Human Trafficking Leadership Academy

The Human Trafficking Leadership Academy (HTLA) seeks to develop and expand survivor-informed services. To do this, HTLA offers leadership development opportunities to survivor leaders and allied professionals.

Participants, called fellows, take part in a series of seminars, where they learn new leadership skills while focusing on a central project question. The class consists of monthly seminars over the course of 4–6 months. As fellows work together, they build a trusted network of peers.  Fellows expand and develop recommendations for new research, policies, and programs that improve awareness, understanding, and assistance for individuals who have experienced human trafficking, those at risk of human trafficking, and their families.

The last seminar includes a final presentation and graduation ceremony in Washington, DC. Before the ceremony, fellows present the group’s findings to the Office on Trafficking in Persons and the Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other federal stakeholders. 

Information About Our Current Class

Dates: May 2021-September 2021
Region: National
Project question: “How can federally funded human trafficking service providers address institutional inequities and barriers to accessing services for survivors of human trafficking? How can these networks improve their response to human trafficking for communities of color?”

Recruitment for Class 7 is now closed. Please continue to visit our Recruitment and Eligibility page for information on our next recruitment period.

Information About Previous Classes

Dates: October 2020–February 2021
Region: Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California, and Texas
Project question: “How can communities assess and respond to risk factors among migratory families in order to reduce vulnerabilities and prevent labor trafficking?”

View Recommendations on Assessing and Responding to Risk Factors Among Migratory Families to Prevent Labor Trafficking.

HTLA Class 6 Fellows
Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, Class 6, October 2020


Dates: October 2019–September 2020
Region: National
Project question: “How can culture be a protective factor in preventing trafficking among all Indigenous youth?”
In addition to NHTTAC and CORO, the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY) at the Aspen Institute co-facilitated this class.

View Recommendations on Culture as a Protective Factor.

HTLA Class 5 fellows
Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, Class 5, October 2019


Dates: April 2019–August 2019
Region: Colorado
Project Question: "How can state and local governments help survivors of trafficking reach financial stability as defined through the 2-generation/whole family approach for postsecondary and employment opportunities and economic assets?"

View Recommendations on 2-Generation Approaches to Employment Opportunities and Economic Assets.

HTLA Class 4 fellows
Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, Class 4, August 2019

Dates: October 2018–January 2019
Region: Florida and Georgia
Project Question: “Using trauma-informed principles and survivor-informed practices, what strategies could reduce risk factors and increase protective factors within families that prevent the trafficking of minors? How can anti-trafficking efforts incorporate 2-generation and whole family approaches to programs and policies?”

View Recommendations on Preventing Child Trafficking.

Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, Class 3, 2018
Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, Class 3, January 2019

Dates: May–August 2018
Region: Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, and Ohio
Project Question: “Using trauma-informed principles and survivor-informed practices, how can service providers improve their support of human trafficking survivors who are struggling with co-occurring disorders?”

View Service Recommendations for Human Trafficking Survivors With Substance Use Disorders.

Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, Class 2, 2018
Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, Class 2, August 2018

Dates: June–September of 2017
Region: California
Project Question: “How can OTIP grantees enhance their programming and services to support survivors of trafficking and/or those at risk using trauma-informed and survivor-informed practices?” 

View Recommendations on Survivor-Informed Practice.

In response to these recommendations, NHTTAC created the Toolkit for Building Survivor-Informed Organizations. This toolkit is a collection of resources that build organizational capacity to collaborate with and support staff, volunteers, and consultants who identify as survivor leaders.

Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, Class 1, September, 2017

Human Trafficking Leadership Academy, Class 1, September 2017

Coro Logo


We partner with Coro Northern California, a nationally recognized leadership development organization. Coro builds leaders who know when to step up and when to step back — learning and practicing the art of asking good questions, communicating effectively, and incorporating diverse viewpoints. 

The Office on Trafficking in Persons (OTIP) and the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) established the HTLA in response to recommendations for survivor leadership from stakeholders with lived experience including the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking, established by the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015.  HTLA has been funded by the HHS OTIP, OWH, and the Administration for Native Americans.  HTLA is administered by OTIP’s National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center.  

What Are Fellows Saying About This Program


“I have watched myself grow exponentially. I now have confidence to hold a space in a room and own it! I have attended a lot of trainings as a survivor leader and, by far, this one was the most helpful, interactive, and caring.”


“This fellowship helped me develop mad leadership skills, inspired growth and self-realization, and educated me on the resources needed to support survivors. I am super excited to see where our recommendations land.”


“I am excited to share the information [with] my colleagues, strengthen collaborative or strategic organizational relationship[s], [and] improve programs/practices by training staff with what I learned.”