Leading the way in leadership education with Ed Barrows

With a distinguished career spanning academia, private sector and the military, Ed Barrows joins the School of Professional Studies as Professor of the Practice in Leadership.

PROVIDENCE, RI [Brown University] — As part of our commitment to offering innovative leadership education and cultivating future leaders, the School of Professional Studies (SPS) welcomes Professor of the Practice in Leadership, Ed Barrows.photo of ed barrows

SPS Dean Shankar Prasad expressed his enthusiasm to have Barrows on board, stating, “Ed’s arrival brings the School’s leadership education to the next level. In collaboration with Associate Professor of the Practice of Leadership, Robin Rose, Barrows will help to further solidify our dedication to shaping the leaders of tomorrow for a better world.”

Before joining the Brown community, Barrows honed his leadership skills and commanded at various levels in the Marine Corps.

From there he held key positions at prestigious institutions and organizations, including Duke Corporate Education, Deloitte, General Electric, PwC and the Palladium Group. At Duke, he was responsible for designing and delivering programs for a global clientele.

Barrows’s academic journey includes teaching roles at Harvard University, Boston College and Babson, where he designed and instructed courses ranging from strategy and organizational behavior to influence and negotiation. His profound research interest in strategic leadership led to co-authoring two books, "Twelve Skills: The Guide to Becoming a Strong Leader and Accelerating Your Career" and "Managing Performance in Turbulent Times: Insights and Analytics.”

Barrows’s multifaceted background across roles and industries enables him to bring a varied and interdisciplinary perspective to the classroom — knowing what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to strategic leadership. In his new role at SPS, Barrows will teach and administer a portfolio of leadership courses in two of the School’s professional degree programs: the Master’s in Technology Leadership and the Master’s in Healthcare Leadership.

He will also aid in the design and delivery of certificates and executive education programs for both individuals and organizations.

“ Ed brings extensive experience and a bold vision that promises to reshape the landscape of leadership education. His expertise will undoubtedly have a profound impact on our executive education programs, enhancing not only our capacity, but also extending our reach to leaders across the globe. ”

Sandra Smith Associate Dean of Executive Education

Upon joining SPS, Barrows shared his three goals: 

  1. Grow the Graduate and Professional Learner Portfolio

Broaden the scale and scope of graduate degrees, certificates, short courses, and  internal programs to enable greater accessibility and relevance for learners aiming to upskill, reskill and boost their leadership capacity.

  1. Establish a Unified Leadership Framework

Develop a distinct Brown viewpoint on leadership that can be integrated across all SPS programs, ensuring a unified and impactful leadership education.

  1. Contribute to a Dynamic Growth Culture

Foster a positive environment within the School of Professional Studies that nurtures faculty, staff and students.


Barrows says, “I’m truly excited to join Brown. I look forward to contributing to our shared mission of equipping leaders with the skills, knowledge and values needed to drive meaningful change, not only within their organizations but also the communities where they live. Together, we’ll shape the future of leadership.”

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