Leo McGonagle

Executive Director

Leo McGonagle has been at MIT for fourteen years, participated in the conceiving and designing of the Gordon Engineering Leadership Program (GEL) in 2007, and was named executive director as GEL launched in 2008. He helped oversee and lead the program’s growth from MIT start-up with just sixteen students to a well established School of Engineering program with over 150 students participating annually, recognized nationally and internationally as a model for engineering leadership education. Leo brought the concept for the innovative Engineering Leadership Lab (ELL) to MIT and GEL, having overseen similar college student experiential teamwork and leadership development courses elsewhere. He has instructed this highly rated course every year.

Leo’s passion is developing leaders. Before joining GEL, he spent a career in service to the nation as a U.S. Army engineering officer, achieving the rank of lieutenant colonel. Among successive organizational leadership positions of increasing responsibility, this included six-years on elite 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, and three other colleges. 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 War and in support of the Global War on Terrorism in Iraq, and during peace enforcement operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina. He earned his commission through ROTC and was a Distinguished Military Graduate. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School, and was awarded three Bronze Star Medals for leadership and service during wartime operations. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, earned a M.S. in leadership development and counseling from Long Island University, and a B.A. in psychology from Boston University. Leo is an active member of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE).

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