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Air University reorganizes, creates Ira C. Eaker Center for Leadership Development


The Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development is transforming to meet a larger Air Force need for comprehensive leadership curriculum and instruction.

The transformation includes realigning the center’s mission, adding several organizations, and renaming it the Ira C. Eaker Center for Leadership Development.

“While simply replacing the word ‘professional’ with ‘leadership’ may appear subtle, the re-missioning affords a renewed focus on leadership development and is a major change for the [Eaker] Center and the university,” said Col. Terri Jones, Eaker Center Commander.

The renaming and reorganization will merge the current Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development, the Air University Leadership Institute, the Air Force First Sergeant Academy, and the Profession of Arms Center of Excellence.  Additionally, the center will create a new directorate to focus on and elevate enterprise-wide civilian leadership development.

“This realignment is a deliberate step to focus and unify leadership development under one umbrella within Air University,” said Lt. Gen. Anthony Cotton, Air University Commander and President. “We are creating one resource for Air Force leaders to connect with regarding leadership, and it blends well with the relationship we have with the U.S. Air Force Academy’s leadership department.”

In 2016, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein directed a squadron revitalization survey of nearly 20,000 total force Airmen and spouses. A common theme among respondents was the Air Force needed to put more focus on leader development.

“As the intellectual and leadership-development center of the Air Force, it is critical for AU to provide leadership development opportunities that are relevant, cutting edge and impactful,” said Cotton. “With this realignment, AU will be better positioned to support the Air Force’s strategic priority of developing exceptional leaders to lead the world’s most powerful teams.”

The new Ira C. Eaker Center for Leadership Development will develop and deliver AF-wide leadership education, undertake leadership-related research and analysis, and conduct strategic outreach and consultation across the Air Force, joint partners, and with academic institutions.