About Us

Diverse Leaders Uniting, Strengthening, and Serving to create a better future for the Central Valley

Our Mission

The American Leadership Forum – Great Valley Chapter (ALF) promotes collaborative networks of diverse leaders who initiate ideas and action for the vitality of the Central Valley of California

What we do

ALF – Great Valley is focused on increasing the leadership capacity and networks in California’s Great Central Valley.

We work in multiple ways to engage and inform citizens, train local leaders, and deliver programs that respond directly to critical gaps in the Valley’s communities. We are a champion and advocate for the Valley’s well-being, seeking out ways to build partnerships and bring citizens together to address issues and disparities, encourage innovative solutions, build consensus and ensure a successful future for the region.

The overall goal is to have an engaged, informed and connected citizenry that has the willingness, ability and tools to work in collaboration to solve the complex issues facing the Valley. Through the well-respected American Leadership Forum – Great Valley program, we are actively building a network of established community leaders who come together, across social, political, economic and cultural boundaries, to serve the public good.

As we look ahead, ALF – Great Valley remains committed to the well-being of the Central Valley, and continues to be a thoughtful and motivated organization that brings people together to work on the area’s most difficult challenges and create a better future.


American Leadership Forum Founder Joseph Jaworski

American Leadership Form (ALF) was founded in 1980 in Houston, Texas by Joseph Jaworski, who left his successful law practice to address what he increasingly saw as a crisis of leadership throughout the country. He envisioned an organization dedicated to bringing together diverse leaders from multiple sectors in communities across the country to deeply explore their personal leadership capacity, build deep trust among the group to help each leader to get beyond the devaluing prejudices that we all hold, and to learn how diverse people can coalesce around issues and discover new possibilities.

After a year of meeting with leaders from across the United States, Jaworski and seventeen other prominent Americans launched American Leadership Forum. This group included John Gardner, former secretary of Health, Education and Welfare;  James MacGregor Burns, professor emeritus of Williams College; Warren Bennis, former professor at USC and a respected author; Tom Bradley, former mayor of Los Angeles; Harlan Cleveland, former ambassador to NATO and president of the World Academy of Art & Science; Rosabeth Moss Kanter, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School; and James B. Stockdale, vice admiral in the U.S. Navy.

In 1996, Joe Jaworski published a book, Synchronicity: The Inner Path of Leadership, in which he chronicles his efforts to build American Leadership Forum and explains the principles and values that ALF embodies.

There are currently nine ALF chapters:  Charlotte, North Carolina; East Lansing, Michigan; Houston, Texas; Modesto, California;Portland, Oregon; Sacramento/Northern San Joaquin Valley, California; Silicon Valley, California; Tacoma, Washington; and the Waccamaw Region of South Carolina, more than 2,500 ALF Fellows nationwide have completed the program, bringing to their disparate communities a new sense of commitment, understanding and interconnectedness.

Click here to watch Joseph Jaworski talk about how ALF began.

“To think that the world can ever change without changes in our mental models is folly.” – Joe Jaworski




The ALF Great Valley Chapter’s Board of Directors has adopted a policy of non-advocacy; therefore, the ALF Great Valley does not endorse candidates or ballot initiatives.