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Arizona Center for Rural Leadership has been shaping our state since 1983 through three dynamic programs.

  1. The flagship program, Project CENTRL, is a twelve-month, experiential-learning leadership development program. 
  2.  Alumni in Action: our network of over 700 alumni, working at the grassroots, local, county, state and national level to improve the quality of life in rural Arizona.
  3. Make a Difference projects: identify needs, gather teams and influence change 

By training leaders, inspiring action, and getting things done, rural Arizona is becoming vibrant, healthy and sustainable.


To equip and empower leaders to meet the needs of rural Arizona.


Rural Arizona is healthy, vibrant and sustainable.

The Center's Overview 

Project CENTRL is a twelve-month, competitively selected and tuition-free leadership development program for 16 individuals connected to rural Arizona. Over the course of 9 seminars across Arizona, Washington, DC and Sonora, Mexico we build personal leadership skills, educate on the issues facing rural Arizona and connect leaders and experts.  


Over 700 alumni from Project CENTRL are affecting changes needed in their communities and industries by utilizing the skills built, knowledge gained and connections made. Alumni across Arizona are volunteering on non-profit boards, creating new organizations, and serving as content matter experts. We have alumni that have ran for nearly all levels of elected office, including four serving in the current Arizona State Legislature.


Leadership is not a spectator sport. When a Project CENTRL participant or alumni identifies an issue or opportunity; they put a plan together and execute a project. Some projects met short term, specific needs while other projects lived on to change the fabric of a community.

As a public-private partnership with University of Arizona, Arizona Center for Rural Leadership is a 501(c)(3) based out of Maricopa County Cooperative Extension and governed by an 18 member volunteer board of directors including Project CENTRL alumni and other passionate leaders. Learn more about the history below. 

Arizona Center for Rural Leadership does not pay indirect costs on any grants or awards. 

Arizona Center for Rural Leadership

4341 E Broadway Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85040
Arizona Center for Rural Leadership is a Public Private Partnership with The University of Arizona.

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