Rice U. expert: Coronavirus crisis calls for 'in extremis' leadership

Tom Kolditz headshot

HOUSTON – (March 9, 2020) – The world is looking to its leaders for guidance and stability during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak — a situation that calls for "in extremis" leadership, according to a Rice University leadership expert.

Tom Kolditz, a leadership scholar and executive director of Rice's Doerr Institute for New Leaders, is available to speak with the news media. Kolditz, a retired brigadier general, is an expert on leadership "in extremis" — Latin for “at the point of death” — and has researched and analyzed the performance of leaders in such circumstances.

Tom Kolditz
Tom Kolditz

That research, captured in the book "In Extremis Leadership: Leading As If Your Life Depended On It," includes more than 175 interviews from combat zones and with leaders such as climbing guides, SWAT team chiefs, large-formation skydiving organizers and others who work in dangerous situations.

Prior to joining Rice, Kolditz taught as a professor in the practice of leadership and management and was director of the leadership development program at the Yale School of Management. Before that he led the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy for 12 years.

Kolditz holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Vanderbilt University and three master’s degrees and a doctorate in psychology from the University of Missouri.

A radio and television studio is available at Rice for media outlets that want to schedule an interview with Kolditz. For more information, contact Avery Franklin, media relations specialist at Rice, at averyrf@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.

-30-

Related materials:

Kolditz bio: https://doerr.rice.edu/content/tom-kolditz

Follow the Doerr Institute via Twitter @Doerrinstitute.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.