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Summer Principals Academy NYC and NOLA
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Craig Richards

Dr. Craig E. Richards is the Founding Director of the Summer Principals Academy (SPA). Established in New York at Columbia University in 2005, SPA now has over 530 graduates. Dr. Richards is currently leading a Southern SPA program in New Orleans. Dr. Richards has an extensive background in education leadership and finance policy, coauthoring textbooks and research articles on finance, data-driven leadership, and the uses of technology in leadership development and data-driven leadership. As a long-time practitioner of meditation, he has developed a unique curriculum on self-awareness training for emerging leaders in education systems and has published with Oxford University Press and the Teachers College Record about these practices. His latest book, The Art of Self-Leadership, encapsulates these innovations and their implications for leadership development and the training of school leaders in self-awareness practices. Most recently, Dr. Richards has become deeply immersed in the integration of technology as a leadership development platform, and has begun experimenting with multi-media case studies for teaching leadership in collaboration with his faculty and graduate students. He views multi-media cases as provocative vehicles for mindfulness training and leadership decision- making and is seeking funding to use bio-feedback technology in combination with high-stress decision-making to promote positive self-regulation of emotions in challenging leadership contexts. He has also developed an innovative leadership professional development program for Chinese students, teachers and principals in collaboration with Columbia doctoral student Sarah Wang. Together, they have trained over 300 participants in experiential leadership development. Professor Richards completed his graduate work at Stanford University receiving his MA in Economics and his Ph.D. in Education in 1983. He worked with Teachers College President Susan Fuhrman at the National Center for Educational Research and Policy at Rutgers University for five years prior to arriving at Teachers College in 1989. Professor Richards is a former school principal and founder of two alternative schools in the 1970s. He has consulted widely on leadership development both nationally and internationally including Argentina, Bhutan, China, Russia, and the Ukraine. His previously published books include: Rethinking Effective Schools: Research and Practice, Microcomputer Applications for Strategic Management in Education, The Ecology of Educational Systems, Risky Business: Private Management of Public Schools, and Financing Education Systems.