George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Chief Learning Officer

"In today’s dynamic business environment, workplace learning has become a key lever for success. And with that shift, the traditional role of the chief learning officer is changing. No longer are CLOs responsible just for training—making skills-based and compliance-oriented courses available to employees and perhaps running leadership-development programs. Instead, they’re embracing a more powerful role in which they reshape capabilities and organizational culture. We call this new type of leader the transformer CLO.” - 
Harvard Business Review - Abbie Lundberg and George Westerman

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Participants who complete the five-month program will be prepared for a leadership role at the executive level; possessing the knowledge and skills to align with the organization’s business leaders; design an integrated talent strategy to attract, develop, retain, and advance the talent needed to meet the business objectives; sustain a productive workforce for the organization; and add significant value to the organization. Network with faculty, subject matter experts, practitioners, and other participants.

Dates: October 19, 2021 – March 3, 2022

Cost: $8,500

Delivery: Hybrid - online and in-person at Mason Arlington Campus

Who Should Attend

The ideal candidate has...

  • A minimum of six or more years of experience in the learning space.
  • Instructional systems design expertise.
  • Experience managing and facilitating learning programs.
  • Solid communications skills.
  • An undergraduate degree or equivalent experience.

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Graduates of the CLO Program are able to:

  • Implement strategic initiatives with increased confidence in personal leadership abilities and organizational knowledge.
  • Demonstrate a capacity to think strategically, establishing a learning and talent development plan that supports the delivery of an organization’s objectives and strategic plan.
  • Develop leadership practices that are grounded in solid organizational acumen.
  • Communicate clearly and effectively with professionals at all levels to articulate the role of learning and talent function as an agent of organizational change.
  • Manage processes for assessing talent development opportunities.
  • Engage the talent management team and drive performance outcomes through coaching, mentoring, and sharing ideas.

Badge Chief Learning Officer OL

Participants who complete the program will be given a Credly Chief Learning Officer Executive Certificate badge.

Constructs of Knowledge

  • Strategy and Strategic Thinking
  • Mission Impact and the Future of the Organization
  • Operations, Financial, and Regulatory
  • Leadership and Culture
  • Learning and Development Process, Technologies, and Learning Analytics


1605192777970Maurine Kwende, Senior ISD/Researcher at FXUA, CLO ‘18 

“One of the exciting things about the CLO program is [that] participants are given the chance to identify a learning problem in their organization...with feedback from the program participants [to] create short-term and long-term goals. As a result, I put in place a strategic plan from inception, created the mission, vision, and values of the learning function that I led. To date, I still use the materials from this program and have developed great relationships with the participants. I am currently a Ph.D. student in the Learning Technologies Design Research program at GMU.”

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Jeanette Staton, Professional Development Training Specialist, U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, CLO ‘20

“The curriculum, assignments, and virtual instructor-led sessions were engaging, thought-provoking, and ideal for this busy professional. The program expanded my knowledge in learning and development from an executive perspective and provided me with the tools to function and communicate on a C-Suite level. The [CLO] program has enhanced my industry knowledge, provided me with best practices, and developed my skills as a Professional Development Training Specialist. I have expanded my network in the training and development field and made a few friends. The knowledge I gained from the CLO program will benefit my agency and prepare me for my goal of becoming a Chief Learning Officer.”


benscoterG.M. “Bud” Benscoter, Ph.D.

Bud has a Master’s and Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Design from Penn State, where he taught for 20 years in both the Instructional Systems and M.B.A. programs. He received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Smeal College of Management in 1997 and 2005. Bud also taught leadership communication for the Wharton School and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He has also taught instructional design and organizational development for Boise State University and George Washington University. He currently teaches Business Strategy for Wilmington (DE) University’s MBA program as well as Talent Measurement and Analytics for George Mason University’s Chief Learning Officer certification program. He is the co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management published in 2012 by Pfeiffer. He co-authored a graduate textbook called Performance Consulting published by Pfeiffer in December 2013 and is the co-author of the 5th edition of the industry classic Managing the Instructional Design Process published in 2015. Bud is the owner of GMB Performance Group, a company specializing in organizational development, human performance improvement, and training. Bud has nearly 30 years of experience in training design, performance consulting, leadership communication, marketing, sales, and organization development.

