American Express Leadership Academy

American Express Leadership Academy
May 2015
Thunderbird Campus • 1 Global Place, Glendale, AZ 85306 

Video highlights from the 2014 academy coming soon!

High-potential managers from 10 nominated international non-profit organizations and NGOs will develop new skills during the American Express Leadership Academy at Thunderbird.

The annual program, launched in 2009 through a partnership with American Express, has served almost 150 managers from nearly 50 organizations during its first five years. Nominated organizations such as Mercy Corps, Opportunity International, Digital Divide Data and seven other organizations each sent three participants to the 2013 program. “One of the philanthropic goals of American Express is to focus on the development of social sector leaders,” said Thunderbird Professor Mary Teagarden, Ph.D., the Academy’s Academic Director. “These participants are on their way to positions of senior leadership.”

The curriculum of the American Express Leadership Academy at Thunderbird focuses on building the personal, business, and leadership skills needed to run a successful nonprofit organization. The Academy is tailored to fit cultural nuances and different nonprofit niche needs, with the following core elements being consistent: a focus on high-potential emerging leaders with a curriculum blending personal leadership skills with business skills, and an assessment-based approach, including one-on-one coaching and formal follow-up activities.  

The program delivery is practical, highly interactive and immediately applicable to the workplace. Participants will participate in team exercises, case studies, class discussions and leadership style assessments. The Global Mindset Inventory assessment is used as a pre- and post-program assessment to measure the Global Mindset profile of the participants. Also, each team of participants further develops an organizational project that becomes refined during the Academy. The team members then work with their senior leadership to take the project to the next step at their organization.

Post-program evaluations show the American Express Leadership Academy gets top scores from the emerging leaders who attend. Participants report that the impact of this experience increases their leadership skills and global mindset. Participants also state they have significantly enhanced their strategic thinking and problem solving skills.

The 2014 Academy is designed to help participants stretch from one stage of leadership development to another in five specific areas. One stretch goal, for example, is to move from “personal productivity” to “team productivity plus individual productivity.” The development of leaders in the social sector is even more important today, because it enables an organization to continue to fulfill the social needs of people and contribute to overall social development.

American Express Leadership Academy 2014 - Press Release

This program is by invitation only. For your international non-profit organization or NGO to be considered for nomination please contact:

Doug Hoxeng, Ph. D.
Program Director
Thunderbird School of Global Management

Phone: +1 602 978-7816
AMEX Leadership Academy

AMEX Leadership Academy