The Sendaishi-chiiki Bousai Leader (SBL) Program was launched in 2012 as a capacity development initiative in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture (one of the severely affected municipalities in the Tohoku region), in response to the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake (GEJE). The Program emphasizes strengthening each community’s disaster resilience by fostering locally based leaders to promote sustainable disaster risk reduction activities within existing chonaikai (neighborhood association) networks. Over its 4 years of implementation, 584 SBLs have been certified. The SBL Program is designed to emphasize learning from the lessons of the 2011 GEJE experience in Sendai City and conducting disaster management activities based on the community’s local disaster risk. The SBL Program has helped identify a new generation of individuals who can lead community disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities. In the SBL Program, each community is placed in the driver’s seat but is not left alone. After the training, the city government supports certified SBLs by providing opportunities for follow-up and SBL exchanges. The Sendai City experience indicates that developing the capacity of a community’s DRR leaders in a post-disaster period can contribute to enhancing that community’s disaster resilience for better community rebuilding.