Rachel Clapp-Smith, Ph.D.

Professor of Leadership Chair, Managerial Studies Department Academic Director, The Leadership Institute at PNW

Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs


Dr. Clapp-Smith is a Professor of Leadership and has served Chair of the Managerial Studies Department since Fall 2018 and the Academic Director of the Leadership Institute since 2019.

Research Overview

Dr. 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.


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

Dr. 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, Dr. Clapp-Smith had a career managing multicultural teams in the software industry. She worked in sales, marketing, and consulting in Germany and the Netherlands, with responsibility for the European market.

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. Exposure to different ways of living and thinking causes one to reflect on their assumptions and there is always something new to learn. It’s this passion that led me to my research.

rachel headshot


(219) 989-3216


Office Location:

Hammond, Lawshe 346; Westville, Schwartz 152


  • Ph.D. – Organizational Behavior, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • M.B.A. – 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