Office of Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (LEAD)


The New York City Department of Education Office of Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (LEAD) is reimagining new possibilities for leadership development by providing robust professional learning for system-wide talent groups. LEAD nurtures leadership in service to the 32 community school districts (CSD) that comprise New York City. We believe that focusing on comprehensive talent development from central level leadership through assistant principals using robust and targeted professional learning, support, coaching, and research are the greatest levers to achieve excellence for community school districts.

In alignment with the Chancellors goal of developing people, LEAD will support talent-development that builds a pipeline of leaders that are prepared to serve the system in schools, districts, or centrally.

Statement of Purpose/What We Do

The mission of the New York City Department of Education Office of Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (LEAD) is to support talent by leading and facilitating professional learning and development opportunities to ensure coherence and sustainability throughout the system. The mission of the New York City Department of Education Office of Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (LEAD) works with leaders to strengthen the leadership muscle of NYCDOE talent in service to building and sustaining an internal pipeline of leaders. As a strategy for coherence the New York City Department of Education Office of Leadership, Empowerment, and Development (LEAD) developed the following requisite focus areas for talent development.

Research in Support of the Work

In alignment with Wallace Foundation research and the New York City Department of Education Chancellor’s Priorities of Equity and Developing people, LEAD  understands that “Successful educational leaders develop their districts and schools as effective organizations that support and sustain the performance of administrators and teachers as well as students." In doing so, we understand the complex interdependence of community relationships and will work to provide a solid foundation of coherence, research, community thought partners, coaches and courses to shape confident and prepared leaders who are astute problem solvers, community builders, and equity warriors.


  • Leadership prepared to serve the 32 Community School Districts 
  • Leadership pipeline from teacher level leader through district level leader 
  • Leadership preparation with access to national experts and research 
  • Leadership with a community centered focus to lead with direct impact

Focus Areas

  • Focus Area 1: Onboarding and Leadership Development 
  • Focus Area 2: Support and Retention
  • Focus Area 3: Supervision and Evaluation

Borough Leadership Council 

The Borough Leadership Council (BLC) develops and strengthens the New York City Department of Education’s (NYCDOE) leadership pipeline by building capacity and establishing a bench of future leaders across talent groups. By providing an overarching structure for leadership development and talent management, the BLC allows for the flexibility needed to meet the distinct leadership needs of each community school district within each Executive Superintendent’s borough (Bronx, Manhattan, Queens North, Queens South, Brooklyn North, Brooklyn South/Staten Island, D75 and D79). BLCs provide the mechanisms and structures for learning, support, coaching and mentorship, emphasizing strategic hiring, and onboarding of supervisors and administrators.

Lead Talent Group

  • Executive Superintendents
  • Executive Directors
  • Superintendents
  • Deputy Superintendents
  • Principals
  • Assistant Principals

LEAD Opportunities and Offerings

New Principal Support (NPS) provides executive leadership coaching for first- and second-year principals. Coaches are all current or recent school leaders who receive 100 hours of coach specific training to employ the International Coach Federation (ICF) Core Competencies in their coaching work. All coaches have served as successful principals in New York City. Coaching supports are differentiated by the needs of each first- and second-year principal. Every first-year principal is matched with a coach who provides approximately 72 hours of individualized coaching. Every second-year principal is offered the opportunity to receive up to 36 additional hours of one-on-one coaching.

Leadership Programs

Aspiring Superintendent Bootcamp (ASB): This inaugural three-month program launched virtually in April and is an opportunity for current or former school building leaders who currently have their SDA/SDL and aspire to become New York City Department of Education Community/High School Superintendents. The inaugural cohort launched in April 2021. The next cohort will begin in Fall of 2021. For more information see the ASB one-pager.

Aspiring Superintendent Academy (ASA): Launching in the summer of 2021 for the duration of the 2021-2022 academic year. The Academy for Aspiring Superintendents (ASA) will prepare pedagogical leaders to become Superintendents. Candidates must have worked for at least three years as a principal in the NYCDOE and be tenured. Candidates will also be supported through our existing partnership with Bank St. College. For more information see the ASA one-pager.

EdPacesetters: The EdPacesetters launched its inaugural cohort in February 2020. EdPacesetters provides elevation opportunities for citywide district-level leaders, those possessing an SDL and those who have served as principals or assistant principals as preparation for potential systems-level leadership roles. For more information see the EdPacesetters one-pager.

Assistant Principal Leadership Institute (APLI): This one-year program is designed to support high-performing assistant principals in becoming principals. APLI’s curriculum focuses on developing leadership skills including systems thinking, school improvement, addressing issues of racial equity and disproportionality, and distributive leadership. For more information see the APLI one-pager.

Leaders in Education Apprenticeship Program (LEAP): This is a competency-based graduate program run in partnership with Bank Street College of Education that prepares teacher leaders to become assistant principals and principals in NYC public schools. For more information see the LEAP one-pager.

Wallace Leadership Fellows Program: The Wallace Leadership Fellows Program is an intensive one-year program designed to prepare candidates who hold a current School Building Leader (SBL) or School District Administrator (SDA) certification and are pursuing a NYCDOE assistant principal position within one to three years. The four major foci of the program are effective teacher feedback cycles, leading with equity, adaptive leadership approaches and professional preparation. The content of the program is grounded in developing effective leadership skills and strategies that focus on creating and sustaining a healthy and inclusive school community that drives academic and social emotional learning in a safe, supportive and challenging environment. For more information, please see the Wallace one-pager

Applying for School Leadership

Candidates must complete and submit the PCP application in the Teacher Support Network (TSN) and receive a confirmation email to be able to register for a scheduled series.

Anyone with a NY State school leader certification (e.g., SAS, SBL, or SDA) is eligible to be a Principal Candidate Pool member. Eligible applicants must complete the Principal Candidate Pool assessment process in order to become a member.

You do not need to be in the Principal Candidate Pool in order to apply for AP positions. For more information visit the Openings for Assistant Principals Page.
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