We would love to hear from you.

Executive Director: Lodro Rinzler


Marketing and Operations: Sarah Gokhale


New York, NY

Want to make a difference in today’s world? Not entirely sure how to go about doing that?
The Institute for Compassionate Leadership takes leaders like you on a journey where you discover your purpose for creating meaningful change in today’s world. Based primarily online, our part-time program allows you to cultivate the skills of compassionate leadership alongside your full-time job and/or busy school schedule. Through working with executive coaches, being matched with mentors, and our six-month training program we offer you the tools you need to become a compassionate, self-aware leader. Then we network like heck to get you meaningful work in the social change field you desire. Click on our video below for more information or visit WHAT WE DO.


For applicants

I have no idea what I want to do for work. Is that okay?

If that’s the case you’re actually an ideal applicant for our Main Track. We are looking for people who know they want to make a difference in today’s world but aren’t entirely sure how to go about doing that. That process of transitioning from someone who is bright and passionate but a bit without solid direction to a confident, self-aware leader is our bread and butter. Over our six months together we take you through a training program that will help you identify your passions for creating social change and give you tools for how to become the leader this world needs. Then when our time together is about to come to a close we work with you to identify the sort of work you want to do and network like heck to help get you a job in that field.

I'm more mid-career. Have anything for me?

If you have 15+ years of business experience you should check out our Executive Track, which offers our compassionate leadership training to people who want to stay in their existent role or make a leap into their next big step. 

So what exactly is the difference between the main track and the executive track?

The main track is for people who know they want to help the world yet are unsure of how they want to do that. The executive track is for people who have 15+ years of business experience and either want to incorporate compassionate leadership in their existing job or know what that next step on their path may be. 

Are there any age restrictions on applying?

Absolutely not. While many of our applicants for the Main Track are in their twenties or thirties, transitioning out of university or having worked their first job(s) and trying to determine what they want to do for a career, our training program offers such a wide range of skills it is still very applicable for leaders in their fifties and sixties. We welcome and encourage a diverse group of students each cycle and are committed to our diversity being part of our overall learning experience for each cohort of participants.

Is there anything in particular you’re looking for in terms of applicants?

Oh yes. We want our applicants to be inquisitive, compassionate, and caring. We’ll help you develop those qualities further but we want to make sure those aspects are already beginning to manifest in who you are. Show us that side of you and we’ll definitely be interested in your participation in our next training cycle.

I’m working and/or going to school. Do I even have time for this?

We have designed our program so that it will fit within the busiest of schedules. You schedule your meetings with your executive coach based on what works for you. The training program takes place primarily on weekends, with classes taking place in the evening on weekdays. If you ever have to miss a class you can watch the recording of it and contact the teacher with questions directly.

Do I have to live in New York City?

Nope. While our base of operations are in New York City our students come from all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Thanks to our distance learning platform you can take the classes and day-long workshops online, although the latter are offered in a variety of cities and you may prefer to take them in your hometown. Over the months we have together you will be asked to fly to New York City to attend the three weekend programs. This is a time when the entire institute community comes together to learn and celebrate our accomplishments.

What if I’m not tech savvy? This distance learning thing sounds hard.

It really isn’t. We have designed our distance learning platform so anyone can use it. If you encounter any difficulties our staff is standing by to talk you through it.

Let's talk money. What if I can't afford the full tuition?

If we accept you into our program it is because we believe you are the leader this world needs and we will make it work for you financially. Through personal contributions, crowd-funding, scholarships, work-study, and recruiting discounts there are a range of options to make sure that the tuition side of things is worked out. For more information please take a look at our tuition document here .

Can I take part of the program and not the whole thing?

Yes you can. We offer our six-week classes and day-long workshops as stand-alone trainings for leaders from all backgrounds. However, if you want to have access to our executive coaches, mentor network, job placement opportunities, and weekend retreats, it’s best to attend the full program. If a student enrolls in our full program but must drop out before completion they will be charged as if they attended on a stand-alone basis. For more information on stand-alone events, please let us know!

Can I do the full program, but not all at once?

You can indeed. We realize that sometimes life circumstances arise and it may take our students a bit longer than the six months to complete the coursework necessary to graduate from the institute. However, we recommend that if at all possible you stay with the group you entered with as people become quite close over the six months together. If you have to put your training on hold at a certain point you can let us know and in six months, when we are back at that point in the program, you can leap back in.

What’s all this about you finding me meaningful work?

Many leadership institutes offer training programs. We offer that, plus a wide network of resources, plus the person-power devoted to finding you meaningful work. After you are trained up as a compassionate leader and have a specific purpose in mind it would be a shame to have you spend your time sitting on your mom’s couch playing video games. So we throw the full weight of our network into getting you connections and interviews in the realm you wish to pursue career-wise. If you’re passionate about poverty-reduction we reach out to people in that field. If you love tech we contact folks in that area. While we can’t guarantee you your dream job we can guarantee we won’t rest until you have found meaningful work. That means that we will continue to support you well beyond the six month training program; we have your back until you are content with your job placement (and even after).

