Program History

Wilson Wyatt, Sr.
Wilson Wyatt, Sr.

Excerpts from founding documents of incorporation, 1984:

If Kentucky is to achieve its potential, people in cities and suburbs of our state must be aware of social, economic, educational, and governmental needs of rural communities. Likewise, rural citizens must be knowledgeable and must be able to evaluate our state as a whole, and as a complex system. To this end, LEADERSHIP KENTUCKY has been established. Leadership Kentucky participants will seek mutual understanding of the problems and solutions for our state as they explore new ideas, examine critical political, economic, and social issues to expand knowledge, exposure, and understanding through study and discussion.

Leadership Kentucky History 

In the 70’s and 80’s, local leadership programs were emerging throughout the country. Young involved leaders across the state acknowledged the need to build understanding among Kentucky’s regions. They imagined what could happen if Kentucky’s best and brightest were brought together to learn firsthand about the complicated issues that impact the state. A delegation sought out prominent Louisville attorney and visionary leader, Wilson W. Wyatt, Sr., who served as Mayor of Louisville, Lt. Governor of Kentucky, and served on numerous national posts, for guidance in the establishment of a statewide leadership development program. He agreed to serve as the inaugural chairman and recruited a group of state leaders who agreed to serve on the initial board of directors. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce gave its full support and provided office space and staffing. The James Graham Brown Foundation granted the organization funding to help launch the program.

Leadership Kentucky Today 

To date, Leadership Kentucky has approximately 2,500 graduates from four unique programs who live and work in every region of the state. Leadership Kentucky is making a difference throughout the Commonwealth. Our graduates are in key roles, leading corporations, serving as elected local, county, state, and national officials, directing social service agencies, higher education institutions, and serving as dedicated volunteers with vision.

Norton Healthcare
Pikeville Medical Center
Kentucky Power
US Bank
RunSwitch PR
Stites & Harbison, PLLC
Republic Bank
Whitaker Bank
Putting Kentuckians First and Reentry with the Kentucky Office Of Adult Education and the Education and Labor Cabinet
CHI St Joseph Healthcare
Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
University of Louisville
Delta Dental
Kentucky Association of Health Plans
Whitaker Bank Foundation
St. Elizabeth Healthcare
Tennessee Valley Authority
Appalachian Regional Healthcare