Leadership Iowa University (LIU), a program of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry Foundation, is designed to bridge the gap between college and career, and assist emerging professionals and leaders along their path to personal and professional success. 

The 2022 program will take place Aug. 7-11 in the Des Moines area.

Leadership Iowa University connects students with a multitude of Iowa professionals and allows them to experience the diverse array of experiences they can gain here in the state. Students rediscover what makes Iowa an ideal place to live and work.

August Program (5-day session)

The 20-30 participants accepted into our program annually gain the knowledge, tools and inspiration to be successful in Iowa while rediscovering what makes our state an ideal place to work and live. We invite college seniors, recent college graduates or interns in Iowa to apply.

Throughout the week, participants can expect to:

Build Your Brand: We’ll dive into where the endless possibilities and your passions meet, uniting and optimizing your talents, strengths and skills.

Grow Your Network: In just 5 days, participants have the opportunity to connect with many Iowa professionals of diverse backgrounds, interests and occupations.

Take Your Next Step: Learn about Iowa’s top industries through organizations doing meaningful work they’re proud of and excited about – and you will be, too!

The connections made with professionals, as well as relationships built with one another, often have a lasting impact on participants. As business and industry persevere through uncertainty, so are the state’s young professionals and emerging leaders. We’re confident this year will be no different in providing the clarity and support many need during this time.


Following the week at LIU, participants have a great opportunity to be paired with a mentor to connect with throughout the remainder of their school year. Mentors are Iowa professionals who currently work in the student’s career field of interest, and are carefully selected to have qualities or experiences that match well with each students’ personality and goals. Mentors donate their time to meet with students monthly throughout the school year and assist by providing guidance, direction and awareness of opportunities to students as they prepare for life after college.

Young Professionals of Iowa Conference & Additional Events

Participants will be invited to reconvene at the Young Professionals of Iowa (YPIowa) Conference, typically held in late September. Each year, the YPIowa Conference is a can't-miss event for young professionals in our state, and includes a full schedule of valuable break-out sessions, dynamic speakers and fantastic networking opportunities. The ABI Foundation is a proud partner of YPIowa.

Thanks to their participation in the program, LIU alumni will have access to ABI and ABI Foundation resources, one of our state’s largest networks. Alumni will be notified of additional professional development opportunities and events well after their participatory year.

For more information on the application process and program cost, click here. With any additional questions, please feel welcome to contact us.