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American Express Builds on its $100 Million Investment in Developing Nonprofit and Social Purpose Leaders

Company's Leadership Academy Hosted Sixth Global Alumni Summit Focused on Building A Successful Path Forward

American Express (NYSE:AXP) held its sixth Leadership Academy Global Alumni Summit virtually on April 27-29 with over 475 participants, a record-setting number which included over 200 social purpose leaders from 31 countries. Driven by the theme Our Path Forward. Lead. Listen. Flourish., the Summit included networking, professional development and collaboration opportunities for emerging nonprofit and social purpose leaders, as the social sector continues to navigate the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2007, American Express has invested $100 million in leadership development programs globally and this year’s Summit builds on American Express’ longstanding commitment to this giving area.

“Nonprofit and social purpose leaders are at the forefront of the many interconnected challenges our communities face,” said Richard Brown, Vice President of Philanthropy at American Express. “Now more than ever, it’s critical that we support leaders with the resources and opportunities to invest in their development and networking, as they work collaboratively across the world to deliver meaningful solutions.”

For the first time, the majority of the sessions during the Summit were led by program alumni, empowering experts from within American Express’ Leadership Academy Alumni Network to facilitate engaging peer-to-peer learning. Taught by alumni from Botswana, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Philippines, United Kingdom and the United States, the 20+ workshops explored critical topics relevant to today’s challenges from how to leverage alternative models for nonprofit fundraising to building compassionate workplaces that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion.

Dell Technologies, a new partner of the American Express Leadership Academy, hosted a “The Future of Work” workshop, exploring how emerging technologies are poised to intersect with evolving social and economic forces that will define the future of work in 2030.

“To drive positive social change, we need to enable nonprofits to innovate and transform in the way they deliver programs and services needed most,” said Jamila Cowan, Director of Team Member Giving and Volunteering at Dell Technologies. “Technology is critical to scale the important work being carried out by nonprofits and the Leadership Academy is a fantastic opportunity for us to support nonprofits on their digital journey.”

During the Summit, American Express also announced the winner of the American Express Leadership Academy Alumni Award which honors an outstanding leader who demonstrates strong leadership while continually impacting his or her community. This year’s recipient was Jacob Ireri, Chief Executive Officer of the Deaf Empowerment Society of Kenya (DESK), a nongovernmental organization based in Kenya that seeks to advance the empowerment and independence of deaf people. The award included a $25,000 grant to DESK.

The American Express Leadership Academy Global Alumni Summit was produced in partnership with Atlas Corps, a nonprofit organization focused on developing leaders through training programs and a global alumni community of skilled social change professionals.

About American Express’ Leadership Initiatives

One of American Express' three philanthropic platforms is Developing Leaders. For more than a decade, the company has devoted resources to creating and funding programs that strengthen leaders within nonprofit and social purpose organizations working to solve the world's biggest challenges, with a specific focus on leaders who are people of color and from underrepresented groups. From 2007 to 2020, American Express has supported the training of more than 150,000 social purpose leaders from more than 100 countries.

Founded in 2008, the American Express Leadership Academy builds the personal, business and leadership skills of emerging nonprofit and social purpose leaders through multi-day trainings. The initiative has grown to a global program, training world-class leaders in the areas of education, the arts, social services, health, the environment, and more. From 2008 to 2020, American Express hosted more than 160 Leadership Academy programs around the world, training more than 5,400 nonprofit and social purpose leaders.

For more information on the American Express Leadership Academy Alumni Summit, please visit LeaderStories.


American Express is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at and connect with us on,,,, and

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Source: American Express Company

Location: U.S.


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