The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute

Exemplary Leadership

Creating a learning environment. Building collaborative partnerships. Strengthening commitment to results. Envisioning a brighter future.

About the institute

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The Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute promotes the development of current and emerging leaders in academic institutions; other public, private and nonprofit organizations; and communities.

Consistent with the mission of Virginia Commonwealth University, the Institute is committed to identifying and nurturing the next generation of leaders through leadership training and public policy research.

HIGHER Ground Virtual Open Houses

Join us for one of our upcoming virtual discussions with program alumnae. Attendees will have an opportunity to hear firsthand experiences, learn about the program and interact with the alumnae panel.

Thursday, October 29th @ 11:00 a.m.

Register Here

Tuesday, November 10th @ 5:00 p.m.

Register Here

2021 Leadership Programs

Now Accepting Applications

VCU Leadership 2021

HIGHER Ground 2021

COVID-19 Leadership Resources Database

Explore this collection of leadership resources and reading curated by the GEHLI team.

View Database Via Google Sheets


VCU Leadership 

The VCU Leadership Development Program is a 10-month program designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and experience of current and emerging leaders who represent the academic and administrative units of the university and the VCU Health System.

Learn more about VCU Leadership

HIGHER Ground 

The HIGHER Ground Women’s Leadership Development Program is a five-month experience for current and emerging women leaders who are committed to investing in themselves and their organizations.

Learn more about HIGHER Ground


The Minority Political Leadership Institute is an intensive, eight-month experience designed to promote leadership development for individuals interested in issues important to minority communities, including community economics, political climate, civic engagement and racial equity.

Learn more about MPLI

Department Chairs

Consistent with the goals of all leadership programs offered by the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute, the Department Chairs Certification Program strengthens general leadership skills while also providing very specific information relevant to the department chair role.

Learn more about Department Chairs

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It is important to have a strong knowledge base of one's subject and a willingness to share that knowledge with others."

Grace E. Harris, Ph.D. (1933-2018) 
Distinguished University Professor
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