About Us

The Leadership & Innovation Institute was initially stood up at Air University in the summer of 2017.  Originally charged with informing the SECAF and CSAF on how we develop our Airmen as leaders both uniquely and collectively and creating a tapestry to deliver this leadership education to every Airman, the Leadership & Innovation Institute now develops and delivers DAF-wide leadership education, conducts leadership-related research and analysis, and conducts strategic outreach and consultation with external partners.  

Our faculty develop curriculum and help execute the Leader Development Course for Squadron Command, run and coach Project Mercury, AU’s innovation education, in partnership with Innovatrium at the University of Michigan and teach core courses and electives within Air Command & Staff College and Air War College in addition to other leadership lessons.  

The Leadership & Innovation Institute also leads Air University’s 5-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) efforts for SACSCOC reaffirmation of accreditation entitled Leadership & Ethics across a Continuum of Learning. Our faculty developed a conceptual QEP  framework to integrate the intersection of ethical leadership and strategic leadership.  This framework is designed to create a deliberate and comprehensive leadership development program for the University and the Air Force. In Year 1, we focused on developing baseline assessments and benchmarking the current state of leadership development programs across Air University.  Our research efforts led us to focus on 3 ethical leader competencies: ethical decision-making, empathy and fostering innovation.  In Year 2, our focus was creating desired learning outcomes for each competency, designing assessment rubrics for each and creating, implement and assessing “beta” educational experiences in select AU programs. Now in Year 3, we are continuing our work with select programs, assessing and refining as needed.

Our strategic outreach capitalizes on our location at Air University to provide lessons, lectures and presentations on resilience, emotional intelligence, personality typology, ethics, suicide prevention and postvention and other leadership and human domain subjects.  In order to make our content available to all Airmen, we also offer virtual LeaderShops in various soft skill subjects. Our faculty collaborate with sister service PME institutions to include work on the Joint Ethics Working Group and research efforts with USAFA’s Center for Character & Leadership Development.

The Leadership & Innovation Institute provides the Air Force an entry point at Air University for leadership development with the intent to help our Airmen to lead, inspire and impact.