IAFC Diversity Executive Leadership Program (iDELP)

The IAFC Diversity Executive Leadership program (iDELP) is currently under review and development. Please check back on this site in the fall of 2023 for an update on the status of the program and information about the next cohort.

iDELP logo

The IAFC Diversity Executive Leadership Program (iDELP) supports individuals from under-represented identity groups and those interested in creating a diverse workforce to advance into the ranks of leadership in the IAFC and fire and emergency service leadership at a national level.

IAFC iDELP Fellows participate in a leadership program of education, mentoring, and volunteer service in the IAFC and fire service community.

Criteria and Guidelines

This is a two-year program that brings together 10-15 Fellows to focus on the challenges that leaders in the fire service face as they relate to inclusiveness and diversity, and the impacts they have on the fire and emergency service, particularly the IAFC and its members.

The goal of the program is to establish a cohort of participants that represents diversity across the fire service. It will then give the Fellows an opportunity to learn from each other, develop solutions to current and emerging issues, and to share those solutions with the IAFC community, all while enhancing themselves as leaders and ambassadors of the IAFC.

Fellows come together twice a year, once at FRI, and then at another assigned conference, for a two-to three-day immersion and discussion on subject areas that will be identified by the co-leaders of the cohort.

Fellows are expected to be active in the IAFC; for example:

  • seek out speaking opportunities at IAFC conferences
  • participate in online discussions on KnowledgeNet,
  • write for IAFC On Scene and IAFC blogs,
  • present to various IAFC divisions and sections, and
  • advise and make recommendations to the IAFC Human Relations Committee, IAFC leadership and Board of Directors on leadership issues for inclusiveness and diversity.

Each Fellow may be assigned a seasoned mentor and is expected to interact with the mentor on a regular basis to get experiential guidance on their development as leaders.

Lastly, the program strives to prepare the Fellows to seek out leadership positions within the IAFC and other national level organizations.


To be eligible for an iDELP Fellowship, candidates must:

  • Be a member of a racial or ethnic minority group, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender member, or a person with a physical challenge or disability, or an officer who has a sincere interest in helping to foster a diverse and inclusive workforce.
  • Be currently employed as a fire chief or senior-level fire and emergency service professional.
  • Aspire to serve in a leadership position within the IAFC, or similar organization, that has national and international reach.
  • Have a demonstrated history of supporting the declarations outlined in the IAFC Human Dignity Statement.
  • Have a demonstrated history of professional, volunteer, or civic/community leadership experience.
  • Commit to serve as a mentor to future Fellows and support the iDELP program moving forward through active involvement in post-completion activities.
  • Maintain an ongoing relationship with peers, networking with members of other iDELP cohorts.
  • Commit to attending two in-person meetings, one during Fire-Rescue International. The individual will receive complimentary all-access registration, but will be responsible for travel, accommodations, and onsite expenses. Sponsors or the IAFC will cover meals and sessions.
  • Commit to one project, assignment and/or group project per year.
  • Commit to becoming an IAFC member if selected.

This program is limited to 10-15 participants. Applicants who are accepted will be provided complimentary admission to some IAFC conferences and events, but other costs will not be covered. 

If you have any questions about the program, please contact mbmichos@iafc.org.

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