Join the next generation of hoosier leaders

About the Program

A brief history.
Go to 2010


Out of frustration with always being the youngest people in the room, in 2010, over lunch in Kendallville between campaign events, Jeff Harris and Carmen Darland came up with the idea of creating a talent pipeline for Hoosier progressives.

Go to 2011


In 2011 Harris and Darland launched the first iteration of the Emerging Leaders program, holding two free training sessions in Indianapolis open to any interested Democrat. In 2012, the effort was paused to rethink the approach and strengthen the overall program.


The Emerging Leaders Project was restarted under its current structure with the help of Harris, Darland and former Senate Democratic Leader Vi Simpson and in partnership with the Indiana Democratic Party.

Go to 2015


Former State Party Chair Robin Winston and Former State Party Political Director Pat Terrell make a $50,000, 10-year commitment to support operations of the Emerging Leaders Project.


After years of operating informally, the Emerging Leaders Project, Inc. was organized as Indiana nonprofit to ensure the program continues on to benefit generations of Hoosier Democrats interested being involved in public service.

The Emerging Leaders Project provides free training and mentorship to young progressive leaders in all corners of Indiana and from all walks of life.

What's the Emerging Leaders Project?
It's time to build the bench.

The Emerging Leaders Project, Inc. is a 527 non-profit operated by volunteers with a mission of providing free training, mentoring and networking opportunities to up-and- coming Hoosier Democrats who have an interest in running for office or working on Indiana-based campaigns. Each year up to 40 young men and women, who are between the ages of 21 to 40, are selected by the Emerging Leaders Project Board from a pool of hundreds of applicants from across the state. Three members are selected from each of the state’s 9 Congressional Districts, with the remaining being selected at-large. To be selected, applicants must commit to attending all four conferences each year.

  • Free

  • 193

  • Hoosiers ages 21 to 40

  • May - June

Each year applications are accepted from May 1st to June 15th. Please check back during that time frame to find the updated application.