Leadership development

No one is born an engaged leader: it requires networking, training, and role models 


The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Fellowship and Mentorship programs focus on leadership development, empowering and supporting our Scholars as they become engaged leaders, aware of the impact of their research on various communities, attuned to realities on the ground, and open to new and unconventional ways of learning. 

Fellows and Mentors will be role models who provide intellectual tools that promote both thought and action. 

Further, Fellows and Mentors will contribute to developing Scholars’ intellectual skills, but this is just one aspect of the role. By sharing their vision of leadership, they will help Scholars anticipate and take the lead on societal issues which they influence and affect.  

The Foundation encourages informal exchanges among its members and invites its Fellows and Mentors to be available to Scholars outside of scheduled Foundation activities. Doctoral and post-doctoral work is fraught with challenges. The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation community should be a source of guidance for its Scholars. Fellows and Mentors are encouraged to listen to, and advise, any Scholars who ask them to do so.  


Fellows and Mentors are chosen with a view to having them organize Institutes of Engaged Leadership in the course of a scientific cycle. They will organize the content for each Institute. Fellows and Mentors from each cohort must attend at least one Institute.  

The key goal of the Institutes is to teach and encourage Scholars to take the time to listen and understand, as a necessary prelude towards effective action. Fellows and Mentors are charged with furthering this goal. 

The first stage of the Institute of Engaged Leadership, which the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation will run in 2019, will focus on the dynamic relationship between "Power and Knowledge" 

Power represents authority and the ability to set and impose standards. Knowledge is understanding authority, where it is derived and through which mechanisms and structures. 

Power and knowledge are related; knowledge is power. Understanding this relationship and the roots of power imbalances offers the means to criticize, transform, and change the balance of power.


The following themes will be at the core of the Institutes in 2019-2020:  

  • Inequality of power, and exclusion  

  • Altering relations of power, and inclusion 

  • Marginalized groupsmarginalized thinking 

  • Reconciliation 

The first official Institute of Engaged Leadership will take place in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories (27 October – 2 November 2019). The second Institute of Engaged Leadership will take place in Washington, D.C. (15 March – 21 March 2020).

These two unique and different locations will allow us to take a deep dive into what Power & Knowledge means in two very different contexts; one, a rural, Northern location and the other a centre of Western, political power.