From Creating Knowledge to Developing Future Leaders: A Spotlight of Kirsten Moss

May 19, 2017

William James College Doctor of Psychology in Leadership Psychology graduate Kirsten Moss was recently appointed Assistant Dean and Director of MBA Admissions and Financial Aid at Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB).

In her new position, Kirsten will lead the admissions and financial aid team in recruiting and selecting qualified MBA candidates. The Stanford MBA program has more than 8,000 applicants each year for only 400 spots, and Kirsten will play a significant role in choosing strong candidates within the applicant pool.

“The core function of my job will be selecting leaders for the Stanford GBS. At William James College, I studied what effective leadership looks like, how to assess it and how it can be developed.”

Kirsten received her bachelor’s degree and master’s in business administration from Harvard University. Prior to her position at Stanford, Kirsten worked in leadership assessment and development for an executive recruiting firm and her own consulting firm. Her drive to gain greater expertise in her career- where she assessed and coached senior executives and helped organizations procure talent- ultimately propelled her to pursue a graduate degree in psychology.  Her hope was to find a graduate program that would help her gain the theoretical underpinnings she needed in order to excel in her field.

After a year of researching master’s degree programs in counseling, executive coaching and leadership psychology, Kirsten decided a doctoral program with a curriculum based in leadership theory would help her reach her career goals.

“The Doctor of Psychology in Leadership Psychology program at William James College was compelling because it focused not only on how practitioners could help organizations develop leadership, but also on how you as a practitioner can develop your own leadership capabilities,” said Kirsten.

Having recently defended her dissertation, Kirsten reflected on how the experience has proven beneficial in her career. “The biggest surprise I’ve had in the program is how energizing writing my dissertation has been”, she said. “I was able to focus my research on something I care about deeply, assessing transformational leadership, so the research was both meaningful and practical to my career.”

“My classes [at William James College] over the last four years have exceeded my expectations because they provided me a more thorough understanding of how to assess and develop leaders, which I can use everyday in my admissions’ role” said Kirsten. “My research also has developed new knowledge regarding how we can predict performance and transformational leadership during an employment or admissions interview.”