NadaNada Dabbagh, Ph.D.

Nada Dabbagh is Professor and Director of the Division of Learning Technologies in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason University. She has a Ph.D. in Instructional Systems Design from The Pennsylvania State University and a Master’s of Science in Math Methodology and Operations Research from Columbia University. Dr. Dabbagh teaches graduate courses in instructional design, e-learning pedagogy, and cognition and technology in the Learning Design and Technology (LDT) master’s program and the Learning Technologies Design Research (LTDR) doctoral program. Dr. Dabbagh’s research focuses on the pedagogical ecology of technology-mediated learning environments with the goal of understanding the social and cognitive consequences of learning systems design. Specific research interests include online learning, digital pedagogy, and personal learning environments (PLEs). Dr. Dabbagh has an extensive publication record which includes six books and over 100 research papers and book chapters. Her latest book titled Meaningful Online Learning: Integrating Strategies, Activities, and Learning Technologies for Effective Designs was published in 2019 by Routledge. Dr. Dabbagh has presented her research at more than 100 scholarly venues participating as keynote and invited speaker at local, regional, national, and international conferences. She has also facilitated numerous learning technologies design and development projects that led to the award-winning Learning Asset Technology Integration Support Tool and the TechSelect Decision Aide mobile application.

kippenKimo Kippen

Kimo Kippen is a native of Hawaii as well as a speaker and advocate for learning. A former executive at Hilton and Marriott, he has also been recognized by CLO Magazine as CLO of the year 2015. Chairman of ATD - 2007; chairman emeritus of APIASF; Program Director for The Conference Board; advisor/board member of DAU, CAEL, Study.com, GP Strategies, Skillsoft & CTR. Adjunct professor at CUA, GMU, and Strategic Education Inc. Kimo has an M.S. from RIT, a B.S. from UH, the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland's Post Graduate Program.


Dr. Dave Rude

Dr. Dave Rude is the Director for Talent Management and Chief Learning Officer for Parallax Advanced Research, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to Advancing the Science of Intelligent TeamingTM. A native of the Washington, DC area, Dave had a 40-year career in the Federal government (to include the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Education), with experience in talent development, organizational leadership, adult learning, consulting, strategic human capital management, organizational development, financial management, and international relations. He has been a Chief Learning Officer (CLO) for 13 years. 

He is co-founder of a start-up consulting firm, EI Org Consulting (www.eiorgconsulting.com), a woman and veteran-owned small business dedicated to creating healthy organizations through emotional intelligence. Since 2014, Dave has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Louisville, George Mason University, and the George Washington University.

David Vance CLODave Vance, Ph.D.

Dr. David Vance is the Executive Director of the Center for Talent Reporting, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation and implementation of standards for human capital measurement, reporting, and management. He is the former President of Caterpillar University, which he founded in 2001. Prior to this position, Dave was Chief Economist and Head of the Business Intelligence Group at Caterpillar Inc. with responsibility for economic outlooks, sales forecasts, market research, competitive analysis, and business information systems.

He was named 2006 Chief Learning Officer (CLO) of the Year by Chief Learning Officer magazine. Caterpillar was ranked number one in the 2005 ASTD Best Awards and was named Best Overall Corporate University in 2004 by both Corporate University Xchange and the International Quality and Productivity Center.

Dave teaches in the Ph.D. programs for human capital development at Bellevue University and the University of Southern Mississippi and in the executive education program at George Mason. He serves on the Metrics Working Group for the International Organization for Standardization and is also an Intermittent Chief Learning Officer for Defense Acquisition University. He has published two books: The Business of Learning (2nd edition, 2017), and Measurement Demystified (with Peggy Parskey, 2021).

Shahron Williams van RooijWilliams va Rooij

Dr. Williams van Rooij is an associate professor in the Learning Design and Technology program at George Mason University. Her passion for Learning and Development was fueled by more than 20 years of corporate experience that included management positions in learning technology solution development, software marketing, and market research in the financial and advertising industries. Dr. Williams van Rooij was a key contributor to the creation of the CLO program and has been teaching in the program since its inception. She has published peer-reviewed articles about executive education and is also a Learning Elite judge for the CLO Learning Elite Awards Program.