Match diverse talent with local companies to build a more competitive Portland.



2016 Applications are closed,
please check back in 2017 for next year’s internships.

Emerging Leaders Internship Program will secure 50 internships in 2016—and 1,000 by 2021—leading to more leaders of color in our city.

Deep trends suggest that Oregon is becoming more and more diverse, yet a current leadership strategy does not exist to encourage diverse leaders to compete for leadership in Portland’s finest companies.

The Emerging Leaders Internship (ELI) Program is a new initiative with the Portland Leadership Foundation. In collaboration with Worksystems, the Portland-Metro workforce development board, we intend to provide paid internships for talented students of color in Portland companies. Our vision is to create opportunity and mentorships for students of color to influence a truly diverse global marketplace.


As Portland continues to grow, so does the increased displacement of diverse communities and the need to see leaders of color embrace leadership positions in our city. Unfortunately Portland lacks the strategic business partnerships necessary for leaders of color to land elite internships that lead to positions of leadership—and that needs to change. That’s where we come in—we’re committed to strengthening and developing diverse leadership for our city.

For this program to be successful, we need buy-in from the entrepreneur community as well as larger businesses in the Greater Portland area. In just under two weeks, at launch of this site 30+ CEOs and Executives have pledged to place interns at their companies already.



“We need to build partnerships and create more opportunities that will prepare local college students to compete to become the future business leaders in the city they call home.”




since launch,
including these companies: