Larry Smith named managing director of Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence

  • July 25, 2016


INDIANAPOLIS -- Larry Smith has been named managing director at the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence, an Indiana University center located at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. In his new role, Smith will guide future work at the center, whose primary mission is to prepare seasoned leaders for continued success -- both in their careers and in the organizations they serve throughout Indiana and the nation.

"I look forward to building on the center's past successes as we look for new ways to continue to advance the practice and theory of leadership," said Smith.

The Tobias Leadership Center focuses on enhancing both the practice and the study of leadership across the public, private, nonprofit and academic sectors. This distinguishes its agenda from similar leadership organizations and programs around the country; most such organizations and programs tend to focus on a single sector. Through ongoing research, the center generates insight into effective leadership and disseminates this knowledge through a variety of programs including Hoosier Fellows, the Hazelett Women in Leadership Forum and the annual Tobias Leadership Conference.

"All types of organizations would do well to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of their leadership, and developing that area of expertise will always provide value," said Smith. "We have the opportunity to prepare leaders to meet individual organizational challenges, as well as societal challenges, by employing time-tested expertise that has an eye toward practice-informed theory."

Prior to joining the Tobias Center, Smith was the founder and CEO of Leading Edge Advisory Firm LLC. He also served the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis as senior vice president of organizational advancement, public relations and strategic planning. He previously served as a director at the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and as deputy director of civil society programs for the Hudson Institute.

"Larry's background in multisector work is a perfect fit for the Tobias Center, given that our mission encompasses not just academia but also the nonprofit, for-profit, private and public sectors," said Julie Manning Magid, director at the Tobias Center. "His broad experience and extensive leadership roles will help us advance the goals of this leadership organization."

The Tobias Center is now under completely new management, with Magid having assumed her post July 1.

"I look forward to helping bring Ambassador Tobias' vision and mission to life," said Smith. "Because of his vision, the Tobias Leadership Center takes both a scholarly and a practical approach to leadership in an effort to improve the world in which we live. It is an honor to play a role in seeking to elevate the practice and theory of leadership."

Smith earned his bachelor's degree from Williams College and his master's degree from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was selected to be a Sloan fellow.

About the Randall L. Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence

The enduring mission of the Tobias Center is inspiring leadership excellence throughout various industries. Housed on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus, the center focuses on both the practice and the academic theory of leadership with the goal of creating and disseminating the most relevant and applicable knowledge. The Tobias Center is a collaboration among IU's Kelley School of Business, the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the IU School of Education.