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.
In 1998, 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 knowledgeable members from all ten parishes in the metropolitan New Orleans area.
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. Building upon this philosophy, the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute was established in 1999. A program was crafted to give local leaders a more thorough understanding of the most 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.
Through the support and guidance of GNO Inc, the Regional Economic Development Organization and parent organization to NORLI for many years, NORLI continued to evolve and grow. With hundreds of alumni graduating from the leadership program, NORLI began a process of strategic planning in 2016 that would define the future vision of the organization. Based upon the recommendations of an independent consulting firm, NORLI incorporated as a non-profit corporation, and subsequently was approved and recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization.
Since becoming independent in 2017, NORLI programming has expanded to include several newer initiatives with the Regional Leadership Program continuing to serve at the core of its activities. With over 700 Alumni to date, NORLI continues to increase its presence in the Greater New Orleans Region and serve as the nexus of thought leadership and civic engagement.
With over 700 alumni since its founding, NORLI has touched every corner of civic engagement and leadership in our region. Parish presidents, state legislators, mayors, councilmen, state elected officials, sheriffs, superintendents of systems, university presidents, executive directors, chief executive officers, and executive leadership staff from around the region have come together to share and to learn. Our Alumni represent the very best professional, public service, and charitable organizations that impact our region and influence the future of our communities. Together, we are connecting and engaging for the betterment of our Region.