Announcing the 3-year EdD program, Leaders for Equity and Democracy (LEAD)

The Graduate School of Education (GSE) is pleased to announce that it is enrolling a new cohort in the 2021-2022 academic year for individuals seeking their EdD, a doctorate degree that prepares school leaders for the highest-level positions within public school systems and other complex educational organizations.

Leaders for Equity and Democracy (LEAD) reimagines doctoral students as intentional designers for socially just academic and social-emotional outcomes. Through a transdisciplinary pedagogical approach and viable research-practice partnerships, LEAD connects passionate, equity-conscious, practicing leaders with the theories, operational capacities, and networks they need to effect large-scale change across preK-16 education. 

LEADers leave the GSE prepared to close persistent opportunity gaps for youth of color, English language learners, students with disabilities, and other learners and communities facing complex barriers to success. Consequently, they extend democratic values by enacting liberatory educational systems that promote the brilliance of America’s vibrant and diverse communities.

“LEAD furthers the tradition of the GSE’s successful leadership programs by creating a coherent continuum of offerings from teacher to system leadership,”  said GSE Dean Prudence L. Carter. “It is both a rigorous and supportive program that will ensure the matriculation of all of their students through a unique blend of cohort learning with personalized pathways, allowing scaffolding for students to dig deeply into issues of leadership development, change management, as well as their personal, professional, and scholarly identities.”

LEADers have options for taking courses with world-class faculty across the GSE; in Berkeley’s other renowned schools or departments; or at partnering institutions, including Stanford, UC Davis, Harvard, and Mills College. LEAD begins accepting applications in Fall 2020, with students starting their studies in summer of 2021. 

For more information, please send an e-mail to

Lihi Rosenthal, an alumnae of the GSE’s Prinicpal Leadership Institute, is the Program Director of Leaders for Equity and Democracy (LEAD). 

She has previously served as a college and career counselor, general education teacher, special educator, department chair, principal, and system leader. In 2019, Lihi co-authored the book, Unconditional Education: Supporting Schools to Serve All Students (Oxford University Press), which details an evidence-based approach to inclusive, trauma-informed education.

In her spare time, she enjoys home decorating; party planning; talking; and social activism. She likes to knit, though she hardly ever finishes a project. She loves adventures, and also loves daydreaming about adventures.

Read more about Lihi Rosenthal.