Rachel Clapp-Smith, Ph.D.

Teddy Jacobi Dean of the College of Business

Academic Director, The Leadership Institute at PNW

Professor of Leadership

Rachel Clapp Smith


Rachel Clapp-Smith is the Teddy Jacobi Dean of Purdue University Northwest’s College of Business and the academic director for the Leadership Institute.

Research Overview

Clapp-Smith explores how experiences in a variety of contexts impact the process and content of leadership development. She researches the development of the whole person as a leader, looking at multiple life domains and multi-cultural experiences. She studies leader identity, global mindset and cultural self-awareness.

My husband and I have traveled to over 25 countries. My favorite aspect of travel is what one can learn about themselves by learning about other cultures.

Select Publications

  • Clapp-Smith, R., Hammond, M. M., Lester, G. V., & Palanski, M. (2019). Promoting Identity Development in Leadership Education: A Multidomain Approach to Developing the Whole Leader. Journal of Management Education, 43(1), 10-34.
  • Vogelgesang Lester, G., Clapp‐Smith, R., Yunlu, D., & James, A. (2019). Attention! Cosmopolitans ahead–They may not be as creative as they think! Creativity and Innovation Management, 28(2), 240-249.
  • Hammond, M. A., Clapp-Smith, R. & Palanski, M., (2017). Beyond (just) the workplace: A theory of leader development across multiple domains. Academy of Management Review, 42:481-498. (This paper was a finalist for the 2017 AMR Best Paper Award).

Teaching Focus

Clapp-Smith teaches organizational behavior and leadership in undergraduate and graduate programs. Her primary objective is to help students understand the dynamics of leadership and how to develop their own leader capacity. She also facilitates leadership seminars for managers, staff and high school leaders.

Previous Roles

Before entering academia in 2004, Clapp-Smith had a career managing multi-cultural teams in the software industry. She worked in sales, marketing and consulting in Germany and the Netherlands, with responsibility for the European market.

Rachel Clapp-Smith

New Dean: College of Business

Purdue University Northwest is pleased to announce Rachel Clapp-Smith will serve as the Teddy Jacobi Dean of the College of Business. Clapp-Smith was selected through a national search process.

Read the Announcement

Rachel Clapp Smith


(219) 989-3216


Office Location:

Hammond, Anderson 356A


  • Ph.D. – Organizational Behavior, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • MBA – International Business, Thunderbird, School of Global Management
  • B.A. – History and German, Bowdoin College

Areas of Expertise

  • Leader Development
  • Leader Identity
  • Global Leadership
  • Global Mindset