Mission & History


Coro’s mission is to strengthen the democratic process by preparing individuals for effective and ethical leadership.

At Coro, we believe that meaningful impact comes from collaboration: people in business and communities, schools and unions, government and nonprofits, working together to find creative solutions and strengthening our democracy.

We equip people with skills, knowledge, and networks to collaborate and drive innovative solutions wherever they are. Coro graduates gain a deeper understanding of how the world works, the leadership skills to improve it, and a network of engaged and influential peers to help them reach their goals.

Guiding Principles

Leadership is moving yourself, your community and your world forward

Leadership can be practiced anywhere, anytime, by anyone, in any role

Leadership is a practice of being, thinking, and doing

Leadership is a life-long practice


Systems thinking, effective inquiry, understanding organizational structures, problem-solving tools


Active listening, purposeful and persuasive presentation, storytelling skills


Relationship building, network building, navigating ambiguity and change


Personal leadership styles, exchanging feedback, reflective practice, personal ecology


Assessing group dynamics, group process and decision making, team-building, working with diverse perspectives


Coro was founded in San Francisco in 1942 by W. Donald Fletcher, an attorney, and Van Duyn Dodge, an investment counselor, to train young veterans in the leadership skills necessary to assure that our democratic system of government could more effectively meet the needs of its citizens.

Since 1947, when the first program was delivered, Coro has grown to include Centers in four cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles (1957), St. Louis (1973), New York (1980), and Pittsburgh (1999).

There are over 15,000 program alumni currently serving as leaders in local, regional and national/global businesses, non-profit organizations, labor unions, governmental agencies and elected public office.

The Coro Logo

The Coro logo was created in 1970 by Hisashi Nakamoto. The center part of the “C” is meant to look like an eye to represent the fact that Coro always has its eyes open in public affairs. Yet in spite of being in the center, there is still an opening for exploration and discovery. The “C” also seems to be pointing out in a direction to symbolize a purpose and mission.

The name “Coro” is the creation of its founders. Their vision for a program of educational discovery to prepare citizen leaders was a totally new concept. Thus Coro – a new word and one without association – was invented to represent both discovery and exploration.