Award-Winning Loyola University Chicago Academic John Dugan to Join Aspen Institute

June 30, 2017



James White
The Aspen Institute
202.297.3990 |

WASHINGTON, DC, JUNE 30, 2017 – Loyola University Chicago School of Education professor Dr. John P. Dugan will join the Aspen Institute’s Youth & Engagement Programs division as director of program quality, design, and assessment, effective July 31. In this role, Dugan will oversee the program research and development, quality program assurance, and design process across the division’s portfolio of programming.

Of his decision to join the Institute, Dugan said, “The Aspen Institute understands the current realities facing society demand a renewed focus on leadership development and is bringing to scale values-based, youth leadership development in innovative ways that create entirely new pipelines of talent. I am incredibly excited to join these efforts.”

“We’re thrilled to bring John onboard as we work to develop programming that empowers generations of young community leaders in the most effective and scalable ways possible,” said Youth & Engagement Programs executive vice president Rajiv Vinnakota. “John’s proven track record and insights will be invaluable as our division expands into new and diverse markets, and as we infuse youth voice that is representative of our society’s diversity into the most important decision making processes that govern so many aspects of our lives.  Most importantly, John brings a joy and passion to working with and supporting young people, which is at the heart of our work.”

Dugan began his academic career at Loyola University Chicago in 2007. His specializations include leadership development, human development & capacity building, critical pedagogy, and social justice. Outside the classroom, Dugan’s research interests focus on the environmental and developmental factors that influence leadership development, with an emphasis on the experiences of historically marginalized populations.

His research and work on leadership development and theory extends beyond the University to the Multi-Institutional Student of Leadership (MSL), where he serves as Principal Investigator. MSL is an international research program that examines the influences of higher education on socially responsible leadership and other educational outcomes. Since 2006, more than 350 institutions across five countries and more than 500,000 respondents have participated in the study.

To date, Dugan has published 22 peer-review journal articles, 12 book chapters, and 5 books. This includes his most recent book Leadership Theory: Cultivating Critical Perspectives. He has also has given more than 60 presentations at conferences worldwide. Dugan is a former member of the board of ACPA and is a National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs (NCLP) Faculty Scholar

Dugan has been widely recognized for his work, his teaching and his research:

  • In 2009, Dugan was recognized by the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Knowledge Community for Student Leadership with the award for Outstanding Student Leadership Research.
  • His 2012 article in the Journal of College Student Development titled “Transgender undergraduates: An exploratory study of perceptions, experiences, and outcome” was named the American Educational Research Association’s Queer Studies Special Interest Group’s Research Article of the Year
  • In 2014, he received the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators’ (JASPA) Scholarship Award.
  • For his efforts in the classroom, Dugan received the Transformative Education Award from the University’s office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in 2012 and the Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in Research from the University’s School of Education in 2013.Dugan is a past recipient of the American College Personnel Association’s (ACPA) Diamond Honoree Award, Burns B. Crookston Doctoral Research Award, Nevitt Sanford Award for Research in Student Affairs, and Emerging Professional Annuit Coeptis distinction..

Before his academic appointment, Dugan worked in full-time administrative positions at the University of Maryland and University of Nevada Las Vegas. He holds a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Maryland.



Youth & Engagement Programs is a new strategic focus for the Aspen Institute to incubate and grow programs that work directly with young people ages 14 to 24 in urban and rural communities nationwide. The division is developing entrepreneurial approaches to engage youth in the key challenges of the day through programming that is effective, scalable, and capable of broadening the reach of the Institute beyond the constituencies it currently serves. The division is building on established Institute programs and serves as an incubator for new ideas to develop young leaders and change-makers. For more information, visit



The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan forum for values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas. The Institute is based in Washington, DC and has campuses in Aspen, Colorado and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit

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