MIT-SUTD Collaboration: 2016 LEAD Program

The LEAD Programme is an eight-week intensive program designed to develop students into effective leaders by providing engaging opportunities for individuals to practice and build leadership skills. Through a series of activities and through working with international peers, SUTD and MIT students learn, practice, and develop the skills needed to be effective leaders, both for university experiences and in life beyond.

To help students explore their identities as leaders and develop their leadership skills.
All students are prepared as cross-cultural leaders and engaged as global citizens, ready to creatively tackle the issues of the 21st century.


  1. To expose students to leadership skills through various types of activities, workshops, and discussions
  2. To increase students’ abilities to work effectively in teams, to communicate efficiently, to recognize and manage change, and to synthesize societal needs with creative solutions 
  3. To promote collaboration and friendships between SUTD and MIT students

Monday and Wednesday, 6.00 – 7.00 pm (dinner) and 7.00 – 9.00 pm (sessions)
The co-facilitators present on Mondays and the student teams present on Wednesdays.  Each week both presentations coincide in topic and thought.  Listed below are examples of the student leadership topics:

  • Collaborating / Teamwork
  • Problem Solving
  • Building Confidence
  • Inspiring / Motivating Others
  • Culture & Awareness
  • Social / Personal Identity
  • Leadership Forum

Contacts and Social Media
Co-facilitator: Christopher Dietzel - 
Co-facilitator: Dara Fisher -
Co-Facilitators 2016


Dara Fisher is a third-year doctoral student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education studying cross-border higher education.  Dara is interested in student and faculty experiences at international universities developed in collaboration with American higher  education institutions, as well as the mechanisms by which U.S. universities transfer their cultures overseas. Before enrolling at Harvard, Dara completed her masters of science in Technology and Policy with a concentration in Engineering Education at MIT, where she served as a graduate research assistant to the MIT-SUTD Collaboration. 

In this role, Dara facilitated student life efforts for the first two classes of SUTD students, coordinating and teaching joint exchange programs between MIT and SUTD for two years.  In addition to her participation in higher education professional activities, Dara has worked in several policy roles, including at the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) in Paris and the National Research Council and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in Washington, DC.  Dara’s undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan, where she studied Earth Systems Science Engineering with a focus on science and space policy issues.


Christopher Dietzel graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Math, French, and Education. Since completing his undergraduate degree, Chris has been working on the MIT-SUTD Collaboration as Coordinator of the 5th Row Leadership Programme from 2012-2013 and the Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD) Programme from 2014 to present. For the past three years, Chris worked in France teaching English both at high school and university levels. Currently a master’s student at McGill University in Montreal studying Educational Leadership, Chris is pursuing a career working in university student affairs, campus life, and/or student leadership development because he enjoys helping students explore their passions and develop their self- and community-awareness.

In particular, Chris appreciates discussing issues related to difference of culture, language, and identity. Chris has enjoyed working for the MIT-SUTD Collaboration and is already looking forward to LEAD 2016. Hope to see you there!


LEAD Programme 2015 Testimonials


The LEAD Programme was so much more than just a leadership development program. I had participated in leadership development programs in the past, but LEAD was fun. I looked forward to each session because I got to spend quality time with people who I otherwise would not have gotten to know or even meet. I was able to experience a new culture by making close friends with people who came from very different backgrounds.

LEAD is a program where the more you put into it, the more you get out of it. If you go to sessions with an open mind, you can leave with lessons learned, new experiences, and new friends. I made unforgettable friends and memories both in the classroom and out. The LEAD experience was leadership development and so much more.
— Herman Li, MIT senior


I wanted to explore more about leadership in many aspects. This program had taught me the importance of taking on the role of being a leader. We played a lot of games that demonstrated the qualities of leadership and how to be a cooperative team player. I really enjoyed how the lecturers and the teaching assistants gave us different scenarios or problems each week, which showed how different people lead their own team in their own unique ways. Every week during the reflection session, talking about the leadership with my teammates from different backgrounds has taught me the types of team play each members are and being a team player is essential to a team. Being part of the hosting committee for the 4 July 2015 had allowed me to test out my leadership as one of committee leaders and demonstrated what I have learnt so far.

Leading a group while holding a leadership role had taught me how to get a team to be cooperative in order to accomplish our goals. Whenever one of my team had difficulties, I would try my very best to help them find ways to overcome them. Through this event, it had strengthened my team communication and listening skills which are the essential to becoming a leader. This program had helped me to enhance my ability to work in teams effectively. I really have a fun experience with both SUTD and MIT students. Also I really appreciated the opportunities that the lecturers had provided and the efforts that MIT students and the teaching assistants have put into this LEAD programmes. 
— Camillus Wee Li Min, SUTD freshmore