World-Class Instruction | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

World-Class Instruction

The program instructors rank among the most distinguished business scholars, coaches and consultants in the world.

Melvin Smith

Melvin Smith, PhD

Melvin L. Smith is a Professor in the Department of Organizational Behavior and Faculty Director of Executive Education at the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. Smith holds a BS degree in General Management and Accounting from Purdue University and an MBA in Marketing from Clark-Atlanta University. He received his PhD in Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management from the University of Pittsburgh's Katz Graduate School of Business.

Smith's research and teaching focus on leadership and emotional intelligence in the workplace, as well as social exchange relationships, social networks, and leadership development through executive coaching.

Smith has provided training and/or consulting services to executives in the United States, Canada, Scotland, Dubai, New Zealand, India and Trinidad. In addition, he has served as a visiting professor at ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain where he co-taught a senior executive education course on emotionally intelligent leadership.

Prior to completing his doctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh, Melvin spent more than fifteen years in a series of sales/marketing management, and organization development positions with a number of Fortune 500 companies including IBM, Pepsi-Cola, and H.J. Heinz.

Smith is co-author of the book Helping People Change (with Richard Boyatzis and Ellen Van Oosten). He has also published in a variety of journals including: Harvard Business Review, Academy of Management Learning & Education, Journal of Management Development, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science and Organizational Dynamics.

Jeremy Hunter, PhD

Jeremy Hunter, PhD

Jeremy Hunter, PhD is a global authority on mindfulness and leadership as well as the great-grandson of a sumo wrestler.

He serves as the Founding Director of the Executive Mind Leadership Institute as well as Associate Professor of Practice at the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management. He is also co-founder and partner of Transform LLC in Tokyo, Japan.

For nearly two decades, he has helped leaders develop themselves while retaining their humanity in the face of monumental change and challenge. He is primarily concerned with the quality of human experience and how to live a meaningful, engaged and effective life.

He works with healthy companies that aspire to greatness. He has designed and led leadership development programs for a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 200 aerospace, Fortune 50 banking and finance, the arts and civic non-profits. Program impacts have led to both positive professional, personal and financial outcomes for participants.

Hunter has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times and National Public Radio's Morning Edition.

His work is informed by the experience of living day-to-day for 17 years with a potentially terminal illness. When faced with the need for life-saving surgery more than a dozen former students came forward as organ donors.

Dr. Hunter received his Ph.D. from University of Chicago. He also holds degrees from Harvard University and Wittenberg University.

Dr. Carmen Foster

Dr. Carmen Foster, Ed.D.

Carmen F. Foster, EdD, is an inclusive leader with more than three decades of service in the government, higher education, and nonprofit sectors. Dr. Foster provides executive coaching for senior executives in federal agencies and, most recently, served as a faculty member for the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is the great-great-granddaughter of an enslaved nurse and healer from the American South.

Since 1991, she has served as Director of Master's Program in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, Executive Director at the University of Richmond's Jepson School of Leadership Studies, and Executive Director of the Grace E. Harris Leadership Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University.

During her tenure at the Kennedy School, she received a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow grant for a self-designed study throughout Ghana, South Africa, China, and Brazil to investigate the global nexus of leadership, spirituality, and healing for women and communities of color.

Carmen received her doctor of education degree from the University of Virginia and holds additional degrees from Harvard University, Clarion University, and Virginia Commonwealth University. She has also completed Harvard's Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government, the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program with Jon Kabat-Zinn, and is a certified administrator for the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

While she has significant expertise in adaptive leadership, organizational analysis, and social capital development, her historical scholarship researches the dynamics of race and education, and the use of genealogy for healing.

Ellen Burts-Cooper

Ellen Burts-Cooper, PhD

Ellen Burts-Cooper, PhD, is the senior managing partner of Improve Consulting and Training Group, a firm that provides personal and professional development training, coaching and consultation. Improve has been featured in Time Magazine, Black Voices, Smart Business Magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Cleveland Jewish News, Cleveland.com and Crain’s Cleveland Business. Burts-Cooper works across numerous industries, including manufacturing, healthcare, financial services, education, retail, utilities, governmental agencies, not-for-profit and small businesses.

Burts-Cooper is on faculty at Case Western Reserve University in the Weatherhead Executive Education Program and The Institute for Management Studies (IMS). She currently serves on the board of directors of First Federal of Lakewood and Sea-Land Chemical Company. She is the author of the books: aMAZEing Organizational Teams: Navigating 7 Critical Attributes for Cohesion, Productivity and Resilience and Canine Instinct: A Guide to Survival and Advancement in Corporate America.

Previously, Burts-Cooper served as a senior vice president and senior director of operational excellence, IT performance management and governance for PNC Financial Services. Prior to the financial services industry, Burts-Cooper worked in the electronics industry where she led global teams in several functions at 3M Company in St. Paul, Minnesota.

She earned a BS in chemistry from Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, her PhD in organic/polymer chemistry from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, her MBA from the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Business, her Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt certification from 3M Company, her Multicultural Competency in Wellness and her Resilience and Thriving Facilitator Certificates from the National Wellness Institute.

