Leadership Development

We develop leaders who can lead their own community…

Critical resources for solving a community’s problems already exist within that community. Leadership needed to discern, develop and implement those solutions does, too. Peacebuilding requires nurturing locally-rooted leadership at all levels of the peacebuilding process.

… from the inside out.

Creating and holding the authentic, productive space required to build sustainable peace within a community requires leadership from inside that community. 

While effective local leaders are found throughout a community, they can’t be appointed from the outside and they can’t be fashioned in capacity-building workshops. They grow in practice, over time. Local leaders have deep roots in their community, are grounded in purpose and experience, and always reach for a more connected whole. They are very often humble and speak in quiet voices. They create space for others to lead.


Inviting, discerning and developing the leadership potential within a community is one of the ways those outside that community can provide critical peacebuilding support. A person’s status or their sex may make them invisible to others inside their community, so leadership potential can sometimes be seen more clearly from the outside. The challenge or the urgency of day to day realities may fully absorb a potential leader’s time and energies. So bringing an opportunity for action and an invitation from the outside can be the catalyst for leaders moving from potential to demonstrated capacity.

Catalyst for Peace works to put systems in place to ensure that leadership from within is cultivated at all levels of a peacebuilding process.  Once identified, we help leaders develop the skills and strengthen their commitment and expand their capacity to design and lead their own peacebuilding efforts, from within their community or sector. These are core components of our inside-out approach to developing and leaders:

  • We look for and strive to see leadership potential more broadly and more clearly;
  • We invite local people with leadership potential into an initial peacebuilding space;
  • We facilitate local leaders defining for themselves their community’s needs, resources, and shaping the vision for solutions;
  • We create space for leaders to reflect on and recommit to their highest purpose and calling, and to make ongoing tending to that an important part of their leadership journey;
  • We invite leaders into action⎯springing from their purpose, building on and toward their vision;
  • We share stories, processes, and relevant expertise, from trauma healing to program design, to general skill development;
  • We invest in ongoing training, mentoring, coaching and educating; and
  • We walk beside local leaders on the long road to a living, locally-owned peace.

We develop successful community leaders who:

  • Share power. When local leaders are charged with developing other leaders, their peacebuilding effort is multiplied and monitored from the inside, avoiding the trap of individual leaders accruing too much power.
  • Steer by their values. The most effective local peacebuilding initiatives are driven not by a desire for personal recognition but by the desire to live out personal values.
  • See the capacity of their communities, and take joy from mobilizing and magnifying it.