Nance Lucas

Position: Director, James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, University of Maryland.

Career highlights: Associate director, Academy of Leadership; director, Center for Leadership Education; director, College Park Scholars Public Leadership, Academy of Leadership; co-founder and first director, National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs.

Age: 39

Education: BA, industrial psychology, Pennsylvania State University; MA, college student personnel administration, Pennsylvania State University; PhD, college student personnel, with a concentration in leadership studies, University of Maryland.

Isn't leadership inherent? Why should it be taught?

I firmly believe that leaders are made and not born. And so there exists in each person a capacity to provide leadership and to make a difference. Leadership is an interdisciplinary study that can be taught in formal classrooms.

So is your goal to nurture future political leaders?

Yes, that's one of our goals. But the ultimate goal is that we want to prepare all people from all ages -- from kindergarten to when people reach their retirement years -- to solve some of society's most pressing problems using effective leadership approaches. Our society is crying out for bold, courageous leaders to solve some of these pressing problems.

What kinds of people study leadership?

First and foremost, they have an internal desire to make a difference in their communities or their organizations, and they also have a belief that empowering others will allow organizations to make positive changes. Leadership does make a difference.

And what about those who publicly are great leaders but lead unethical or immoral personal lives?

It's one of the most hotly debated issues. You have to have congruency between your personal beliefs and professional life. It hurts leaders' credibility in their public life when they are unethical in their personal life.