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Key Executive Leadership Programs

The job of running a democracy is not an easy one, and the implementation of public policy requires extraordinary leadership. Today's challenging environment demands leaders who are willing to: grow a mindset that can make sense of a complex environment; diagnose and change their behavior; inspire those they lead; work and learn collaboratively; overcome barriers to institutional change; act with integrity; facilitate reflective and productive dialogue, think strategically, and implement public policy with pristine skill and fierce resolve.

For 40 years, the Key Executive Leadership Programs have developed extraordinary leaders with a passion for public service. Initially established to serve the federal sector, our program has grown to include executives from the state and local levels – along with their peers in the nonprofit and private sectors who partner with, and influence, the federal government. 

In the Key Executive Leadership Programs, we create an environment of mutual trust and growth. Our staff provides first-class professional support for busy public executives. Our faculty have substantive experience in and around the government so class discussions, assignments, and activities are immediately applicable to today's work environment. Our students, the soul of the program, come from across government to engage in meaningful and timely dialogue about the challenges they face. The resulting fabric of trust and support underpin relationships that last a lifetime. 

Our programs are applied programs based on relevant theory. We structure our curriculum and our classroom experience to create a shared learning environment where executives take what they learn, and apply it immediately in their workplace. How do we know this works? Ninety-six percent of our alumni indicate that Key has played a major role in fostering their successful careers, including over seventy percent who have been promoted since graduating from the program. Ninety percent of our students said the Key Executive Leadership Programs increased their ability to lead people toward meeting organizational vision mission, and goals. 

Former President Jimmy Carter once noted that words such as honesty, integrity, fairness, liberty, justice, patriotism, compassion, and love describe not only what human beings ought to be – but also what a government of human beings ought to be. We in the Key Executive Leadership Programs couldn't agree more. 

Our program exists for one reason, to cultivate leadership in public sector executives.It is our great honor to help the fine men and women, the stewards of our nation's resources, to become the leaders we need. I hope you'll consider joining our Key community of more than 2,500 students and alumni and make your move toward extraordinary leadership.

Patrick Malone, Ph.D., Director
Key Executive Leadership Programs
School of Public Affairs
American University