Our People

Ed and Helen Hintz posting with PLA students

Welcome to the Presidential Leadership Academy, where leaders learn to lead in a gray world. We were founded in 2009 with a gift from Penn State alumni and benefactors Edward (Ed) and Helen Hintz, whom you can find out more about on our Founders page. We are staffed by Director Melissa Doberstein and administrative support assistant Amanda Basalla, as well as a graduate assistant, all of whom you can find out more about under Staff. We have three main faculty members, Penn State University President Eric J. Barron, Dr. Peggy Johnson, Dean of the Schreyer Honors College, and Presidential Leadership Academy Director Melissa Doberstein, all of whom can be read about on our Faculty page. Lastly, our tireless board members are listed under Board. All of these people seek to further the leadership and critical thinking skills of students, carrying out the Presidential Leadership Academy's mission.