Message from The Executive Director

“Life happens.” These words became very real for me when I got into a motorcycle accident a few weeks ago and was forced to reframe my perspective and re-evaluate my priorities. 

Being confined to bed rest for a long period of time,I have a lot more time to think and reflect. Coming to terms with my temporary loss of mobility has been difficult but the last few weeks have truly made it possible for me to slow down and observe. Practicing gratitude and focusing on the many things that I am capable of doing has been a tremendous exercise in reflection and shift in mindset.

Beginning with my immediate personal network – family, friends, colleagues and team members – support has poured in from all of our partners that included words of encouragement and their commitment to our work despite the changes in plans. For this, I am immensely grateful to the wonderful partners who have trusted and supported NLA’s growth in the last few months.

As you will see on the video, lots has happened over the last few months at NLA. We welcomed new team members – Bibek, who recently returned from the US, brings his experiences as the Partnerships and Communications Associate, Sahara, another US returnee, brings her analytical perspectives as a Research Associate and Subina, a graduate from China, brings creativity to our work as the Communications Intern. At the same time, Sameer (Partnership and Communication Officer) recently moved to begin his graduate school journey at Columbia University (USA), while Annie ( Intern) is taking some time to focus on her college application, and Astha (Research Officer) has successfully supported our critical research collaboration with the Nepal Administrative Staff College. 

We continued to strengthen old partnerships and established new collaborations with many national and international outfits such as the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia, WildBound in China, MasterPeace in Europe, Royal Mountain Travels, Nepal Administrative Staff College, the Ullens School, the British School, the Lincoln School, Global Shapers Kathmandu Hub, YUWA, and the Ministry of Health and Population. Living our core strengths of capacity development, we administered our leadership course to the Daayitwa and NLA teams. Altogether, we have added over 250 change-agents to the continually-growing NLA network. These tangible results were not only possible through the persistent hard work of the team but the constant trust and support from our partners whose values in human development align with ours. 

What I have realized is that many times we are proud of the progress made and impact created outside of our organization through the tangible indicators and outputs that we strategically design. Only occasionally do we look internally and identify the impact and growth that is happening within the organization that are equally critical – if not more, to realizing the vision of the organization. This forced temporary pause and necessary reframing of priorities for me has provided the chance to recognize intangible but human growth within my team who are taking on new challenges, new responsibilities, and fearlessly leading during these uncertain times. They are very much the engine that keeps the organization running.

I write this with a thankful heart for the moments of reflection and observation, albeit forced, for the family and friends who make living everyday worth it, for my team who make leading impactful and the reaffirmation that investment in people is fundamental to living a fulfilled life. I hope you get a chance to take a pause, reflect, spend the much needed time with your family and friends and truly appreciate what life is all about during this month of festivals. 

Happy Dashain, Tihar and Chhat from our family to yours. 


Diva Shrestha


Updates and Special Message


Masterpeace, EU and Nepal

On March 22nd, 2019, NLA trained MASTERPEACE Volunteers ‘Nelsons’ from SAARC countries at ‘The Asian Youth Summit 2019: Creating Impact Together’ jointly organized by MASTERPEACE EU, MASTERPEACE Nepal, and Nepal Youth Council. The hour-and-a-half long session on “Building Intentional Relationships” enabled participants with tools in conducting meaningful one-one conversations as foundations of transformational relationships. This engagement was also a good partnership between NLA and Nepal Communietere as the two organizations collaboratively built their sessions around empathetic relationship building. The Nelsons highly appreciated the simplicity and usefulness of the framework. We wish them the best for their future MASTERPEACE endeavours!


On June 5th, NLA sowed the seed for formal partnership with YUWA, a youth led organization working in the field of active citizenship and youth enablement, through a day long workshop and training of trainers (ToT) on key fundamentals of leading collaborative action. The ToT was provided to 10 YUWA personnel as part of their capacity enablement in delivering the training for Youth Leadership and Data project funded by The Asia Foundation. This partnership was an effective opportunity for NLA to pilot TOTs of its LEAD course components as well as expand NLA’s indirect beneficiary group within youth communities of Provinces 3, 4 and 6 of Nepal.

Daayitwa Nepal Public Service Fellowship 

The month of June welcomed Daayitwa Public Service Fellows 2019 into the Daayitwa campaign. As a historically integral component of the Fellow’s onboarding and leadership enablement process, NLA provided leadership courses to 9 Fellows in 2 phases. We had a rich collective learning experience as the Fellows and Coaching team dissected and devised ways of tackling key adaptive challenges inherent in the Fellowship experience, working in various ministries in Government of Nepal. The Daayitwa Public Service Fellowship 2019 was concluded in the Government Symposium 2019. NLA was proud to be the capacity partner of our sister organization Daayitwa for the public service fellowship program. 

Leading Collaboration With Your Story – Royal Mountain Travels and Community Homestay 

Nepal Leadership Academy organized the Leading From Within course for Royal Mountain Travel-Nepal (RMT) and CommunityHomestay.Com to help them understand a value-based approach in order to improve the communication methods of the sales department. The two-day workshop in Mirabel Resort, Dhulikhel addressed communication mechanisms during B2B and B2C transactions, methods of strengthening client and business relationships, team dynamics, and communication etiquette in business.

