Kemp Leadership Academy

The Kemp Leadership Academy provides education and personalized training to enrich the policy insights, understanding and political leadership skills of professional athletes who are interested in public policy or aspire to public office.

Kemp Leadership Academy

From Sportsmanship to Statesmanship

The mission of the Kemp Leadership Academy is to sharpen the political philosophy, public policy insights and political leadership skills of current and former professional athletes who are interested in public policy or aspire to public office.   The objective is to enable accomplished athletes to learn about themselves, about competing ideas and national issues, and about the world of politics so they can be effective leaders beyond the playing field.


  • Why Athletes? Athletes have natural leadership qualities as well as name recognition, giving them an inherent advantage in the political arena; but in pursuit of their sport, most will have had little time for self-reflection much less public policy studies.  And they may be utterly unfamiliar with how Washington works.  To realize their potential, they need individualized coaching, and that is what the Kemp Leadership Academy provides.


  • Curriculum: An intensive educational and practical workout to expose talented individuals to the historical and philosophical foundations of the American idea, the issues, thinkers and leaders of today, and the workings of government.   Athletes also learn how to translate complex ideas into direct, clear messages that convey their personal vision and values.


  • Format: Athletes spend 3 weeks in Washington DC over a 4-month period, with an emphasis on getting outside the classroom. Our program of hands-on experience includes:


      1. In-depth assessment of personal strengths, interests, and career goals;
      2. Tailored readings and discussions about the American idea, system of government, and public policy issues;
      3. Familiarization with how Washington works; and
      4. Interactions with experienced politicians, policy experts, and advisors who can provide practical insights and open doors.


  • Board of Advisors: Honorable Bill Bradley, Honorable Steve Largent, Honorable Tom McMillan, Honorable J.C. Watts


Application for admission is by invitation only.  For information on how you can learn more about the Kemp Leadership Academy, participate in our programs, or sponsor pro athlete candidates, please send an e-mail to


“Pro football gave me a good perspective. When I entered the political arena, I had already been booed, cheered, cut, sold, traded, and hung in effigy.” – Jack Kemp


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