Chief Executive Program

Welcome to the Chief Executive Program

Applications are now closed

Applications open: 28 February 2019 for the 2019 intake.

Applications close: 18 April 2019

Accepted applicants notified: 13 June 2019

The Australia Council has partnered with National Arts Strategies (NAS) in the US to support up to three established, high-performing Australian Executive arts leaders to participate in the Chief Executive Program.

The Program

The Chief Executive Program (CEP) is designed for experienced arts leaders to explore how to create meaningful and radical change within their communities and organisations, serving as influencers within the sector.

The NAS approach is unique. Their programs engage with industry leading business schools, world class institutions and a wide international alumni network to give participants a global perspective of arts leadership and approach to their development. The program aims to strengthen and diversify the cultural ecosystem nationally and globally, enabling new types of cultural leaders to change the status quo.

Participants will spend a year with NAS and an international cohort of 50 artistic and executive leaders. Through the program, participants will learn from leading experts, and from each other, increasing their knowledge and understanding of major themes affecting arts and culture in Australia through a global lens. Participants will gain new perspectives, tools and connections to increase their abilities and impact, joining an alumni group of over 250 leaders from various industries internationally. The next program is delivered with Harvard University.

The next CEP will commence in July 2019 and will include two trips to the US (13-18 October 2019, Harvard and 19-23 April 2020, Sundance). Further information about the program is available from the NAS website.

The Scholarship

Up to three established Australian arts leaders or executives will receive an Australia Council Scholarship of US$25,500 per person to support their international participation in the CEP. The scholarship covers course fees, material, accommodation and meals. Travel to the US is not included. The Australia Council scholarship is only open to Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents. 

How to Apply

Applications will be processed by NAS and selected on merit in consultation with Australia Council for the Arts.

For more information and to apply visit the National Arts Strategies website by clicking on the button below: 

All Australian applications will be considered for the Australia Council Scholarship.


For further information about the program and application, please contact NAS Director, Sunny Widmann at

For all other enquiries, please contact the Capacity Building team at Australia Council for the Arts on 02 9215 9058 or

In partnership with:

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