LEAD Program


a row of military officers sitting in an auditorium


The Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Program is the product of a partnership with the Division of Leadership at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA). Together, USNA and the Department of Organizational Sciences and Communication offer an interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Leadership Education and Development. Each year, the competitive program accepts a cohort of talented officers from the USNA.

LEAD Program participants hone their critical and analytical thinking and develop the skills necessary to understand, design and foster leadership and team development. Coursework is shared between GW and the USNA and includes a required research capstone project. Participants also network with LEAD Distinguished Speakers at an annual lecture and reception designed for LEAD fellows who may go on to careers in the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps.

Students complete the MA program in three academic terms (a summer session plus the following academic year). Following completion of the degree, participants serve a two-year tour as company officers, for a total LEAD program commitment of three years.


Program Leadership


Clay Warren
Director of the LEAD Program
George Washington University


LCDR Alex Dietrich
LEAD Contract Officers Representative and Program Manager
U.S. Naval Academy


Genevieve Cooper
LEAD Assistant
University of Maryland, College Park

Clay Warren Speaking at the 2018 LEAD event




LEAD is restricted to highly qualified Navy and Marine Corps offers. A representative selection of surface warfare officers, submariners, aviators and marines are selected to fill each year’s class. The admissions process is managed through the Naval Academy. Visit the USNA Division of Leadership Education and Development to learn more and apply.


Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

33 credits, including 18 credits taken at GW and 15 credits taken at the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA)

COMM 6171Professional Communication
COMM 6190Leadership Communication
COMM 6242Organizational Communication and Conflict Management
LEAD 6001The Academy and the Brigade *
LEAD 6003Foundations of Moral Reasoning *
LEAD 6004LEAD Fellows Teaching Practicum *
LEAD 6005LEAD Fellows Counseling Practicum *
LEAD 6006LEAD Research Capstone *
ORSC 6209Management Systems
ORSC 6245Seminar: Organizational Behavior
ORSC 8261Research Methods in Organizational Sciences

*Course taken at the USNA