Global Shapers Kathmandu Hub

Nepal Leadership Academy in collaboration with Global Shapers Kathmandu Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, hosted a session on “Building Emotional Resilience in Entrepreneurship.” We supported 25 entrepreneurs to understand emotions as an adaptive challenge, to recognize that their role as entrepreneurs is part of a larger self, and to build their internal emotional resilience through tangible action steps. 

Narrative Impact: Storytell you way into College

On 18th September, NLA hosted the third installment of ‘Narrative impact: Storytell your way into college’ course. Participants from various schools and universities attended to learn tools to personalize powerful and impactful narratives to draft their college and university essays for graduate and undergraduate studies.

New Partnerships

Nepal Administrative Staff College

Nepal Administrative Staff College (NASC) in collaboration with Nepal Leadership Academy (NLA) has taken up a major initiative of revising curriculum with a general review of Senior Executive Development Programme (SEDP) for Joint Secretaries (Class – I officers) of the GoN. NLA reviewed the existing documents, conducted interviews with 10 NASC senior management and faculties and produced a final report in the form of the Course Book.  

Ministry of Health and Population

With facilitation provided by Dr. Pukar Malla, Chairperson of Nepal Leadership Academy, the Ministry of Health and Population organized a 2-day workshop from September 16-17th 2019 to discuss health financing strategies for universal health coverage in Nepal. There was knowledge-sharing by various stakeholders and technical experts including the Health Insurance Board and the Institute of Medicine (Tribhuvan University) and external partners—GIZ, World Bank, and WHO.

Drawing from his experience orchestrating meaningful dialogues, Dr. Malla moderated the panel discussions and facilitated discussions among the participants. On the first day, the participants brainstormed questions they deemed necessary for achieving a good health financing system. On the second day, the participants ‘brain-streamed’ and gained momentum toward a clearer direction by deciding on the most pertinent and urgent questions to be addressed. We hope that these discussions continue on and reach the successful outcome of a strategy that enhances the lives of all Nepali citizens.


Capacity Development at High Schools

The British School

On June 14th and 15th, Nepal Leadership Academy held a 2-day workshop with 12 prefects at The British School, Kathmandu. These student leaders drafted public narratives to utilize as part of their college essay writing process, practiced building intentional relationships with each other and various stakeholders, and created shared strategies to implement community service projects.

The Ullens School

On September 15th 2019, Nepal Leadership Academy hosted the ‘Sailing through the SEE’ workshop at Ullens for 57 of its 10th grade students. The coaching team of six emphasized on imparting key skills around challenge dissection, habit formation and change, SMART goal setting, and strategizing for the achievement of said goals. In smaller groups, the students worked on creating strategies to tackle their real-time challenges to their SEE aspirations. It was a highly effective pilot for the NLA team, with the creation of 57 contextualized individual strategies. Coming in on a Sunday could not have been easy but the students sure got into the groove and participated enthusiastically and made the experience a learnable one even for the coaches! We wish them the very best in their SEE and hope that this course has made a positive impact on their future!


International Cohort

McIntire School of Commerce, University of Virginia, USA

From May 29th to June 3rd, Nepal Leadership Academy worked with the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce to coordinate the M.S. in Commerce (UVA McIntire School of Commerce) Global Immersion Experience (GIE) in Nepal. The GIE Program is an intensive, graduate-level, academic travel program designed to educate students about the global context of business. After visiting the United Arab Emirates and India, in Nepal, students learned about how a newly emerging political landscape is influencing economic development in the country. As part of the process, students had informal conversations with young change-agents in Kathmandu who are leading innovative interventions in various sectors, met with government secretaries, and heard from important stakeholders in Nepal’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Wildbound, China

Last weekend, Nepal Leadership Academy had a blast leading a workshop for 11 students from Dalton International High School in Beijing. The group is here for a 10-day course focused on environmental and climate change issues in the Himalayas, organized by Songqiao Yao, Founder of WildBound, an innovative environmental education venture based in China. The students learned about adaptive challenges and leadership, mapped out stakeholders involved in the environmental sustainability space, practiced building intentional relationships with various actors, and created plans in small groups for how they would accomplish their goals during this trip. Thank you again to WildBound for having us and we look forward to continued collaboration moving forward.

Capacity development of Daayitwa and NLA team members

At NLA, we believe it is important to practice what we preach. In accordance to this belief, we administered our leadership course to Nepal Leadership Academy and Daayitwa team members. 


Narrative Impact: Storytell Your Way Into College

Designed at the Harvard University’s Center for Public Leadership, “Narrative Impact: Storytell Your Way Into College”  course seeks to identify and address adaptive challenges through impactful and personal storytelling. Students looking to transition from high school to college will always be tested on their narrative skills – be it as part of college applications, college essays or interviews. NLA has successfully conducted two Narrative Impact sessions and is excited to conduct more in the upcoming months for high school and university students.

NLT Application is live

Excited for the mountains? Nepal Leadership Academy is delighted to announce Mardi Himal Trek for Nepal Leadership Trek (NLT) 2020.

Nepal Leadership Trek is for students and young professionals around the world to discover the majestic mountains of Nepal while honing in on essential leadership skills. Follow the link for more information:

And finally….

New Office Venue

We have moved our office from Kupondole, Lalitpur to Sanepa, Lalitpur! Daayitwa and Nepal Leadership Academy are happy to welcome you to this creative space and we hope you visit when you get the chance!