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Learn to Lead

Established in 1990, the Leadership Program prepares students to lead in public service.
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Welcome to the SPA Certificate Program in Advanced Leadership Studies! This program was launched in 1990 in order to offer students the experience, skills, and knowledge to prepare them for leadership roles in public service. Following a competitive application process, students complete the 15-credit course of study that culminates in a Certificate in Advanced Leadership Studies.

The mission of the certificate program in advanced leadership studies at the American University School of Public Affairs is to empower students by providing the requisite leadership knowledge, skills and experiences needed to lead creative and generous lives in public affairs, with intelligence and compassion.

Our webpage details how the program takes students from the theory to the practice of leadership. Thank you for visiting.

Paul Christopher Manuel, Ph.D.
Director, School of Public Affairs Leadership Program & Professor of Government

Program Overview

The SPA Leadership Program: Bringing Theory to Practice

John F. Kennedy speaks at American University

"Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." Quote from the speech that John F. Kennedy had planned to deliver in Dallas before his assassination on 22 November 1963.

Leadership inspiration

Welcome Class of 2021!

Motivated. Collaborative. Empowering. These are just a few of the many excellent qualities within the SPA Leadership Class of 2021.

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Uncensoring China panel held at AU

Uncensoring China Panel Held at AU

The Leadership Program invited scholars, activists, and a former political prisoner to discuss life under the Chinese regime.

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