John P. Dugan

John P. Dugan

Executive Director, Youth Leadership Research & Practice

Dr. John P. Dugan (he/him/his) spent 20+ years working at the intersections of research, program design, equity, and human development. As the Executive Director of Youth Leadership Programs at The Aspen Institute, John oversees a portfolio of programs designed to (1) cultivate youth and educator capacities for values-based leadership, (2) improve pathways to degree completion, career readiness, and job placement, and (3) invest in local communities to transfer capital and enrich pipelines of talent across sectors. 

John co-founded and is the principal investigator of the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL), the largest international study of leadership outcomes. Launched in 2005, MSL adopted an entrepreneurial approach aligning the benefits of large-scale research datasets with individual organizational needs for assessment of learning and program design. The intellectual property behind MSL includes robust, psychometrically validated measures of leadership development and socio-emotional learning along with powerful benchmarks for assessing impact. Data have been collected at over 450 institutions of higher education with over 500,000 respondents. Secondary data have been collected from nonprofits, K-12 educational systems, and the private sector representing more than 10 countries.

John’s research has generated over 50 publications (e.g., refereed articles, books, and book chapters) and more than 100 presentations at national and international conferences. His research is cited by over 4,000 scholars and his work honored for its contribution to knowledge in his field by ACPA: College Educator’s International. John’s most recent book is Leadership Theory: Cultivating Critical Perspectives.

Prior to coming to the Aspen Institute, John reached the rank of full professor in the Higher Education graduate program at Loyola University Chicago, where he taught courses on leadership, human development, and multiculturalism. Before that, he worked in leadership education at University of Maryland, College Park, and University of Nevada, Las Vegas. John earned his bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University. He holds masters and doctoral degrees in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland, College Park. John is a proud resident of Chicago. In his free time, he is unapologetically nerdy and loves to spend time reading comic books, watching documentaries, and avoiding sports.

Authored by John