Julia Santucci, a senior lecturer in intelligence studies with over a decade of experience in national security and foreign policy positions at the White House, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Department of State, has been named Director of the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership and the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum in the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA).
“I am honored to serve in a role that engages, informs and enhances the leadership journey of incoming generations of leaders from around the world,” Santucci said, “and I look forward to building upon a solid foundation of values-based leadership education.”
Santucci has tackled policy challenges from an intelligence, national security, and human rights perspective. She served in the Secretary of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, on the National Security Council staff at the White House, and as a leadership analyst at the CIA. Santucci holds an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona and a B.A. in History from the University of Dayton.
At GSPIA, Santucci teaches graduate-level courses on intelligence, diplomacy, and national security challenges, leads a research group focused on human trafficking, and serves as an affiliate scholar of Pitt’s Institute for Cyber Law, Policy, and Security. She co-founded a local chapter of Women in International Security—an international organization dedicated to advancing women’s leadership—providing inspiration to young women who hope to follow in her path.
According to Dr. Kevin Kearns, founding director of the Johnson Institute and the Hesselbein Forum, “Julia brings a perfect blend of professional experience and academic to this role. Students respond to her wealth of expertise, her dedication to their growth as professionals, and her care for them as people.”
The Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership aims to produce professionals with the highest standards of ethics and accountability through rigorous teaching, research, and outreach and by creating opportunities to engage in disciplined debate, reflections, and inquiry. During Kearns’ directorship, the Johnson Institute grew into a respected pillar of the community. Kearns developed the Leadership Portfolio Program, which provides an unparalleled leadership development experience for participating students. He also developed and ran the Nonprofit Clinic, in which students provide professional-quality management consulting to area nonprofits, amounting to over $500,000 in professional services to those organizations.
The Hesselbein Forum, within the Johnson Institute, provides a variety of opportunities for fostering and growing leadership including a Lecture Series, a Leader-in-Residence program, and the publication of the award-winning Leader to Leader journal. Santucci designed and directed one of the Forum’s flagship programs, the Leadership Program in International Affairs, which empowers students with the skills they need to be effective leaders throughout their careers in international affairs—whether as diplomats, intelligence and security officials, development professionals, or in the private sector—and to deal effectively with leaders from around the world.
“Julia is dedicated to serving the common good and promoting social change,” noted Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and Pitt alumna Frances Hesselbein, the namesake for the Hesselbein Forum. “Julia’s personal integrity is impeccable and contagious; her intellectual capacity inspiring. We enthusiastically welcome Julia to this role.”