The Stanford Medicine Leadership Academy (SMLA) supports Stanford Medicine’s vision by strengthening the capacity of faculty to shape their future through ethical influencing and effective change management.

Participants are nominated by their departmental leadership for consideration to SMLA, which is an 18-month commitment. Each participant will lead a complex strategic initiative that prototyped future ways of working and serve as a “leadership laboratory.” Other SMLA activities include customized learning with an executive coach, regular peer consultations, monthly learning sessions and retreats, leadership networking and structured leadership interviews. At the midpoint of the program, participants engage in a comprehensive multi-rated leadership assessment.

Cohort 6 will begin in April 2024.

Program Advisors & Support

Eugene R. (Geno) Schnell, PhD - Program Director, Stanford Medicine Leadership Academy

Geno began his career as a neuroscientist working with a medical center team to understand the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. As a research administrator, he was captivated by the effectiveness of powerful individual disciplines (such as radiology, neurology, psychiatry) but perplexed by the tension and paralysis in the collective enterprise constructed for this important study. Curious about this experience, Geno studied organizational dynamics and eventually the factors that lead to successful and unsuccessful cross-functional teams, and further, the challenges of multidisciplinary work in top management teams.

Today, clients engage Geno as coach, facilitator, trainer, advisor and designer to help them develop robust solutions to complex problems. Recent consulting work with AstraZeneca, Lockheed-Martin and General Motors has been focused on challenges such as developing leadership bench-strength, new venture acceleration, senior executive on-boarding, top team development, and corporate diversity strategy.

Geno has worked extensively in non-profit and government settings, such as the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Commerce and the Maryland Circuit Courts. In addition, he was the designer and faculty director for the Noyce Leadership Institute, (focused on science centers) and presently leads the Stanford Medicine Leadership Academy (for leaders in biomedical sciences – see

Prior to running his own business, Geno was a professor in the areas of leadership, negotiation, innovation with the Carey Program in Entrepreneurship at the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and also served as JHU’s Director of Organization Development and Diversity from 1998 until 2004.

Outside the United States, he has consulted with the Peking University, University of Iceland, University of Lodz (Poland), Ministry of Health for the Republic of Kenya and in the U.K. for the Cambridge Management Center and the Oxford Psychologists Forum. Since 2016 he has been leading a high-performing teams’ intervention throughout India for power systems and engine divisions of Cummins, Inc.

Geno is the author of several popular management development materials that are based on an interpersonal relations instrument known as the FIRO-B, including Introduction to the FIRO-B in Organizations, The Leadership Report Using the FIRO-B and MBTI, and Participating in Teams. He is also the author or co-author of several chapters in books and of research articles appearing in Leadership Quarterly, Mt. Eliza Business Review (Australia), Journal of Venture Management, Journal of Consulting Psychology, and the Annual Review of Research on Quality Management.

Geno received a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and an M.S. in Adult Development and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Rochester. He is a member of the Executive Coaching Roundtable ( and former member of the Diversity Leadership Forum, and the Board of Directors for the Management Assistance Group. Geno resides in Baltimore, Maryland.