Eric J. Weis, Ph.D.


Dr. Weis currently holds the position of Associate Professor of Strategic Leadership in the Department of Behavioral Science at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, part of the National Defense University (NDU). 

An Army veteran with over 25 years of commissioned Army service, Dr. Weis has served in command and executive leadership positions at the direct-, operational-, and strategic-level, ranging in size from 38-2500-person elements in both peacetime and combat environments. This wide range of full-spectrum experiences has honed him into an accomplished executive leader, chief of staff, and operations manager with a proven ability to lead, train and inspire teams for the challenges of a complex strategic environment. He has demonstrated and achieved tangible success in both large organizations and in foreign countries developing and leveraging multi-cultural strategies and systems to align and lead change efforts. Eric also has experience as a professional educator assessing, selecting, teaching/training, and developing/coaching senior military and interagency/industry executive leaders. 

Following his operational assignments, LTC Weis earned a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from George Mason University in 2012 with emphasis on performance teams and leadership in extreme conditions and has both published and presented research in a variety of military and non-military forums. Eric remains heavily involved in facilitating strategic leadership discussions, executive coaching, leadership consulting, and public speaking endeavors. He currently operates out of Arlington, Virginia with his wife and two children.

Academic, Consulting, & Research Experience

Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences at the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. (July 2015-present).
Adjunct Professor of Executive Leadership and Development, Executive Development Programs, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland; (November 2016-Present)
President and CEO of Divergent Leadership Solutions, LLC. A private executive leadership consulting firm operating out of Arlington, Virginia. (2016-present).
Deputy Director, The Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic (SCPME), United States Military Academy, West Point, NY (2012-2015).
Assistant Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY (2003 – 2005).

Military Experience
Regimental Executive Officer, 3rd United States Infantry Regiment (The  Old Guard), Fort Myer, VA (2008 – 2009).
Battalion Operations Officer, 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd  Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA (2006-2008).

Squadron Operations Officer, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, GA (2005-2006).

Assistant Infantry Brigade Operations Officer, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY (2000 - 2001).

Infantry Company Commander, C Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY (1998-2000)

Assistant Chief of Divisional Training (G3), 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, NY (1998).

Company Executive Officer, 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, GA (1996-1997). 

·     Airborne Rifle Platoon Leader, C Company, 3rd Ranger Battalion,
      75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, GA (1995-1996).
      Support Platoon Leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Company,
      1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division,
      Schofield Barracks, HI (1994-1995).
·     Rifle Platoon Leader, B Company, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry
      Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, HI

My research interests include exploring functional leader behaviors from a multi-level perspective. Using intact teams in a field environment, my dissertation research suggests that that a wider complement of component leader behaviors (across cognitive, emotional, and social dimensions) is meaningful and can contribute to team performance. I also found that this more comprehensive taxonomy becomes more important when considering the differential effects of multiple leaders within an action team. Additionally, there was evidence suggesting that, under the right conditions, the nature of the situation and team-compositional individual differences related to adaptability serve to drive the differential functionality of leader behaviors.  This research was recently nationally and internationally recognized by receiving the Edwin A. Fleishman Dissertation Award in 2014 as the best paper based on a PhD dissertation at George Mason University within the highly competitive Department of Psychology, and as a top three finalist in the Alvah H. Chapman Outstanding Dissertation Award for Leadership in 2013 that was awarded from an international field of dissertations that make an outstanding contribution to the field of Leadership.  

I believe that arming leaders who operate in high threat/extreme conditions with a more comprehensive competency set, will not only facilitate optimal behaviors in execution phases (where poor decisions can produce catastrophic results), but also in inoculating leaders and their respective teams against the traumatic events typically found in these high risk environments and proactively serve to assist in reducing the longer-term negative consequences associated with PTSD, depression, and suicide.

In addition to my duties at NDU, I also remain heavily involved in executive coaching and leadership consulting research, most notably by serving as a military subject matter expert (SME) on functional leadership competencies under stressful conditions for the National Research Council and provide frequent professional reviews to the Board of Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, as well as to the peer-reviewed journals Military Psychology, Organizational Research Methods (ORM), and the Journal for the Study of Peace and Conflict. I also recently joined the Editorial Board for the Journal of Character and Leadership development.   

·      George Mason University, Doctor of Philosophy, 2012, Industrial/Organizational  Psychology.

·      The Pennsylvania State University, Masters of Science, 2003, Social Psychology.

·      James Madison University, Bachelors of Science, 1992, Psychology.

Military Experience

Multiple combat mission deployments at the company and field grade level, most recently as the operations officer of a Battalion Task Force prosecuting combat and counter-insurgency operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF V), Arab Jabour, Iraq.

Studied, trained, and taught intermediate- and executive level Army Officers, International Officers, Sister Service Officers, Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies, and Interagency leaders to operate in full spectrum Army, joint, interagency, and multinational environments as field grade commanders and staff officers.

Additional Qualifications
Security Clearance: Top Secret with SCI accessJoint, Interagency, and Special Operations experience, at both staff and command levels.

Executive Coaching: Certified on DoD-sponsored Executive Assessment and Development Program (EADP) measures, consisting of: 1) Personality Profiler; 2) Leadership Profile Inventory (LPI: Team Roles, Big 5 Personality Dimensions, and Leadership Indicators); 3) Modified Career Path Appreciation (MPCA); and the Strategic Leadership Development Inventory (SLDI: a 360 degree assessment). Also Level II certified on the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue), The Bar-On EQ-i 2.0 and EQ 360 Emotional Quotient Inventories, and the Golden Personality Profiler 4.0 & 5.1.

Contact Information
If you have any questions about the program, my research interests, or desire for potential future collaboration, please contact me at

Eric J. Weis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Strategic Leadership
Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy
National Defense University, Fort McNair
Bldg 59, Rm 252
408 4th Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20319 
(O) 202-685-4411