Leading People and Investing To Build Sustainable Communities

May 6-10, 2019

4:00 AM - 12:00 PM 


Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities is a collaboration among Harvard Business School (HBS), NAFOA, National Congress of America Indians (NCAI) and AFOA Canada. Its mission is to inspire and support Native finance professionals and leaders, as well as equip them with the tools to lead high-performing, innovative communities or organizations.

Developed under the guidance of HBS Executive Education, Leading People and Investing to Build Sustainable Communities is the only Executive Education program of its kind in North America. Together, esteemed HBS faculty, Native guest speakers who are knowledgeable in their fields, and participants from Native nations in Canada and the United States embark on the HBS campus for four days for a truly transformative experience.  

Over five years, this executive-level program aims to enroll approximately 400 Native finance professionals and leaders from across North America. As part of this year’s customized cohort of approximately 80 participants, you will have the opportunity to engage in interactive and participatory sessions and hear diverse perspectives from your peers.

Admission to the program is highly competitive. Applicants will be selected based on the quality of their application and professional experience. At the program’s conclusion, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion from Harvard Business School. 


This program provides you with the opportunity to view community investments in a broader context. While it is important to understand investment tools, strategies and products, it is equally important to understand how governance practices can shape the management of investments. By examining different institutions and covering topics such as, entrepreneurial finance, negotiations and change management, this program provides a solid grounding in the fundamentals of investment management. You will build the skills and confidence to immediately apply financial analysis techniques, set realistic performance goals, and play a bigger role in helping your community optimize its financial resources and strengthen its sustainability.  


Dates: May 6 - 10, 2019

Location: HBS Campus

Fee: $2,750

The program fee covers tuition, books, case materials, accommodations, and most meals. Payment is due upon admission into the program.


When you participate in an Executive Education program on the HBS campus, you enter an immersive experience where every aspect of the learning model has been carefully designed to facilitate your growth. Your learning will take place on your own, in your living group, and in the larger classroom driven by the renowned HBS case method.

Session Schedule: The program begins at 1:00pm EST on Monday, May 6, 2019, and ends at 1:30pm EST on Friday, May 10, 2019. All program sessions are mandatory, and are held daily from 8:00am to 6:00pm. To receive the most out of the program, group meetings outside of these hours are also required and mandatory for participants to attend.

Accommodations: Majority of HBS Executive Education participants stay on campus in several HBS Executive Education residences. Program participants are encouraged to stay in these residences and the cost of the stay is included in the cost of the program. For more information about these accommodations, visit here.


The program will cover the following topics:

Investment Governance 

·      Make informed decisions about different approaches to portfolio management.

·      Implement effective governance structures.

·      Utilize valuation techniques for assessing investment opportunities.

Entrepreneurial Finance 

·      Develop a framework for evaluating early stage ventures.

·      Make informed decisions about how incorporate different assets into your portfolio.


·      Identify effective ways of engaging with diverse and numerous stakeholders.

·      Utilize frameworks for effective negotiation independently and within a team.

Change Management

·      Develop effective strategies for leading complex and dynamic organizations.

·      Enhance your leadership capabilities and develop strategies to enact positive change in your community.


·      Tribal government leaders including, Chief, Chairperson, Treasurer, Chief of Staff, and Senior Administrators.

·      Finance professionals including, Chief Financial Officers, Executive Officers, Senior Financial Managers, and Senior Accounting Staff with experience working in or with a tribal nation or Native organization. 


The deadline for submission is March 1, 2019. There is a limit of 35 U.S. participants for the May 2019 program. Successful applicants will be notified on or around March 15, 2019. Successful applicants have until March 31, 2019 to confirm their spot in the program and payment is due by April 5, 2019.

Answering Your Questions

Our team can help you at any stage of the admissions process. Contact a staff member via email cpd@nafoa.org.

Application Submission

Please download an application and complete the form. Completed applications can be emailed to cpd@nafoa.org. NAFOA maintains all application information in strict confidentiality. We acknowledge receipt of applications via email. In the unlikely event that you do not receive an acknowledgement, please email us at cpd@nafoa.org

Application Review

Although there are no formal educational requirements, admission is a selective process based on your professional achievement and organizational responsibilities. To optimize the learning experience and maximize the exchange of ideas, NAFOA will utilize the Admissions Criteria outlined by Harvard University. NAFOA will make selections that balance each participant’s experience, scope of current responsibilities, and type of organization. NAFOA will seek candidates who reflect a broad range of functions and backgrounds.

Fee, Payment and Cancellations

The $2,750 program fee covers tuition, books, case materials, accommodations, and most meals. No payment is necessary until you have been accepted. Payment is required prior to the program state date. If you need to cancel or defer participation, you must submit your request in writing more than 30 days before the start of the program to receive a full refund. Cancellations or deferrals received 14 to 30 days prior to the start of the program are subject to a fee of one-half of the program fee. Requests received within 14 days are subject to full payment.

To apply, click "General Registration" on the left side of this page and download the PDF application. 

When complete, e-mail your application and accompanying materials to cpd@nafoa.org