your own mentor and building new relationships with peers from companies across the region. GLI is a personally and professionally eye-opening experience to bring leaders to the next level with an international lens.

Who is the Expert Trainer?

Terri Morrison is a speaker and author of ten books which have sold over 475,000 copies and have been translated into multiple languages.  Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands® is one of INC. Magazine’s "7 Best Books on How to Negotiate" and is a Library Journal and Business Week “Best Business Book.” Her new book is published by the American Bar Association. Her keynotes are informative and engaging. They compare Intercultural Communications & Negotiations Styles, Global Sales & Marketing Techniques, Diversity & Inclusion Issues, Body Language Across Cultures, and Intercultural Legal Topics.

Role and Expectations of the GLI Class of 2022

  • September 7, 2022 | early evening, Center City | Meet your cohort; cultural diplomacy training

  • September 22, 2022 | early evening, virtual | Interactive cultural diplomacy training

  • October 19, 2022 | early evening, Center City | International dining & hosting etiquette dinner

  • November 9, 2022 | early evening, virtual | Interactive cultural diplomacy training

  • November 2022 dates TBD | Volunteer with your cohort at the Bodine High School for International Affairs.  Times and exact dates will be determined collaboratively

  • December 13, 2022 | evening, Center City | World Affairs Salon networking reception


In addition to the fixed dates above, participants will have the flexible option to engage further by:


  • Opting into a 3-month professional mentorship program where you will be paired with a business leader in the region.

  • Relationship building with others in your cohort.

  • Attending world affairs speaker programs throughout the region.

  • For those who opt into the mentorship program, you will have the opportunity to share what your goals are for the relationship, if there are sectors to avoid or seek for a mentor, and set expectations.
  • Brief training on how to maximize a mentorship relationship will be provided. 
  • Mentor matching will take place in September.
  • Mentor meetings should be initiated by the participant, not the mentor.  Meetings take place in any mutually convenient location or format. 
  • The mentorship relationship is structured to last 3 months, September to December. It may continue on if both parties agree.
  • Work in a group to choose the project from options provided by the school community.
  • Engage with fellow GLI participants to plan and implement the project, which may include working directly with the school, students and faculty.  Past projects have included resume writing workshops, mock job interviews, school beautification, fundraisers to hang world flags within the school, technology enhancements, and more.
  • All GLI participants are provided with complimentary access to the majority of 2022 World Affairs Council speaker events. Click here to view all current upcoming events.
  • Attendance at speaker events provides participants with high level access to world leaders, non-partisan perspectives on global issues, unique networking opportunities outside the scope of designated GLI core events and workshops, and is an excellent opportunity to engage in global thinking.


July 13, 2022 – Deadline to Apply

July 29, 2022 – All applicants are notified of acceptance

August 15, 2022 – Fee payments are due

2022 Fall Application Now Closed

If you are interested in learning about more ways to get involved with the Council or would like information about next year's cohort, please email us!

2022 Fall Program Description

Find out the who, what, why, and when for the Global Leadership Institute!

Is your company a corporate member of the Council?

Find out more about your special access to GLI!