The Institute was founded in 1979 by conservative activist Morton C. Blackwell. Its mission is to “increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists” and to “identify, train, recruit and place conservatives in politics, government, and media.”
The Leadership Institute offers 40 types of training seminars at its Arlington headquarters, around the United States, and occasionally in foreign countries. In 2009, the Institute trained more than 9,500 students. Since its 1979 founding, the Leadership Institute has trained more than 91,475 students. Notable alumni include Grover Norquist, Karl Rove, Ralph Reed, Jeff Gannon, Senator Mitch McConnell, Congressman Mike Pence, James O’Keefe, and seven new members of the 112th Congress.
Blackwell has been a member since 1984 of the Council for National Policy, a group of politically active conservatives. Founders included Richard Viguerie, the Virginia direct-mail specialist, Paul Weyrich, Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party, and Phyllis Schlafly, a St. Louis activist who led the opposition to the proposed Equal Rights Amendment. Another founder was Tim LaHaye, author of the Left Behind novels. The council does not make its proceedings public. When he first ran for president, George W. Bush addressed the Council for National Policy. His remarks from 2000 have never been unveiled.
For an excellent look into the Leadership Institute, please see: http://www.salon.com/2005/05/25/blackwell_9/