Bernie Banks

Bernard (Bernie) Banks is a noted expert on the subjects of leadership and organizational change.  Currently, he is the Director of Rice University’s Doerr Institute for New Leaders (and a Clinical Professor of Management within the University’s Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business).  The mission of the Doerr Institute “…is to elevate the leadership capacity of Rice students and to improve the practice of leader development in higher education.”  Most recently, Bernie served on the faculty and senior leadership team at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management from 2016-2024 prior to arriving at Rice. 

Bernie retired from the U.S. Army in 2016 as a Brigadier General after having successfully led West Point’s Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership in his final assignment.  In addition to having studied leadership extensively, he has led multiple military units ranging in size from 10 to over 3000 people.  Bernie was selected from over 40,000 officers to receive the Army's top award for early career stage managers (General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award) in 1995.  In 2006, the Apache Helicopter unit he was leading in South Korea was designated as the number one U.S. Army Apache Helicopter unit globally in the Army’s annual best aviation unit competition (Lieutenant General Ellis D. Parker Award). 

In addition to being a West Point graduate, Bernie is broadly educated.  He holds master’s degrees from Northwestern, Columbia, and Harvard Universities.  Additionally, he earned his Ph.D. in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University.  Bernie’s work has been published in a variety of outlets (e.g., Harvard Business Review, Military Psychology, New York Times). Furthermore, he has worked extensively with organizations across all sectors concerning their leader development efforts (e.g., Morgan Stanley, Procter and Gamble, Mercedes Benz, Microsoft, IBM, 7-Eleven, Goldman Sachs).

An active member of several civic and professional organizations, Bernie is deeply invested in his community.

Areas of Expertise
Leader Development
Organizational Change
Organizational Culture