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Key Executive Leadership Programs | American University



The Key Executive Leadership Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Key Executive Leadership Certificate have transformed good managers into extraordinary leaders for more than 35 years.

Aligned with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs), the Key Executive Leadership MPA and Certificate prepares mid-career professionals at the level of GS-13 and above (or NGO equivalent) to become effective, top-quality team and executive leaders.


Key is the global public sector leadership program of choice because it challenges good managers to become extraordinary leaders who build an environment for organizational success.


The following are the extraordinary leader core values associated with leading change, leading people, achieving results, developing business acumen, and building coalitions:

  • Exhibit a passion for improving public service;
  • Lead authentically;
  • Learn and work collaboratively;
  • Become a force for personal and organizational change;
  • Act with integrity;
  • Model the behavior sought; and
  • Empower others to action.


Faculty, staff, and students create a participative and rigorous learning environment where Key students choose to:

  • Acquire contemporary public management knowledge, values and skills;
  • Develop the personal leadership capacity needed to implement what they learn;
  • Transform themselves from good managers to extraordinary leaders; And
  • Become lifelong learners


  • Faculty, staff, and students create an environment where students work and learn collaboratively and choose to replicate that environment in their workplace.
  • Offer evolving curricula that reflects the changing environment, technological advancements, and changing stakeholder, customer, and student needs and ensures students acquire knowledge of substantive public administration principles and practices.
  • Students choose to increase their leadership capacity and change their behavior to become better leaders.
  • Students apply substantive public administration principles and practices, increased leadership capacity, and changed behavior to effectively and efficiently implement public policy and practices needed to create and sustain vital public service organizations.
  • Provide top-notch administrative support services to students allowing them to focus solely on learning.
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