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Key Executive Leadership Programs

It is with great pleasure we announce our new ranking according to U.S. News and World Report.  We have now moved to the 3rd ranked MPA for Public Management and Leadership in the country!  We owe our deepest gratitude to all of our alum, staff, faculty, and coaches who work tirelessly to build leadership capacity in the public service. It is a noble calling and one in which we are all proud to be a part.
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Key Executive Leadership Programs


Key is the global public sector leadership program of choice, as it challenges good managers to become extraordinary leaders who become lifelong learners and build an environment of organizational success. Home to the 3rd nationally ranked Executive MPA program and leadership certificate programs, Key’s alumni leave as leaders who exhibit passion for improving public service, act with integrity and authenticity, become a force for personal and organizational change, and empower others to action and excel.

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Ranked 3rd in the nation - the Key Executive Leadership Master of Public Administration (MPA), along with the Key Executive Leadership Certificate, have transformed good managers into extraordinary leaders for more than 40 years.

The Key Executive Leadership Programs curriculum is aligned with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) and works to promote a residential experience that lasts a lifetime.

Message from the Director

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.
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In Memory of Don Zauderer

Don Zauderer, Founder of Key

We are sad to share that Professor Don Zauderer passed away in the company of his loving family on November 26, 2018.  Don joined American University in 1970 and immediately began investing his heart and soul into what would become the Key Executive Leadership Program.  He was a friend and mentor to many, and his impact on the men and women of the public service is immeasurable.  His legacy is his authenticity, values, and love for all.  We will miss him deeply but we know he will live on in all of us forever. Zauderer Donation

Key Alum Named Top Engagement Influencer of 2019

Russell Robinson

Key MPA Alumnus, Russell Robinson of Key 43, was recently listed on the 2019 Engagment 101 - Top 101 Employee Engagement Influencers. This is the 3rd year the list has been curated and is produced by the Employee Engagement Awards & Conference.
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Read more about Veterans Benefits at the Key Programs
Key Podcasts

Key Podcasts

Listen to interviews, presentations, and Key FED Talks.


Eagle Hill Consulting, Key Programs Partner and Sponsor

Key Partnership with Eagle Hill Consulting

Read more about one of our partners, Eagle Hill Consulting, a woman-owned company doing great work in the federal government and beyond!

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Panel of experts at event

On Campus ·

SPA and Guidehouse Bring Experts Together to Discuss Data Management

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Key in the Media

  • Key Director, Patrick Malone, and Key Faculty, Zina Sutch, published an article with the Association for Talent Development in February 2019 outlining feedback and its importance in the workplace.

  • Key Alumna, Catrina Bonus (USSS 4), made history in becoming the first woman to serve as Deputy Chief of the Uniformed Division of Secret Service.

  • Key Coach, Joseph A. Sclafani, published an article with the Association for Talent Development (ATD) in June 2018 discussing leadership development. 

Government employees now eligible for 25% discount in the KEY MPA Program