About Leadership in Action at Wagner

No one individual, organization, or sector is capable of addressing the pressing issues of today’s shared-power world. Shifting geopolitical and digital landscapes require that we move beyond traditional "heroic" conceptions of leaders to instead recognize leadership that enables people to work across sectors and boundaries to find common solutions.

Our approach to leadership understands that people from all sectors and levels can contribute to leading for the public good. By radically expanding our notions of how people lead, this perspective encourages people to see themselves in their leadership. We aim to strengthen organizations, communities, and democracy by deepening and diversifying the pool of people taking up leadership on the issues of public importance. 

To achieve this vision, we are committed to advancing leadership research, development programs, and initiatives for the public good. Leadership scholars at NYU Wagner are dedicated to developing research and programs that enhance individuals’ leadership skills and strengthen organizations and systems in the world.

The Leadership in Action virtual space draws largely on work accomplished by the Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) between 2003 and 2015. With funding from the Ford Foundation, the RCLA developed an approach to leadership exemplifying NYU Wagner's commitment to integrating theory and practice. RCLA designed leadership programs from the “ground up” in collaboration with leaders in the field that drew on cutting edge literature, practitioner wisdom, and peer-learning techniques. Key insights and products of RCLA research remain relevant and are incorporated throughout the Leadership in Action at Wagner website.