What if I don’t want to work for an existent company but want to run for a public office or start my own organization?

The important thing to us is that you feel supported in doing what you consider meaningful work. We realize that may not be as simple as sending you off to work for a good non-profit (although we’re all for that too). If you have career aspirations that would require we invest time and energy beyond traditional networking we will help you with that. We have a large mentor network and they are all for supporting new and innovative ideas.

Do I still have access to institute resources after I graduate?

You do! It would break our heart to lose touch of you after you graduate. That is why we have a whole backend section of our website dedicated to alumni, where people can share resources, articles, and engage in discussion well beyond the time you are enrolled in the institute.

What is your favorite color?

Purple. What’s yours?

For coaches and mentors

What is the role of a coach at the institute?

Coaches meet with students over the course of their six months in the institute. The role of our coaches is a pivotal one, as they provide continuity for the student throughout their time at the institute. They are one of the first people the student meets and the last to shake their hand at graduation.

The coaches are tasked with two main goals: they help the participant determine the qualities they want to cultivate throughout their career path, such as generosity, kindness, or compassion; they help the participant identify their passion for meaningful work, ideally getting them to zone in on a specific focus such as education reform or women’s rights within the first two months of their time together.

What is the role of a mentor at the institute?

The value of having a mentor in any field cannot be overstated. As part of our program we offer a large network of mentors who are committed to guiding students and supporting them in their path. If coaches provide continuity during the program it is the mentors that provide continuity between the time the student spends at the institute and the time they spend once placed in meaningful work.

Our mentors are selected because they have become the change they want to see in the world; they are doing the work our leaders likely will want to continue to do. Once matched with a mentee the mentor may want to meet with them semi-regularly to:

  • Offer advice on how to break into their field.
  • Serve as a reference in the mentee’s job search.
  • Offer a fresh set of eyes on a resume or cover letter.
  • Help them adjust to the work world once they have a new job.
  • Share resources, articles, and contacts that might aide the mentee.
  • Offer general encouragement and counsel.

What is the time commitment in becoming a coach or mentor for the institute?

Coaches are to meet with each student once a month for one hour for the six months of the training program. Should a student wish to meet with their coach more regularly during the program or continue the coach’s service after the program they may do so at a rate determined between the coach and student.

Mentors are asked to attend informal events wherein they can meet the students and get a feel for who they are. Once matched with a student they can feel out how often they would like to meet; it is a personal relationship and the time commitment depends on the schedule and availability of each mentor. At the same time, the mentor/mentee relationship does not dissolve after the initial six-months of the program; ideally the connection between the two is strong enough that it may last for years to come and they would continue to meet semi-regularly in a supportive capacity.

How many students would I be responsible for coaching or mentoring?

Coaches will have at least one and no more than five students they are working with. Mentors may take on more than one mentee if they would like. Mentees can take on more than one mentor, but no more than two.

Do I need to live in New York City?

You do not. Both mentors and coaches can live anywhere, so long as they are available by phone and/or video platform for our students. For coaches, ideally all of the meetings would be done in-person. If not all of the meetings the initial and conclusive ones would be in-person. If needed some to all can be via video chat. We’re flexible, and part of that is based in the fact that our students are from all over so we need coaches and mentors from across the United States too.

Do I get paid for my work?

Coaches receive payment for each of the six sessions with our students. Should a student wish to meet with their coach more regularly during the program or continue the coach’s service after the program they may do so at a rate determined between the coach and student.

Mentors are not paid for their work, but are inspired by the potential in our students and are willing to meet regularly with them and advise them as they deem fit.

What are you looking for in an ideal coach or mentor?

The ideal coach is certified in a particular coaching school and is also a meditation instructor or familiar enough with meditation to offer insight to students who may need coaching in the mindfulness and compassion practices that are offered during the training. They should be devoted to meeting each participant where they are and guiding them through this transformational program.

Our mentors are selected because they have become the change they want to see in the world; they are doing the work our leaders likely will want to continue to do.

Sign up to learn more using the form below!

Name *
I want to become a mentor!

For employers

Why would I hire an institute graduate?

Our students graduate with a wide variety of tools that are invaluable for any employer. They are agile and trained in practical skills like how to run a meeting, how to negotiate, how to give and receive feedback, and more. They have increased emotional intelligence and self-awareness as a result of our mindfulness work, the ability to listen deeply and communicate within diverse groups as a result of our organizing training, and have a wide variety of skills that are traditionally taught at MBA programs and other leadership institutes. When hiring an institute graduate you are gaining an empathetic leader who has mastered conscious business techniques that are not offered in undergraduate settings.

Is it possible to be a preferred placement partner for institute students?

Some employers wish to have first crack at our students once they are ready to graduate from our program. If you would like to become one of these preferred placement partners please contact us using the form below.

Could I be notified when a student expresses interest in companies like mine?

Absolutely. If you would like to hear about students who are investigating your professional field please fill out the form below.