Retired Brig. Gen. Tom Kolditz to Head the Doerr Institute for New Leaders

Ret. Brig. Gen. Tom Kolditz

The Doerr Institute for New Leaders will offer each student an innovative combination of proven, timeless techniques together with modern, next-generation practices. The strengths of each student will be assessed and their potential will be developed in a four-year comprehensive, custom-made plan of classroom instruction, hands-on, real-world experience and guidance from personal coaches.

John Doerr, who has partnered with iconic entrepreneurs to help build such highly successful companies as Amazon and Google, said he considers leadership at Rice to be a wise investment in the future.

“Millennials want to see the big picture and their role in it, get frequent feedback and be empowered — not micromanaged,” he said. “Now more than ever, the pressing problems of our nation and world need great teams and great leaders. Ideas are easy; executing those ideas with a well-led team is paramount. New leaders must be inclusive, self-aware and great listeners who are attuned to the needs of their teams.”

A hallmark of the Doerr Institute is its focus on cultural and global diversity and inclusion. “Tomorrow’s leaders will be more diverse, adapting varied styles to serve diverse teams, tackling challenges in even more diverse communities,” John said.

Ann Doerr said previous contributions to the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership (RCEL) have been successful with leadership training of engineering students. For example, a large number of Engineers Without Borders project team leaders are RCEL students who have done work in Nicaragua and Honduras. Ann and John would like all students to have the opportunity to become successful leaders regardless of their major.

“Throughout our lives and on any given day we are both leaders and followers,” Ann said. “The Doerr Institute’s goal is to train each student to become an effective leader. A true leader needs the skills to evaluate the goal, understand its validity, succinctly articulate it and then lead with deep compassion, moral integrity and empathy.”

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