HLI provides training in the principles, practices, and psychology of effective, ethical and visionary leadership. We also train Hansen Fellows to be effective communicators and public speakers. In recent years, we have begun to expand our focus to gender issues in leadership as well. The intense, 24/7 face to face community of our three-week program becomes a path to a vibrant virtual hub, where Hansen alum engage, connect, and mutually support each other’s projects of peace and community building.

Mediation & Conflict Resolution

Peace-making is an art that requires knowledge and subtle interpersonal skills. HLI provides first-class training and hands-on instruction in these areas. We also equip our Fellows to communicate respectfully and effectively across cultural and political divisions, with a purpose of reconciliation and restorative justice. Human rights issues are central in many situations of conflict resolution. So, HLI Fellows also receive training from a human rights activist and expert who has extensive knowledge and experience in these areas.

International Cooperation

The heart of HLI is that it fosters deep friendship and solidarity with like-minded others from zones of conflict across the world. Fellows become lifelong members of a close-knit and highly engaged international community, which exposes them to new opportunities for service, education, and friendship across borders. The three-week program itself is a yearly experiment in international cooperation. People from warring countries start as awkward roommates. They leave the program as close friends with a mutual resolve to make peace between their peoples.

Our Vision

Fred J. Hansen’s vision was to create a more peaceful world through international cooperation. He desired for people from other nations to visit the United States to learn more about its culture, economy, and government. In turn, he wanted people of the United States to be more informed about the broader world and its peoples and customs. He knew it would take principled, passionate, indefatigable leadership to achieve this vision.

The Hansen Leadership Institute is guided by this vision of world peace brought about by greater mutual understanding and effective, ethical leadership. We seek this through generational change. We believe that future peace requires bringing young leaders together from regions of ongoing conflict in the world. People who would have been enemies must become friends. They must learn how to navigate their differences not just without violence, but also with mutual respect. Then they will lead others to do the same. Just as violence is contagious, so is kindness and respect.

HLI seeks to bring more hope to a seemingly hopeless world. We do not believe that ever-present, ongoing violence and war is inevitable or acceptable. Hansen Fellows believe that they can radically change the world for the better. HLI exists to help them do it.

Our Mission

The Hansen Leadership Institute (HLI) brings together and trains future leaders from across the world in order to promote world peace and international cooperation.

Fellows Around the World

Mayara Cruz

I aim to unite my passion for innovation and my sense of duty in solving conflicts around the world.


News & Events

As Trustee of the Hansen Foundation, I would like to thank Ron Bee for his many years of service as the first Managing Director of the Hansen Leadership Institute, until his retirement in July 2020. The program’s overall structure was conceived by my wife, Gail, who was well known to the Hansen Fellows in the earlier years of the program, and myself. We were fortunate to be able to engage Ron to guide us in formulating the detailed structure of the program, initially preparing a best practices guideline and then implementing it. Over the ensuing years, Ron built the program into a highly regarded international internship program. I know that I speak for Hansen Fellows all over the world – whose lives have been changed by their experiences at the Hansen Leadership Institute program – as I wish Ron the very best in his retirement. All those involved in the Hansen Leadership Institute will miss him, but we will never forget the contributions he made to the program. We are pleased to have four lectures from Ron on video to share with future Hansen Fellows, covering various areas of his expertise in international matters. 

Dr. Brad Frazier is now the Managing Director of the Hansen Leadership Institute. Brad has been fortunate to receive guidance from Ron, since his hiring in late 2018. He is deeply committed to continuing and expanding the work they’ve begun. 

Anton Dimitroff, Trustee

Fred J. Hansen Foundation

Watch Serge Dedina, Mayor of Imperial Beach and an HLI Instructor discuss the U.S.-Mexico border crises issue of toxic sewage; view it here.

The Hansen Leadership Institute has been featured by ProFellow in an article that highlights fellowships for future leaders; read it here.

Interested in applying to the Hansen Leadership Institute for 2024?
Check out our video where a few of the 2023 Fellows offer some reasons to apply.

Deadline Closed: 2024 Scholarship Applications

The deadline for all Hansen Leadership Institute 2024 applicants is closed. We will notify 2024 International Applicants of the search results in early March and U.S. Applicants will be notified by the end of March.

Applications for the Hansen Leadership Institute 2025 will open in September 2024.