Jim Collins, Al Gore, General Colin Powell and Professor Klaus Schwab named to Rice’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders

World-renowned leadership scholar and author Jim Collins, former Vice President Al Gore, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret) and founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Professor Klaus Schwab are the first to be named to the advisory board for Rice University’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders. They will serve three-year terms on the board beginning Jan. 1.


Ann and John Doerr.

The Rice University Doerr Institute for New Leaders was established in the summer of 2015 with support from a $50 million gift from Ann and John Doerr with a mission to “elevate the leadership capacity of Rice students across the university.” It is an open collaborative effort that exchanges techniques and ideas with other universities that engage in the purposeful development of students as new leaders. The advisory board members will serve as advisers to the institute on matters related to leader development at Rice, along with assisting to broaden the Doerr Institute’s reach, collaboration and impact worldwide.


Jim Collins.

Collins is a highly respected scholar, author and teacher of leadership and what makes great companies tick. He began his research and teaching career on the faculty of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. In 1995 he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colo., where he conducts research and engages in Socratic dialogue with CEOs and senior leadership teams. In addition to his work in the business sector, Collins has a passion for learning and teaching in the social sectors, including education, health care, government, faith-based organizations, social ventures and cause-driven nonprofits.

He has authored or co-authored six books that have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, including “Good to Great,” “Good to Great and the Social Sectors,” “Built to Last,” “How the Mighty Fall” and “Great by Choice.”

“Jim Collins is one of the most respected global leadership thinkers and authors,” said Tom Kolditz, executive director of the Doerr Institute. “We are grateful he’s willing to serve and excited about his perspectives on the development of our new leaders at Rice.”


Al Gore.

Gore was inaugurated as the 45th vice president of the United States in 1993 and served eight years in that role as part of President Bill Clinton’s administration. Before that, he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977 to 1985 and the U.S. Senate from 1985 to 1993. Gore is the co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management and serves as a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and as a member of Apple Inc.’s board of directors.

A best-selling author, Gore authored “Earth in the Balance,” “An Inconvenient Truth,” “The Assault on Reason,” “Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis” and “The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.” He is the subject of an Oscar-winning documentary and is the co-recipient, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.”

“Former Vice President Gore is extraordinarily well-positioned to shape our thinking about technology in leader development,” Kolditz said. “His accomplishments in environmental consciousness make him of tremendous interest to Rice students, faculty and staff.”


General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret).

Powell was the first ROTC graduate, first African-American and youngest officer to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He served in this position for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Clinton from 1989 to 1993. Prior to becoming chairman, he served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser from 1987 to 1989. He was appointed the 65th secretary of state by President George W. Bush and served from 2001 to 2005.

In his post-government and post-military years, Powell has championed educational, business and societal issues. He is chair of the board of visitors of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at his alma mater, the City College of New York (CCNY). He is founder and chairman emeritus of the America’s Promise Alliance, chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowships and serves on the museum council for the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Powell also serves on the board of Bloom Energy and Salesforce.com. His autobiography, “My American Journey,” was a best-seller and has been published in more than a dozen different languages. Powell’s second book, “It Worked for Me,” was an instant New York Times best-seller and reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career.

“Gen. Powell, having led the effort to found the highly regarded Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at CCNY and a brilliant leader in his own right, will be a tremendous asset for new leaders at Rice,” Kolditz said. “I’ve watched him interact with Rice faculty, and it’s clear that he is generous with his time and willing to help.”


Professor Klaus Schwab.

Professor Schwab founded the World Economic Forum in 1971, the same year in which he published “Modern Enterprise Management in Mechanical Engineering.” In the book, he argued that the management of a modern enterprise must serve not only shareholders but all stakeholders to achieve long-term growth and prosperity.

In 1998, with his wife, Hilde, he created the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, which seeks to identify, recognize and disseminate initiatives in social entrepreneurship that have significantly improved people’s lives and have the potential to be replicated on a global scale.

The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, is the foremost creative force for engaging the world’s top leaders from government, business, academia, civil society and media in collaborative activities to shape the global, regional and industry agendas at the beginning of each year.

In 2004 Professor Schwab founded the Forum of Young Global Leaders (targeted at leaders between 30 and 40). In 2011 he created the Global Shapers Community (focusing on potential leaders between 20 and 30). The purpose of the two foundations is to integrate young people as a strong voice in the future into global decision-making processes and to encourage their engagement in concrete projects that address social problems. Complementing these two foundations, Professor Schwab established the forum’s own Global Leadership Fellows program in 2005 (potential leaders between 27 and 32). This highly selective program represents the forum’s commitment to developing future leaders who have the contextual and emotional intelligence required to understand and navigate complex, dynamic systems globally and locally.

Professor Schwab is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Reinhard Mohn Prize for Responsible Entrepreneurship, which recognizes innovative approaches and effective solutions for socio-political problems. He accepted the award from Liz Mohn, vice-chairwoman of the Bertelsmann Foundation Executive Board. In awarding the prize, the Bertelsmann Stiftung recognized Professor Schwab as a thought leader in the area of responsible entrepreneurship.

“Professor Schwab is a globally recognized scholar and the world’s foremost convener of world and business leaders,” Kolditz said. “His founding of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, the Global Shapers Community and the Global Leadership Fellows program reflects his commitment to the development of young leaders around the world.”

The Doerr Institute’s advisory board is being formed in collaboration with Ann and John Doerr, the staff and students of the Doerr Institute and John Strackhouse with the Caldwell Partners executive search firm. For more information on the institute, visit https://doerrinstitute.rice.edu/.

About Amy McCaig

Amy is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.