Daniel J. Riccio Graduate Engineering Leadership Program


GradEL students in "6.9280 Leading Creative Teams" from Spring 2019. 



"Leverage Your Graduate Degree to Change the World!"

At the intersection of engineering practice, leadership scholarship, and experiential learning lies an opportunity to take the best technical students in the world and develop them into exceptional technical leaders. The Riccio Graduate Engineering Leadership Program (GradEL) is here to help MIT graduate students develop skills across career paths, from leading research groups to leadership roles in large companies and startups. The program builds on students’ technical education by allowing them to practice developing highly-effective teams, identifying worthy problems to solve, creating innovative solutions, and crafting a shared vision.


Apple executive Dan Riccio’s gift of $10 million in 2022 allows GradEL to expand its classes, workshops, and certificate into a world-class program for technical leaders. Speaking about the motivation behind his gift, Dan said, “The most innovative companies are not limited by ideas or by money - rather, they are limited by having enough effective engineering leaders to bring complex new products to market.”


In addition to new classes and workshops, GradEL is creating an intensive internship experience called an “engineering residency” that is analogous to a medical residency. It will target exceptional students with deep technical acumen and a strong desire to make impact as leaders. There will also be a new program for researchers to gain a deep understanding of the real-world impact of their work.


Students who complete the requirements (below) earn a Graduate Certificate in Technical Leadership. PhD candidates may also use GradEL coursework to fulfill the doctoral minor.


GradEL courses (open to all MIT grad students):

  • 6.S630 Leadership - People, Products, Projects (New for Spring 2024!)
  • 6.S640 How will my research matter? Optimizing projects towards impact (New for Spring 2024!)
  • 6.9280 Leading Creative Teams (Fall & Spring)
  • 6.9270 Negotiation & Influence Skills for Technical Leaders (Fall)
  • 6.9260 Multi-Stakeholder Negotiation for Technical Experts (Spring)

GradEL workshops (These are one-off workshops led by a wide range of instructors, held at least four times per semester. Open to all MIT grad students.):


1. Risk Driven Leadership, a Disney China Adventure

- Norbert Chang, Entrepreneur in Residence, MIT DesignX (February 22, 5-7pm, 32-124)

  • The former VP and Managing Director of Disney Interactive Group (Greater China) will take you through an interactive case study of leading a transformational product launch with multidimensional risk.


2. Leadership Lessons from Antarctica

- Anna Frebel, Professor of Physics, MIT Antarctic Ambassador (March 12, 5-7pm, 32-124)

  • Prof. Anna Frebel will share stories from her epic Antarctica journey with 100 powerful women in STEM, exploring leadership and personal transformation at the end of the earth.


3. Transitioning from Graduate School to New Roles

- David Nino, Senior Lecturer, GradEL (April 9, 5-7pm, 32-124)

  • Are you prepared to hit-the-ground running in new roles after graduating? Learning how to "take charge" is an important leadership capability, and this workshop will help you build the skillset as it relates to future roles. Panelists will share their experiences and advice on transitioning to new roles.


4. A Hiring Manager's Secrets to Landing the Job

- Monica Pheifer, Principal Lecturer, GradEL (April 24, 5-7pm, 32-144)

  • A panel of hiring managers will reveal how they actually make hiring decisions. Learn resume and interview tips that are proven to be effective.

RSVP for 4/24 workshop.



Graduate Certificate in Technical Leadership requirements:


1. Complete 6.9280 Leading Creative Teams with at least a B grade.


2. Complete 12 or more units from any of the following graduate classes with at least a B grade:

  • 6.S630 Leadership - People, Products, Projects (Spring)
  • 6.S640 How will my research matter? Optimizing projects towards impact (Spring)
  • 6.9270 Negotiation & Influence Skills for Technical Leaders 
  • 6.9260 Multi-Stakeholder Negotiation for Technical Leaders 
  • 10.807/15.371 Innovation Teams 
  • 15.270  Ethical Practice: Leading Through Professionalism, Social Responsibility, and System Design 
  • 15.281  Advanced Leadership Communications 
  • 15.304  Being Effective: Power and Influence 
  • 15.310  People, Teams, and Organizations 
  • 15.318  Discovering your Leadership Signature 
  • 15.320  Strategic Organizational Design 
  • 15.321  Improvisational Leadership: In the Moment Leadership Skills 
  • 15.324  Practical Leadership 
  • 15.341  Individuals, Groups, and Organizations 
  • 15.374  Organizing for Innovation 
  • 15.386  Managing in Adversity 
  • 15.398  Corporations at the Crossroads: The CEO Perspective 
  • 15.661  Building Successful Careers and Organizations  
  • 15.665  Power and Negotiation 
  • 15.669  Strategies for People Analytics 
  • 16.887 / EM.427  Technology Road Mapping and Development 
  • EM.413 Foundations of System Design and Management III 
  • STS.482[J] Science, Technology, and Public Policy 

3. Attend at least four of the experiential workshops (2 hours each) offered by GradEL (at least eight offered per year).


Email Shokofeh Khadivi (khadivi@mit.edu) if interested in registering for the certificate program and/or workshops.