About the Academy

Welcome to the website of the Ernesto Malave Leadership Academy of the City University of New York’s Division of Student Affairs.  The Malave Leadership Academy (MLA) is the resource for student leadership development at the City University of New York (CUNY). MLA is where students from across CUNY come together and engage each other, faculty, staff, community and University leaders to develop the skills, knowledge, experience, and self-efficacy necessary to become global leaders in an urban environment. 

Leaders have studied, taught, and organized at CUNY throughout our rich history. We have a great tradition of developing leaders in a wide array of disciplines and sectors. Our graduates include 12 Nobel Laureates, a U.S. Secretary of State, a Supreme Court Justice, mayors, members of Congress, state legislators, an astronaut, noted theorists, composers, writers, inventors, and corporate leaders. In fact, according to a recent national survey by Standard & Poor's, more top U.S. corporate executives earned their bachelor's degrees at CUNY than at any other university in the country.

In addition to our remarkable history of leadership development, CUNY is arguably the most diverse university in the United States. Our diversity, the proximity of our campuses, and our location in New York City combine to provide unparalleled opportunities for our students to develop as leaders.

The Malave Leadership Academy provides an advanced level of co-curricular opportunities for students who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership on their campuses and in their communities. Participants experience state of the art multicultural leadership education with an emphasis on service and advocacy. Through educational workshops and experiential opportunities delivered within the context of student leadership models, participants gain an understanding of collaborative and transformative leadership approaches, as well as, develop leadership competencies and self-efficacy.

The students nominated for CUNY CORP participate in a program designed to help them develop leadership skills through community service. The students nominated for the Student Investment Advocate have the opportunity to participate in leadership programming that focuses on government and public service. 

In conjunction with the University Coordinator of Student Activities and the University’s Student Life Directors, MLA sponsors the annual Emerging Leaders Conference; open to all CUNY students interested in improving their leadership skills; and the New Leadership Challenge, for newly elected campus student government officials. In addition, MLA hosts the annual Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Leadership Awards Ceremony.