Lifetime Achievement Awardee

George R. Goethals

Social psychologist Dr. George R. (Al) Goethals joined the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond as faculty in 2006 as the E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor in Leadership Studies. Previously he held academic and administrative appointments at Williams College and visiting appointments at the University of Virginia, Princeton University, and Amherst College, among others. At Williams College he served as the chair of the Department of Psychology, Acting Dean of the Faculty, Provost, and, finally, founder and chair of the Leadership Studies Program.

Starting in 1970, Goethals began a collaborative relationship with Dr. James MacGregor Burns, whose book Leadership became a seminal text in leadership studies. Burns provided encouragement for Goethals to initiate the Leadership Studies Program at Williams. He also introduced Goethals to the Jepson School, which Burns helped shape during its formative years.

In addition to his collegiate appointments, Goethals has served as an editor or on the editorial board of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, The Leadership Quarterly, and Rhetoric & Public Affairs.

His recent research has focused on heroism and presidential leadership. His courses explore theories of leadership, presidential leadership, and Civil War leadership.

Goethals has published numerous textbooks, scholarly books, chapters, and refereed articles in scholarly journals and has received four research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health for his work on the studies of attribution theory, social comparison theory, and responses to social support. He has also received support from the Mellon Foundation for his research on the economics of higher education.

Recent books include: The Heroic Leadership Imperative: How Leaders Inspire and Mobilize Change; Leadership, Populism, and Resistance; The Romance of Heroes and Heroic Leadership; Realignment, Region, and Race: Presidential Leadership and Social Identity; Politics, Ethics and Change: The Legacy of James MacGregor Burns; Presidential leadership and African Americans: An American dilemma from slavery to the White House; and Encyclopedia of leadership, vols. 1-4.

Goethals is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and the Association for Psychological Science. He is also a member of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology and the International Leadership Association.

Oral history is an excellent method for collecting and interpreting memories and fostering new knowledge. Dr. Phil Scarpino, past president of the National Council for Public History and Professor of History at IU, exhaustively researches each recipient prior to conducting his interviews and uses the highest standards prescribed by the American Oral History Association.

The Tobias Leadership Center focuses on research and programs related to the study of leadership across all sectors – including corporate, public service, education, religion, medicine, and non-profit organizations. Its focus on multiple sectors and on both the practice and theory of leadership distinguishes its agenda among leadership programs nationwide. Through ongoing research in a variety of sectors, it generates knowledge about leadership and disseminates this knowledge through a variety of programs.

Oral History with Barbara Kellerman
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Keynote session with Barbara Kellerman at ILA Atlanta 2016

Keynote session with Barbara Kellerman at ILA West Palm Beach 2018