EMPL has shifted the way I approach my work and perspective on leadership.

Amy Knitt Eskew

amy knitt eskew

Accelerate Your Leadership

The EMPL executive master's degree is designed for successful professionals who want to expand their impact, broaden their career horizons and cultivate leadership capacity. The program combines rigorous coursework, interaction with high-performing leaders and real-world skills application to help students raise the bar on their own personal brand of leadership for the publics they serve.

The Classroom Experience

I have a lot more folks to call on anytime I am facing a challenge.

Juan Pablo Martinez

The EMPL brings in guest speakers to enhance the practical application and relevance of information presented in class. This diverse group shares their own deep insight and expertise from a wide range of career leadership positions.

Selected Guest Speakers in the EMPL

  • Sheryl Sculley, City Manager, City of San Antonio
  • Shirley Franklin, former Mayor and former City Manager, City of Atlanta Georgia and Barbara Jordan Visiting Professor of Ethics and Political Values
  • Alan McGraw, Mayor of Round Rock
  • Evan Smith, Editor-in-Chief and CEO, The Texas Tribune
  • Brenda Eivens, City Manager of Cedar Park, Texas
  • Lynelle McKay, Executive Director, Girl Scouts of Central Texas
  • Bob Campbell, President and CEO, Campbell Global Services
  • Allison Hickey, Former Assistant Secretary, Veterans Administration
  • Dr. Tom Sedel, President, Concordia University
  • Angela Evans, new Dean of the LBJ School of Public Affairs; Former Deputy Director, Congressional Research Service,
  • Lt. General Jeff Howell (ret.), former Director of Johnson Space Center

Many empl mentors also participate as guest speakers in the program

The prestigious EMPL faculty includes award-winning scholars and experienced practitioners who have made their mark in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Our faculty and staff have a hands-on involvement and commitment to students' success, and this tremendous support and access truly sets the EMPL program apart.

Selected Faculty Experience

  • Strategic leadership consulting to U.S. State department & Pentagon
  • National and international consulting with public and private organizations on risk issues
  • Crisis management and organizational communication issues
  • Political and organizational opinion shaping
  • State legislative staff leadership
  • CEOs of state agencies
  • Executive leadership training and consulting
  • Public and private sector management and organizational improvement consulting
  • Dispute resolution and collaborative decision making
  • Fortune 500 scenario planning
  • Health care and educational effectiveness and quality
The most remarkable part of the EMPL is the people. The instructors and my peers have exceeded my expectations by providing invaluable skills, insights and resources.

Mark Moravits, EMPL class of 2016

My professional transformation was accelerated with the help of LBJ's faculty.

Sharon Muzny

sharon muzny

Individual Leadership Development

Students receive both formal and informal leadership development from mentors, expert faculty and staff as part of the LBJ School experience.

EMPL students participate in a pre-program 360-degree review by their boss, peers and direct reports. These reviews identify strengths and opportunities for improvement related to executive management and leadership. The student develops a leadership plan that incorporates insights and goals into a plan, which they review and update each semester with Executive Education Advisor Barry Bales. A second 360-degree review is conducted at the end of the program to assess the student's progress. These reviews are provided to the student for his or her use and are not part of the graded curriculum.

The EMPL Mentor Program pairs students with current and former CEOs of government, not-for-profit and private sector agencies for one-on-one mentor sessions near the start and conclusion of the EMPL program. These mentor sessions enrich the student's executive perspective, provide input on critical skills for executive level leadership, offer perspectives on work-life balance and help provide direction on career development.

Representative Mentors

  • Jesus Garza, President and CEO, Seton HealthCare
  • Laura Huffman, Texas State Director, The Nature Conservancy
  • Albert Hawkins, Former Executive Commissioner, HHSC Commission and former Secretary of the Cabinet
  • Susan McDowell, Executive Director, Lifeworks
  • Brad Livingston, Executive Director, Texas Department of Criminal Justice
  • Suzanne Scott, General Manager, San Antonio River Authority
  • Jim Nuse, Former City Manager Round Rock and San Marcos
  • Linda Watson, President and CEO, Capital Metro
  • Veronda Durden, Executive Director, Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
  • Dan Pruett, President and CEO, Meals on Wheels and More
  • Bill Kuntz, Executive Director, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation
  • Heather McKissick, Vice President, Human Resources & Organizational Development at University Federal Credit Union

A powerful network

The LBJ School is the premier public affairs school in Texas and one of the most highly regarded in the nation. EMPL students become part of a powerful and influential professional network of LBJ alumni, who are leaders in the community, state, nation and world. Our students have the best of both worlds: an intimate community within the program and the advantage of being part of one of the world’s leading research universities.

Is EMPL for you?

Do you have...

An emphasis on proven leadership already in career?

A desire for further leadership?

An interest in executive leadership with organizational focus?

An ability to contribute to and learn from peers?

A demonstrated ability to do graduate school work while maintaining career and personal commitments?

I learned valuable skills to serve organizations, people and the greater good.

Adriana Rojas

Watch the video