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Vanderbilt Leadership Academy

Established by Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos in 2011, the Vanderbilt Leadership Academy (VLA) is a nine-month learning journey for high performing leaders in both academic and administrative areas that build their knowledge, capability and passion for leading the institution. Each year, approximately 25 Participants are nominated by the chancellor, vice chancellors, and executive leaders. Nearly 175 leaders have completed the program since it began. 


VLA sessions feature speakers from both internal and external Vanderbilt, roundtable lunches with senior leaders, and case studies. The program is designed to: 

  • Sharpen awareness of personal performance as a leader demonstrating the ability to receive feedback and self-adjust.
  • Promote behaviors that reflect learning and leading agility.
  • Demonstrate composure and presence, both internally and externally.
  • Consider stakeholders’ interests, core values, and data in decision-making.

Common threads tie the sessions together and include a focus on:

  • Self- Who I am as a leader,
  • Others- How I effectively interact with others, and
  • Institution- How I prepare to lead the organization of the future.

Nomination Process

The Vanderbilt Leadership Academy participants are directly chosen through a Spring nomination selection process held by the chancellor and vice chancellors.

For more information please contact