Expand AU Menu

Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.)

Leadership opportunities in Kogod are facilitated through the Leadership Education and Development (L.E.A.D.) Certificate Program. Through classroom and co-curricular activities, it is our hope that all Kogod students value the importance of becoming a well-rounded leader. The Program enhances and builds upon the principles of Learning By Doing through the following:

Leadership Education

What does it mean to be a leader? Through course work, programs and events in Kogod, we hope that all students will take the time to understand what it means to be an effective leader. Attending a Business in the Capital or club speaker are just two examples. Some Kogod courses to consider: MGMT 353 (Management and Organizations Behavior); MGMT 409 (Leading High Performance Teams); MGMT 607 (High Performance Teams); MGMT 609 (Management of Organizations and Human Capital); MGMT 633 (Leading People and Organizations); MGMT 664 (Leadership: Exploring Styles and Developing Competencies). This list is not all-inclusive; we know there are many more courses out there that are applicable.

Service Learning

Service learning is more than just volunteering. Combining classroom learning experiences with giving back to the community is a valuable trait for a leader. Working with the Center for Community and Engagement and Service here on campus to learn about what opportunities we have in DC, participate in the Making a Difference program, or in a service learning course (like Washington Initiative) are ways that you can give back to our community.


Finding someone to give you advice and help you find direction personally and/or professionally is a valuable part of being a strong leader. Through this checkpoint, we would like you to establish a relationship with a professor, staff member, or someone in your professional field and work with them to enhance your developing leadership skills.


Providing guidance, advice and insight for someone interested in a field where you are an expert is an important part of being a leader. The 1955 Club Peer Mentors and FTMBA Student Mentors offer formal opportunities to share your expertise but being a mentor can take many forms.


Effective leaders are not always the presidents of organizations. Leadership takes many forms and one of them is getting involved in groups that are professionally and/or personally interesting to you. Just because you may not hold a leadership position in a group does not make the experience any less valuable. We have many Kogod-specific clubs for undergraduates and graduates but there are more than 200 ways to get involved around campus.


Respecting and understanding diverse perspectives, people, and beliefs is integral to the success of any strong leader. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion on campus offers many workshops to build cross-cultural competencies. Attending more than one of their many workshops can also earn you a separate Diversity and Inclusion Certificate. More than workshops, appreciation for diversity can overlap with many of the other principles listed above. Think of how your leadership education, service learning, mentorship, or involvement has also increased your awareness and understanding of traditionally under-represented groups.

How Does This Work?

Before you begin the program, you should contact Michelle Doyle or Andrew Toczydlowski (see contact information below) to set up a 1:1 meeting to discuss the program and your personal reasons for wanting to complete the program. During this meeting, you’ll develop an individualized learning plan that outlines the steps needed to complete the program.

Most plans will involve a mid-point check in and end of program check in meetings. As a culmination of your experience, we will also ask for a formal reflection of completing the certificate through writing a paper, blogging it, creating a video series, or whatever other creative way you can think of.

Students who complete the program will be honored at student leadership luncheon with deans, faculty, and staff as well as receive a certificate and gift.


For more information or if you have any questions or suggestions, undergraduate students should contact Michelle Doyle at (202) 885-1931 or mdoyle@american.edu and graduate students should contact Andrew Toczydlowski at (202) 885-1982 or andrew@american.edu.

Student Resources

Kogod Career Center

Find information about advising, orientation, and more.

View Information

Club Leader Resources

Visit the club leader portal for more information to help you successfully plan club events.

Login now

Learning Objectives

The L.E.A.D. series supports the following learning objectives:


Read More