Faculty & Staff Directory


Picture of Dr. Patrick Sweeney

Dr. Patrick Sweeney

Professor of the Practice of Management & Executive Director, Allegacy Center for Leadership and Character

Patrick Sweeney is an experienced senior leader and scholar who is the Executive Director of the School of Business' Center for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University. The Center's primary missions are to: integrate ethical leadership and character strengths into all courses and School of Business' activities; conduct cutting-edge research that advances the understanding of developing ethical leaders and organization; and provide consulting and executive education. Pat is a Professor of the Practice of Management and has taught in the MBA, Masters in Accountancy, Masters in Business Analytics, Masters in Management, and the undergraduate programs. His research focuses on the study of leader development, character-based leadership, building and leading high performing teams, leadership in dangerous contexts, and organizational adaptation. His work has been published in prominent academic and practitioner journals. Pat was recognized as a 2017 thought leader in the area of trust by Trust Across America.

Prior to his appointment at Wake Forest University, he served over 29 years in the United States Army and retired as a Colonel. Pat served in leadership assignments both in the United States and abroad to include: Deputy and Acting Head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, the United States Military Academy at West Point; Director, Eisenhower Leader Development Graduate Education Program, a joint venture with Columbia University, at West Point; Liaison Officer for the Commanding General of the 101st Airborne Division, Operation Iraqi Freedom I; Commander of a 450-person artillery unit and Chief of Staff of a 1600-person organization within the 101st Airborne Division. He also served as the Executive Officer and Researcher for West Point's Center for Leadership and Organization Research.

Dr. Sweeney has experience creating and implementing programs at the institutional level and is the primary architect of the Domain of the Human Spirit, the main character dimension for West Point's Leader Development System; a foundational dimension in the U.S. Army's Comprehensive Soldier Fitness Program; and a main pillar in the Department of Defense's Total Force Fitness Program. He also played a lead role in the refinement, expansion, and organizational integration of the West Point Leader Development System.

Dr. Sweeney led a team of 62 prominent international scholars and practitioners to produce the book entitled, Leadership in Dangerous Situations: A Handbook for the Armed Forces, Emergency Services, and First Responders. He has also published 34 articles and chapters on leadership across an array of academic and military professional publications, including: American Psychologist, Applied Psychology: An International Review, Armed Forces Journal, Consulting Psychologist Journal, Journal of Applied Social Psychology and various other professional journals.

Dr. Sweeney combines his scholarly work and 35 years of practical leadership experience to enhance the education development of leaders at all levels and backgrounds.

Dr. Sweeney's expertise is in the areas of leader and leadership development, building and leading high performing teams, leading organizational change, leadership in dangerous contexts, and behavioral ethics.

  • Ph D, University of North Carolina (Psychology (social)) - 2005
  • MA, United States Army Command and General Staff College (Military Arts and Science) - 1995
  • MA, University of North Carolina (Psychology (social)) - 1992
  • BS, United States Military Academy (General Engineering) - 1982

Research Interests

  • Trust and Exemplary Leadership
  • Character Development
  • Organization Development
  • Leadership in Dangerous Contexts

Teaching Interests

  • Leadership
  • Leader Development
  • Business Ethics
  • Organizational Behavior and Change

  • 2017 - 2017 Top Thought Leaders, Trust Across America
  • 2011 - Legion of Merit, Department of Defense
  • 2011 - Teaching Excellence Award, Department of Behavioral Science and Leadership, United States Military Academy
  • 2003 - Bronze Star, Department of Defense
  • 2002 - Ancient Order of Saint Barbara , Department of the Army