In the same way [that] Alex left this indelible mark on my life and Michelle’s life, and many of your lives, you will leave an indelible mark as well, as long as you decide that you’re going to spend your life giving something back.
— President Barack Obama, January 23, 2013

The Institute for Compassionate Leadership was founded after the passing of Alex Okrent. Alex was a dedicated political activist, and a champion of Barack Obama's, dating back to 2004. He was a pioneer in creating social change, and he did this through his ability to love and be compassionate.

The Institute for Compassionate Leadership was born out of the idea that the world needs more leaders like Alex, and it was founded by one of Alex’s friends from college, Lodro. 

Upon learning of Alex’s passing, Lodro dropped everything to carry on his friend’s work on the campaign trail in 2012; and, after returning from his campaign work in the state of Ohio, Lodro met with a wide variety of compassionate leaders. A dialogue began about how to support inspired individuals, not simply with the next political candidate, but by focused attention on an issue they can care about for the rest of their lives. Minutes after the January 13th speech by President Obama quoted above, the idea for the Institute arose in Lodro’s mind and he got to work, making it a reality. 

The Institute began as a six-month leadership training program and we are proud that dozens of individuals have graduated from that program - transformed into more compassionate leaders, doing the work they have always longed to do. In order to make our curriculum as accessible as possible, the Executive Director and the Board decided to bring the teachings online, and the revised version of this site was born.

[Alex] was among the first to join Obama’s presidential campaign in its barest days... He was demanding, fun and irreverent. And he was never shy about telling people that he loved them.
— The New York Times