Burts-Cooper is also an active volunteer and supporter for a host of community-related organizations across the U.S. and provides college scholarships through her fund at The Cleveland Foundation. She is a member of the Private Directors Association and the National Wellness Institute.

Heather Burton

Heather Burton

Heather E. Burton, PhD, a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and African-American Studies with a minor in Theater, a Masters of Social Work, University of Akron, a Masters of Public Administration and a Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Studies and Public Affairs both from Cleveland State University.

Dr. Burton is Senior Director for Faculty and Institutional Diversity with Case Western Reserve University, specializing in gender and racial equity. Dr. Burton works to create to encourage individual and systemic change through policy and practice. Dr. Burton serves as Acting Co-Director for the African and African American Studies Program. She is adjunct faculty in theater and social work teaching on concepts of race, racism and social policy.

Because of her diligence and dedication to reflect change within the community and Case Western Reserve University, she has received the Feminist Mentor Award, Staff Diversity Award, Qgrad Outstanding Faculty and Staff Mentor Award, Mather Spotlight & Women of Achievement Award, YWCA Women of Achievement, RH Boyd Award for Excellence and Who’s Who of Black Cleveland.

She was Co-Chair for the Ellipsis Institute for Women of Color in the Academy, CWRU (2018, 2019, 2020) and now serves as a member of the Board of Directors. She also serves on the Boards of The Greater Cleveland Delta Life Development Center and SHINE, Inc. She is founder of Crimson Heights, Ministries, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) geared towards the holistic development of women. As an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter, she serves as Co-Chair of Arts & Letters, Sergeant of Arms

Poppy McLeod

Poppy McLeod, PhD
Associate Professor, Communication
Cornell University

Poppy L. McLeod is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Cornell University. Previously she was a member of the faculty in Weatherhead’s Department of Organizational Behavior and Chair of the curriculum in Leadership Assessment and Development. Her PhD in Social Psychology is from Harvard University.

Professor McLeod is a leading expert in the areas of teamwork, and leadership development, and she teaches extensively in these topic areas for both individual companies and in open enrollment courses. The individual companies she has worked with include KeyCorp, The Lubrizol Corporation, The OgleBay Norton Company, The Swagelok Company and the Sparrow HealthCare System. In addition, she has taught in Weatherhead’s Physician Executive Institute.

Professor McLeod’s international teaching experience includes visiting professorships at the SDA Luigi Bocconi Business School in Milan, Italy, and at the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration in Finland. In addition, she has conducted leadership development training in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Professor McLeod’s research focuses on communication and decision making in teams, the effects of electronic tools on team work and teams in social service agency collaboration. Her work has been published in the top scholarly journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Information Systems Research, Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of Management Education, and Small Group Research, and in several important books such as Theories of Small Groups: An Interdisciplinary Perspective and Research on Groups in Organizations. She currently serves on the editorial boards of the journals Small Group Research and the Academy of Management Learning and Education.

Courtney McCluney

Courtney McCluney

Dr. Courtney L. McCluney (she/her) is an award winning educator, researcher, consultant, and advisor reimagining ways to foster equity and wellness in the workplace. Trained as a social scientist, Dr. McCluney has received several grants and recognition for her work on racial equity and inclusion including groundbreaking research on the emotional tax and racial codeswitching as factors that affect Black workers' well-being and success. Her work is featured in several peer reviewed academic publications and she is a contributing writer to Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. Dr. McCluney completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, earned her PhD in Psychology at the University of Michigan and BA in Psychology and Interpersonal/Organizational Communications at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a former Research Fellow at Catalyst, Inc. and previously served as an AmeriCorps Social Impact Fellow. Dr. McCluney aims to disrupt organizational processes and norms that maintain systemic inequities in society.

Jay Conger

Jay Conger

As an executive educator and coach, Jay Conger DBA has worked with thousands of managers and executives over his twenty-five year career.  Known for his dynamic and interactive teaching style, the Financial Times ranked him as one of the worlds top management educators. Business Week also named him the best professor to teach leadership to executives.

He's been passionate about leadership since the age of twelve when he became involved in school leadership positions and working on political campaigns. Before becoming a professor, he worked as a line leader in international marketing where he developed a deep appreciation for the necessity of effective leadership. Over his career, he has served on the management faculties of the Harvard Business School, INSEAD (France), the London Business School, McGill University, and the University of Southern California.  He holds the Kravis Chair in Leadership Studies at Claremont McKenna College in Los Angeles.

Author of fifteen books and over a hundred articles, he writes about communications, influence, executive leadership, organizational change, empowerment, and the training and development of leaders. His most recent book The High Potential's Advantage (Harvard Business Review Press, 2018) describes the distinguishing characteristics of high potential leadership talent.

His pragmatic orientation means you will leave this seminar with a set of tools, techniques and actions plans to implement the very next day. You will learn how to leverage your "best self" as a leader.