History & Mission


In 1988, a task force was formed to develop a leadership program for the New Orleans region. The task force included representatives of the Metropolitan Area Committee, Young Leadership Council, Jefferson Leadership Institute, Leadership Slidell, West St. Tammany Chamber of Commerce, and Leadership Louisiana (a program of Council for a Better Louisiana). A concerted effort was made to include knowledgable members from all ten parishes in the metropolitan area.

Research on successful leadership programs nationwide was conducted through establishment of a relationship with the National Association for Community Leadership and visiting three well-established programs in other parts of the country.

From the beginning, the core values guiding this effort were a dedication to regional cooperation and collaboration and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. These elements were considered essential to economic growth and viability.

Through the efforts of the task force, the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute was established in 1999. A program was crafted to give these leaders a more thorough understanding of the morst pressing issues and an enhanced ability to collaborate for the benefit of the New Orleans Region. The first class of 34 leaders was selected in the fall of 1999, and graduated in the spring of 2000. Since that time, over 600 regional leaders have graduated from the NORLI program and 40 more are due to graduate in June 2018.

NORLI Alumni continue to have an impact in our region, expanding the relationships they made with classmates and further committing themselves to improving our community.



The mission of NORLI is to help promote regionalism and to provide a diverse cross section of current and emerging leaders from the business, non-profit and governmental sectors from throughout the region with a more thorough understanding of issues and an enhanced ability to collaborate for the greater good of the community. 

900 Camp Street, Suite 361, New Orleans, Louisiana 70130 | Phone: (504) 251-3928 | Email: info@norli.org