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The mission of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Project Leadership Institute (PLI) program is to cultivate a self-sustaining and diverse network of successful DOE project delivery practitioners—those capable of delivering major high-risk projects. The PLI program participants will contribute to building a culture of project management excellence, helping to transform the delivery of DOE projects.


The vision for the PLI program is to provide cohort participants with a prestigious, transformational professional development experience that is simultaneously both a leadership development and project delivery course of study and practice, tailored to the DOE context. The program will be designed to be rigorous and intensive. It will include experiential learning components and interaction with leaders from a variety of fields. Participants will undertake self assessment activities to reveal strengths and potential weaknesses in the project leadership context. The PLI program will emphasize critical leadership development principles including stakeholder communications, perspective-taking, ethics, service, and self-reflection.

The program will offer a structured point of entry into the DOE project leadership community. Today, new entrants into this community typically rely on ad hoc interactions and project peer reviews to make connections outside of their home institution. The PLI will provide a “front door” means to gain access to the community’s collective experiences and perspectives through the network of PLI alumni, Board members, and instructors/speakers. Alumni will continue to contribute to and derive value from the network well beyond their cohort participation. The PLI network will amplify support of project delivery excellence through individual service exemplified by peer review and mentorship.

The PLI program participants and administrators will, over time, accelerate the pace of learning. Together they will build a library of knowledge in the form of publications, recordings, case studies, reflections, and other materials that will articulate insights and lessons learned from DOE projects. This knowledge will have broad benefit, not only to the PLI network, but also to the wider DOE complex. The PLI will promote the development of tools and informational resources that aid DOE project executives, project teams, and other key participants in major projects.

A key indicator of the PLI program’s success will be the willingness and enthusiasm of prospective participants and their Laboratory Directors (or equivalent senior executives) to seek the opportunity. A successful PLI will be regarded by a broad cross section of DOE’s programs and contractor organizations as an essential career/workforce development resource.