Our Founders

Owen Jacobs

owen-jacobs-1Areas of Expertise
Owen has been involved in and done research in leadership for five decades. His research on general officer leadership validated Stratified Systems leadership theory in the U. S. armed forces, and shaped strategic leader development at both the U.S. Army War College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University. He created the developmental assessment program now in use at the Industrial College.

While at the Industrial College, he held the Leo Cherne Distinguished Visiting Professor of Behavioral Science Chair. There, he taught courses in Strategic Leadership, and Creative and Critical Thinking.

Dr. Jacobs received the B.A. and M.A. degrees from Vanderbilt University, and the Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.

Publications and Honors
He is the author of Leadership and Exchange in Formal Organizations, and Strategic Leadership: The Competitive Edge as well as eleven book chapters, 28 reports, and other articles. His most significant recent publication was as leadership section editor and chapter contributor (with Jaques) in Handbook of Military Psychology.

He was the year 2000 recipient of the John C. Flanagan Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association Division of Military Psychology.

Michael B. Friedman

189_FP_090426_pp_SmallAreas of Expertise
Michael has more than thirty years of experience in designing, managing, and implementing global initiatives in Talent Management, Leadership Development, and Organizational Design. His clients include Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurial firms from a wide range of industries including manufacturing, utilities, high tech, financial services, health care, and consumer products. He has served as an advisor to numerous Boards of Directors, consulting on executive assessment and selection, and CEO Succession.

Michael was previously a partner in a start-up financial services firm, with positions in marketing and business development. After the firm was sold to a NYSE company, he has continued to consult with global executives on post-merger integration, talent, and design issues.

Michael received his undergraduate degree from Emory University and an M.A. in Economics from the New School for Social Research.

Daniel L. Smith

daniel-l-smith-1Areas of Expertise
Dr. Daniel L. ‘Dan’ Smith consults with business and non-profit organizations specializing in strategic organization design, analysis of work processes, and development of leadership systems at both the enterprise and work-unit levels. He provides executive assessment and coaching support for clients, and has developed and utilizes advanced proprietary methods for organization structure analytics and talent pool development.

Management Consulting
Dan has completed projects in the IT, Public Utility, Manufacturing, Government, and Service sectors focusing on …

  • Business Analytics
  • Executive Coaching and Talent Development
  • Organization Design and Change Management
  • Leadership Systems [Talent Identification, Performance Management, and Compensation Systems]


Dan brings to his consulting engagements broad practical experience as an executive, specialist professional and project manager. He held positions of Industrial Psychologist, Management Development Administrator, Corporate Director of Human Resource Development, Manager of IT Quality and Training, and General Manager of IT Organization Development at Southern California Edison Company. As a consultant and later VP, CIO he lead a comprehensive reorganization of the IT function at Commonwealth Industries in Louisville, KY, and he managed the Business Integration function at DecisionOne Corporation in Philadelphia.

University Teaching, Research and Continuing Education

Integrated with his consulting practice, Dan also has been active as a graduate faculty member. He was Associate Professor and Director of the M.A. Program in Human Resource Development at Azusa Pacific University. At the University of Idaho, Dan was an Associate Professor of Human Resources, Executive Director of the Public Utility Executive Program and Director of UofI’s Center for Business Development and Education. Most recently, he was Associate Professor of Management and Director of the M.B.A. Program at Eastern University in Philadelphia. He has also developed and taught industry-specific executive development courses for the Edison Electric Institute, the University of Idaho’s Public Utility Executive Program and the United States Forest Service, among others.

Dr. Smith holds undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University, and a Ph.D. [Measurement, Statistics and Program Evaluation emphasis] from the University of Southern California. He is a licensed Industrial/Organization Psychologist and has extended his expertise through continuing education in corporate finance, managerial accounting, and quality improvement. He is professionally qualified for AACSB faculty accreditation.