International Leadership Institute

The International Leadership Academy (UNU-ILA), based in Amman, Jordan (on the UJ campus), is devoted to the promotion and training of potential leaders on issues of global concern.


The Academy is part of the United Nations University, headquarted in Tokyo, which supports a global network of scholars with the objective of helping to solve the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare.


Founded in 1995, the Academy is developing a multifaceted program of training and research designed to develop and strengthen leadership skills in young adults and mid-career professionals. While the focus is on leadership applied to the solution of global issues, the skills imparted are applicable at local and national levels, as well, since young people are likely to demonstrate leadership skills at local levels before gaining international experience.

Academy Objectives


The specific objectives of the UNU/ILA are as follows:


  • To train young adults, particularly in the developing world, who have demonstrated leadership potential and mid-career professionals and already have some experience in leadership.
  • To foster awareness of the need for, and knowledge in, enlightened leadership at the global level.
  • To better understand the nature of leadership, and the challenge of leadership issues, in various sectors (political, economic and social) and fields of endeavor (governmental, corporate, civic, and professional).

Academy Programs


In pursuit of these objectives, the Academy operates four programs with the following aims:


Training Programs

To train potential leaders in leadership skills, imparting an awareness of global issues and a vision of how to approach and resolve global problems. This is to be done through direct experiential teaching techniques, including direct interaction with world leaders, both on the Academy's premises and in other countries. The philosophical aim underpinning the program is to expose, not impose'.


Lecture and Debate Series


To engender a recognition of global problems and promote new conceptual, political and institutional means of resolving them. This is to be done through a series of public and private lectures and debates by and between recognized world and national leaders on selected topics.


Research Programs


To support the above programs through exploring the current state of theory on leadership studies and conducting research into selected leadership issues that are of global concern. This is to be done through the commissioning of theoretical studies, empirical surveys, and an Occasional Paper and Alumni Paper Series.


Capacity-Building Programs


To support and foster intellectual exchange among the academic community in the developing world on leadership issues.




Each year, the Academy will host a scholar-in-residence for two months in the Summer.

The first scholar-in-residence was Dr. Vijay Laxmi Pandit, reader in politics, Maitreyi College, University of Delhi - an expert in nationalist political movements and local body politics in India.


Research Paper Series


The Academy is commissioning research papers designed to inform policy-makers and citizens on important issues of leadership in the 21st century. The aim is two-fold. First, to produce high-quality analytical and prescriptive work on selected aspects of global leadership not hitherto explored by the academic or professional communities. Secondly, to offer selected Academy alumni the opportunity of applying the skills acquired in the courses they have attended through completing research papers on specific subjects of relevance to their future careers. The series takes three forms: an Occasional Paper Series, an Alumni Research Paper Series, and a Staff Working Paper Series.

A new building for the Academy is currently being built on  UJ campus.



International Leadership Institute