Background II

Leadership Approach

What it means to learn about leadership in this program

The complexities and the scale of climate change, the disruptions (and potential) of artificial intelligence, and the rising frequency of so-called “black swan” events like the COVID pandemic have far surpassed any single country’s or individual leader’s capacity and ability to solve in isolation. The MPA in Global Leadership (MPA-GL) equips leaders with the necessary tools to excel in this new era, where conventional approaches fall short. The program’s leadership activities are specifically designed to cultivate a lifelong community of trusted partners, enhance self-awareness and clarity of purpose, and facilitate the practical application of leadership frameworks to amplify impact and effectiveness in the MPA-GL candidate’s work.

  1. Join a community of lifelong connections. Leaders often find themselves surprised by the growing isolation that comes with leadership roles. As individuals rise in the ranks, they have fewer opportunities to honestly and openly workshop their challenges. To counter this, we forge a strong, close-knit cohort spanning the business, government, and nonprofit sectors. Through candid discussions of challenges within the cohort and smaller, more intimate groups, we break the sense of leadership isolation, creating a group of lifelong partnerships—a global network that thrives beyond the ten-month intensive program. 
  2. Deepen your self-awareness and refine your sense of purpose. Throughout the program, students will explore their own unique leadership style. Leaders often lack the tools to comprehensively understand themselves in their professional leadership roles. To address this gap, we offer an individualized leadership assessment developed by the executive search firm SpencerStuart. For each student, the platform generates a diagnostic report outlining their leadership style across eight different distinct characteristics. Over the course of the program, each student will work with a leadership coach and their peers to identify and improve their leadership style.
  3. Learn to bridge theory and practice in leadership frameworks. MPA-GL students participate in a year-long seminar that translates theoretical leadership frameworks concepts into practical application through real-world business cases and interactions with accomplished leaders. The seminar is taught by Mauricio Cardenas, director of the MPA-GL program, and Jonah Fisher, Senior Director of the Atlantic Council's Millennium Leadership Program. While their teaching goals intersect, they are also quite distinct. Cardenas offers insight into navigating the highest levels of public and private policy, while Fisher equips students with an enhanced set of applied leadership tools. Over the course of the year, Fisher introduces students to a range of leadership frameworks that strengthen their individual aptitudes and enable them to achieve more systemic and impactful results across their respectful professional fields.