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Tom Kolditz

Tom Kolditz is the founding Executive Director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University. He designed and directed the core Leader Development Program at the Yale School of Management, served as the chairman of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at West Point, and was the founding director of the West Point Leadership Center. A highly experienced leader, Brigadier General (retired) Kolditz has more than 26 years in P&L level supervisory positions, serving on four continents in his 34 years of military service. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and is a member of the Academy of Management. He serves as a senior advisor to the Future of Executive Development Forum. His most recent book, titled In Extremis Leadership: Leading as if Your Life Depended on It, was based on more than 175 interviews taken on the ground in Iraq during combat operations. He has been named as a leadership Thought Leader by the Leader to Leader Institute and as a Top Leader Development Professional by Leadership Excellence. He holds a BA from Vanderbilt University, three master’s degrees, and a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Missouri. In 2009, he was named to the Council of Senior Advisors, Future of Executive Development Forum.

A skydiving instructor since 1980, General Kolditz served as the senior instructor for the West Point Sport Parachute Team. He weaves his personal experiences and abilities as a soldier, skydiver, and scholar into the first-hand study, analysis, and practice of leadership in dangerous circumstances—in extremis leadership—and how such leadership can inform the practice of leading in more ordinary settings.

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