Departments and Research Centers

Leadership Initiative

Leadership skills for transformative public service.

Showing 1 - 30 of 34 results
Postdoctoral fellow

Cat Summers

Postdoctoral fellow
Summers is an organizational psychologist who studies environmental justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at work, primarily drawing on social psychology theories. Her research focuses on the interaction of business, sustainability, and justice, reflecting her passion for assisting leaders and organizations in navigating the nexus of environmental sustainability and justice.
Core faculty

Morela Hernandez

Ligia Ramirez de Reynolds Collegiate Professor of Public Policy; Faculty Director, Leadership Initiative
Hernandez is an internationally recognized scholar with deep expertise in applying behavioral science insights to design and improve organizational systems and decision-making practices. She is widely published in top-tier academic journals and popular media outlets, and serves on several editorial boards. At Michigan, Hernandez teaches courses on leadership and serves as faculty director of the Ford School's Leadership Initiative.
Staff

Jennifer Niggemeier

Managing Director, Leadership Initiative
Jennifer Niggemeier brings 20+ years of experience in working with current and future policy leaders. Jennifer leads a global team of 20+ executive leadership coaches delivering individual and group coaching to masters students, and designs and…

Leadership Journey Dinners

Leadership Journey Dinners are a new program for graduate students to learn about different pathways to leadership in an intimate, informal setting. Each semester, Professor Morela Hernandez hosts two dinners in her home for 15 students and a...

Extracurricular programming

The Leadership Initiative hosts workshops and partners with units across campus on a variety of programs that take place outside of the classroom. Students gain insights from faculty, alumni, and each other, and have space to practice communicating...

Leadership coaching

All Ford School master's students have the opportunity to work with a certified executive leadership coach—a growth activity that is typically reserved for senior leaders and executives much further along in their careers. For Master of Public...

Leadership Initiative

The Ford School's Leadership Initiative develops and offers a growing suite of graduate and undergraduate student leadership courses, coaching, and extracurricular programs that build on and complement the school's excellent, rigorous curriculum....
News

Workshops help students communicate with clarity and impact

Oct 30, 2023
As policy professionals, Ford School graduates will need to expertly convey new ideas, propose policy to higher ups, lead teams toward a shared goal, build support among factions, present data, and respond to questions ‘on the spot.’  Much like the...
News

Undergraduate workshop prepares students for the future of work

Oct 18, 2023
This October, the Ford School’s Leadership Initiative and Career Services team hosted the second annual Deloitte Future of Work Institute (FoWI).  Undergraduate students from the Ford School and the U-M Leadership Certificate program participated in...
News

Returning students practice leadership skills

Oct 9, 2023
On an overcast morning in late August, 38 continuing Ford School MPP students gathered in the Dixboro Woods to strategize, communicate, and achieve a shared objective. But it wasn’t to fulfill a consulting project or a problem set. It was part of...
News

Meet new postdoctoral fellow Catherine Summers

Aug 24, 2023
Catherine Summers is a postdoctoral fellow with the Ford School’s Leadership Initiative and the Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise at the Ross School. She is an organizational psychologist who is passionate about assisting leaders and...
Publication

Overcoming workplace imposter syndrome

Jan 31, 2023
Many high-achieving employees describe feelings of self-doubt and not being intellectually capable to do their jobs. These feelings can be classified as “imposter syndrome” and it is a persistent issue among career women. A KPMG survey of 750 female...
State & Hill

National recognition for Niggemeier, summer leadership coaching

Dec 19, 2022
In 2021, after an initial pilot test, the Ford School became the first policy school to offer all Master of Public Policy students the opportunity to work with a certified executive leadership coach during their required summer internship. In...
News

Making the case for public policy education

Dec 14, 2022
In an event on December 5, 2022, Ford School interim dean Celeste Watkins-Hayes told a group of Capitol Hill staffers and other DC professionals that a public policy education can lead to community impact.  “I'm a firm believer in the idea that...
News

Hernandez joins MIT Sloan Editorial Advisory Board

Sep 14, 2022
Morela Hernandez, Ligia Ramirez de Reynolds Collegiate Professor of Public Policy and Faculty Director of the Leadership Initiative, has been named to the editorial advisory board of the MIT Sloan Management Review. The review's mission is to "seek...
News

New leadership development program focuses on the journey

Sep 14, 2022
This fall, the Ford School’s Leadership Initiative is launching a new program for graduate students to learn about different pathways to leadership from Ford School faculty in an intimate, informal setting. Professor Morela Hernandez, director...
Publication

Research shows how women leaders manage the “double bind”

Jun 17, 2022
In corporate boardrooms, women often face backlash or negative career consequences when they are unable to display both warmth and competence — gendered societal expectations commonly referred to as the ‘double bind.’ Morela Hernandez, the Ligia...
News

Morela Hernandez named to Collegiate Chair

Sep 23, 2021
On September 23, the University of Michigan Board of Regents approved the appointment of Ford School professor Morela Hernandez as the newly established Ligia Ramirez de Reynolds Collegiate Professor of Public Policy for a five-year renewable term....
News

Hernandez and Barr explore the essential themes of leadership

Aug 27, 2021
Ford School Dean Michael S. Barr and Professor Morela Hernandez, faculty director of the Leadership Initiative, reflected on the attributes and importance of good leadership as an essential asset for public policy practitioners during a summer...

Greg Harden, "Stay sane in an insane world"

Nov 6, 2023, 4:00-5:30 pm EST
Weill Hall, Annenberg Auditorium (1120)
The Ford School community is invited to join for a community conversation on leadership with motivational coach Greg Harden. Parker Tracey, an ICF Associate Certified Coach who works with Ford School MPP students as part of our executive coaching program, will interview Harden on his work, leadership advice, and his new book: Stay Sane in an Insane World: How to Control the Controllables and Thrive.

United States general election 2022

Nov 8, 2022, 7:00 am-8:00 pm EST
At your polling location or local clerk's office, or by absentee ballot
Key dates and deadlines for the November 8 election, plus how to register and vote.

A conversation on salary negotiation and networking for women of color

Jan 27, 2022, 5:00 pm EST
Students of Color in Public Policy (SCPP) is proud to host Dr. Morela Hernandez to guide students through a conversation and interactive exercise on leadership for women of color in public policy. This conversation will focus on negotiating salary and leveraging your network for career advancement.

Leadership coaches

The Ford School has cultivated a diverse bench of over 20 International Coaching Federation-certified coaches who have experience in the public sector and are located in the U.S. or abroad. Coaches assist students in approaching workplace challenges...