Leadership and Collaboration

Beginning with James Madison, who was the first graduate student at Princeton, our graduate alumni have provided leadership in the nation's service, and in the service of humanity.

An important part of a graduate education is learning to lead in various contexts: the classroom, the lab, the group meeting, the conference, and spaces beyond academia. 

The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, in collaboration with university partners and alumni, offers a range of programming geared to helping graduate students develop their leadership skills as part of their graduate training.

*Star Lessons in Leadership Series

The *Star Lessons in Leadership Series invites to campus graduate alumni who are prominent leaders. The title of the series references the convention within the Princeton community of placing an asterisk before the graduation year for graduate alumni – and the asterisk’s being called a star.  The “star” in the title, therefore, speaks both to the invited guest’s connection to Princeton and to the guest's status as a recognized leader.

Speakers have included:

  • B. Ben Baldanza *86, a Woodrow Wilson School alumnus, the CEO of Spirit Airlines from 2005-2016. He is currently is Board Director of Diemacher, LLC 
  • Laurence Latimer *01, a Woodrow Wilson School alumnus, who led growth initiatives and new market entry campaigns in the US, India, China, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa. He is the Head of Ventures at IEX Group, Inc.

Leading with a Ph.D. Conference

This annual conference (which began in 2016) has had a variety of themes, including: "Leadership Through Diverse Career Fields," "Building Resilience, Confidence, and Poise to Thrive in Your Career," "Finding Confidence and Connection through Communication," and "Curating Your Community: Mentorship Matters."

Speakers have included:

  • Shirley Tilghman, President Emeritus, Professor, Lewis-Sigler Institute for Genomics, Princeton
  • Sarah-Jane Leslie *07, dean of the Graduate School and the Class of 1943 Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University
  • Lisa Drakeman *88, h'35, Co-Chair, Dean's Graduate Leadership Council; CEO (retired) Genmab A/S; Chair, Volunteers in Medicine
  • Sara Ogger *00, Executive Director, NY Council for the Humanities
  • Stewart Prager, Director, Plasma Physics Laboratory. Professor of Astrophysical Sciences
  • Don Drakeman *88, Venture Partner, Advent Life Sciences; Research Professor, Constitutional Studies, Univ. of Notre Dame
  • Amy Cuddy *05, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School
  • Roi Ben-Yehuda, Columbia UniversityAdam Ruben ’01, Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University
  • Lillian Eby, Professor, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, University of Georgia
  • Kenneth Norman, Professor of Psychology and Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Chair, Department of Psychology, Princeton University
  • Andrea Morris *99, Director of Career and Professional Development, Rockefeller University
  • Adrian Banner *02, CEO and Chief Investment Officer, INTECH
  • Clayton Platt ‘78, Executive Coach and Lead Facilitator

D.C. Summer Mentoring Program

The Office of the Dean of the Graduate School is launching a new mentoring program for graduate students who will be in Washington, D.C., during the summer of 2019. We hope that the mentoring program will expand beyond summer with ongoing interest by both mentors and mentees. Drew Harker *81 is giving back to Princeton by helping us establish this new program. After graduating from Princeton, Drew was a professional staff member on the US Senate Armed Services Committee and then worked on legislative and public policy issues, among others, for a Washington law firm before retiring last year. The goal is to create a mentoring program that will assist Princeton graduate students in exploring career opportunities in government, policy, think tanks, NGOs, and other arenas in the Washington, D.C., area.