Lauren Cunningham
School of Business

School of Business program director selected as Modern War Institute senior fellow

Thu, 09/12/2019

LAWRENCE — Steve Leonard, lecturer and director of the University of Kansas School of Business’ Master of Science in Business and Organizational Leadership program, has been selected as a senior fellow by the Modern War Institute (MWI) at West Point.

The MWI is a research center devoted to the study of contemporary conflict. Leonard was announced as a nonresident fellow for the center in 2017 as part of a group designed to play a central role in MWI’s mission to generate new knowledge for the profession of arms, enhance the West Point curriculum, and provide the Army and the nation with an intellectual resource for solving military problems.

During his tenure as a nonresident faculty fellow, Leonard visited West Point to participate in panels, guest lecture in classes and brief senior faculty members. He also collaborated with other fellows to produce the books "Strategy Strikes Back: How Star Wars Explains Modern Military Conflict," published in May 2018, and "Winning Westeros: How Game of Thrones Explains Modern Military Conflict," published in September 2019. Both books use pop culture to provide a framework for understanding modern warfare.

Leonard, a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Army, was elevated to senior fellow in recognition of his many ongoing contributions to MWI’s mission.

The appointment is particularly significant because the graduate program he oversees was created to meet the needs of professional and military careers, and the fellowship provides him with opportunities to engage and work with a number of think tanks, defense organizations and international partners.    

"My time as a fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point has allowed me to leverage my work as a defense strategist to help prepare future generations of leaders for the complexities of an evolving global security environment,” Leonard said. “My experience with MWI translates directly to the classroom, where I'm able to introduce cutting-edge research and study in leadership and management to students in our programs."

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