Leadership Development at GW

Everyone holds a great deal of leadership potential. We believe leadership involves more than holding a certain position or title on campus, rather, leadership is a relational process of working collaboratively together to achieve a shared vision or goal. We all have the ability to be leaders in support of creating a better GW and a stronger global community.

Leadership development doesn’t happen in one place. GW students have access to abundant resources across campus, both in academic spaces and co-curricular programs. The list below is not comprehensive, but a starting point for students looking to expand their knowledge and experience around leadership theory and practice.

In addition to the career development programs one would expect from a career center, the Center for Career Services at GW offers self-assessments to help students discover their talents and to increase their self-awareness, an important aspect of leadership development. Self-assessment options include: StrengthsQuest, an assessment of personal strengths and a discussion of applying strengths to leadership, career development, and academic and personal success, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a measure of personality preferences across 4 dimensions that aid in enhancing self-awareness and understanding of others.

The Center for Excellence in Public Leadership develops public leaders who make a positive difference in their organizations and for the people they serve. CEPL programs include professional certificates, executive education programs, leadership coaching, and more.

The annual Diversity Summit, presented by the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement, aims to create a space for attendees to engage in critical, thoughtful, and challenging dialogue to inform how we understand ourselves, the larger landscape of higher education, and ways to continue building the most inclusive campus climates on individual and communal levels.

The Excellence in Leadership Seminar allows GW students to refine their leadership skills through a variety of workshops. Students can participate in sessions designed to prepare them for future leadership positions, work effectively in groups, and create positive change. Individual sessions are offered throughout the academic year and can be used to complete annual student organization training requirements.

The fraternity or sorority experience is a great way to create a sense of home within the wonders of GW and Washington, D.C. It is all about friendship, leadership, scholarship, community service, philanthropy, and brotherhood/sisterhood that complement a student’s classroom experience. FSL offers a variety of leadership programs and positions on campus. Many chapters also offer leadership development programs through their inter/national organizations. If you are interested in joining a fraternity or sorority but are looking for a different option to the social Greek organizations, the Alternative Greek Council member organizations are available.

The Global Women’s Institute is a university-wide initiative to advance gender equality through interdisciplinary research, education, and policy, and outreach. GWI serves as a catalyst for action, linking faculty and students with international researchers, practitioners, activists, and policymakers to end violence against women and girls, empower women economically, and increase women’s participation and leadership in society.

The Student Athlete Leadership Academy (SALA) provides an ongoing and integrated approach to leadership development by targeting and training student-athletes. This program is customized for student-athletes based on their year in school and includes the Emerging Leaders Program, the Veterans Leaders Program, and Leadership 360. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) works in conjunction with the Atlantic 10 Conference SAAC to improve the student-athlete experience by facilitating communication between student-athletes and the administration. SAAC organizes community service opportunities, builds a sense of community among student-athletes, and hosts activities. SAAC is comprised of at least one representative from each of GW's 27 varsity teams who then elect an executive board.

The Nashman Center aims to integrate civic engagement into George Washington University’s educational work. The Nashman Center focuses GW’s resources to meet community needs beyond the campus, promote active citizenship in a diverse democracy, and enhance teaching, learning, and scholarship at GW. Students can strengthen their civic leadership and interpersonal skills through the Nashman Center’s leadership programs, training, and workshops, including MLK Day of Service and Leadership, Civic Leadership Dialogues, and Institute for Citizen Leaders.  

Hosted by the Office of Student Life, LEAD (Leadership Exploration and Development) is a dynamic pre-semester, co-curricular program for incoming first-year students that is designed to help students transition seamlessly into their first year at GW. LEAD includes a 2.5-day pre-semester program and a weekly workshop series during the fall semester. Returning GW students can apply to be peer guides for the program where they lead small group discussions, serve as a mentor to new students, and guide activities on campus and around D.C.

The MSSC and LGBTQ+ Resource Center is located at 2127 G Street, NW. The MSSC offers free training opportunities that equip participants with the necessary skills to promote diversity and inclusion in the different environments in which they find themselves frequently. Weekly sessions are held throughout the academic year on Thursdays at 5 PM. Trainings are also available upon request by emailing [email protected].

New Student Orientation student leaders welcome, transition, and begin to integrate new undergraduate students to GW and the surrounding community. They prepare skits, lead small group discussions, and offer advice on how to get involved at GW. The new orientation model launched in fall 2019 provides returning students with a variety of opportunities to welcome the next incoming class of GW students.

There are a plethora of leadership opportunities with the Student Association. Just a few of these opportunities are Joint Elections Commission, Student Engagement Committee, Senate, Diversity and Inclusion Assembly, Committee Aids, and Arts Committee.

Get involved on campus by joining a student organization! Student orgs build community, plan a wide range of events, provide resources, and offer leadership positions to help students practice and expand their leadership skills. 

Trails is a group of students serving the GW community by planning and leading outdoor adventure trips throughout the year. GW Trails guides share a fervent passion for the outdoors as well as an interest in serving the community through leadership and service.