Warren Bennis Leadership Institute

The interdisciplinary home for leadership development at the University of Cincinnati.


Welcome to the Warren Bennis Leadership Institute! The Warren Bennis Leadership Institute was created to offer leadership development opportunities for students, alumni, working professionals and community members. We are housed in the 1819 Innovation Hub, an environment where leadership scholars, consultants, students and community members come together to share leadership lessons and grow together.

As the Academic Director of the Warren Bennis Leadership Institute, I encourage you to learn more about what we offer, get involved and continue your leadership development journey with us. Join the Bennis Institute in creating a leadership movement such that you see the leadership potential in you and others.

Donna Chrobot-Mason, PhD

Academic Director, Warren Bennis Leadership Institute


Inspired by the legacy of Warren Bennis, UC’s 22nd president and “The Father of Leadership,” the Warren Bennis Leadership Institute empowers students, UC alumni and professional/community members to believe in their potential to lead, preparing individuals to better themselves, their workplace and their community.


  • Serve as an interdisciplinary hub connecting students to leadership opportunities while providing complementary workshops, training, curricula, events and tools.
  • Provide leadership education for alumni and community members through executive education. 
  • Function as a research lab dedicated to the study of evidence-based leadership development.


We believe, as Bennis did, that leaders develop early and often, and that leadership does not necessarily reside within a specific person or title. Our core values reflect this approach:

  • Evidence-based: Practices and programs based on tested leadership research and theory. We will continue to further leadership knowledge and research.
  • Experiential: Offering opportunities for individuals to unlock their potential by reflecting on experiences and developing skills through the practice of leadership. 
  • Impactful: Leadership for the betterment of our communities and workplaces. We know we have an impact when WBLI participants feel empowered and transformed to lead for the greater good.
  • Inclusive: We are interdisciplinary, open to all students, faculty, staff, alumni and organizational leaders who engage in our mission. 
  • Collaborative: Bring together thought leaders, friends and family of Warren Bennis, and a network of individuals committed to leadership development.
  • Student driven: Authentic, student-led and student-centered leadership development programming at the undergraduate and graduate level. 

WBLI Programs and Initiatives

The Warren Bennis Leadership Institute creates opportunities for enhanced learning and growth for UC’s students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners. The institute is built upon the foundational three core pillars that encompass a wide range of programs and initiatives:

  • Student Leadership Development: Leadership courses, workshops and events including the annual Warren Bennis Leadership Experience.
  • Executive Education: Leadership training and executive education for both for-profit and non-profit community members.
  • Research: UC scholars conducting interdisciplinary research to examine and improve the leadership development process and outcomes.


Warren Bennis was the 22nd president of the University of Cincinnati, serving UC from 1971-77. Bennis, who received an honorary doctorate from UC in 2007, left behind a transformational legacy of impact and leadership — both inside and outside of UC's domain — until his death in 2014.

Nicknamed “The Father of Leadership,” Bennis dedicated his life to the study of human behavior and interactions.

WBLI In the News


Warren Bennis Leadership Experience highlights leadership...

April 12, 2024

The seventh annual Warren Bennis Leadership Experience was held at Tangeman University Center’s Great Hall on April 8. Raj Sisodia, author and co-founder of the nonprofit organization Conscious Capitalism, Inc., delivered the keynote address for the Warren Bennis Leadership Institute’s flagship event.

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Contact Us

Warren Bennis Leadership Institute
1819 Innovation Hub
Suite 350D
2900 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45206