Leo McGonagle

Executive Director

Leo McGonagle helped conceive and design the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program (GEL) and was named executive director as the program launched in 2008. He helped oversee the program’s growth from MIT start-up with twenty students to a well-established School of Engineering program with over 150 students participating annually, recognized nationally and internationally as a model for effective engineering leadership education. Leo brought the concept for the innovative Engineering Leadership Lab (ELL) to GEL, having overseen similar experiential teamwork and leadership development courses elsewhere. He has instructed this highly rated course each year.

Leo’s passion is developing leaders. Before joining GEL, he served the nation in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Among successive organizational leadership positions of increasing responsibility, Leo spent six-years on elite-school college campuses, overseeing leader development programs while coaching, advising, and mentoring emerging-leader students. As department chair of the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) Program at MIT, he was responsible for the leadership development and commissioning of students from MIT, Harvard, Tufts, Wellesley, Gordon, Salem State and Endicott College. He previously served in a leader and character development role at The United States Military Academy at West Point.

Leo led soldiers during the Persian Gulf conflict, in support of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, and during peace enforcement operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was awarded three Bronze Star Medals for leadership and service during wartime operations. He earned his commission through ROTC and was a Distinguished Military Graduate, He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School and the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He earned a M.S. in leadership development and counseling from Long Island University and a B.A. in psychology from Boston University. He is a member of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). Leo is an avid hiker, and when not at work can usually be found on a New Hampshire White Mountains high-peak.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307