We’re on a mission to transform the way leaders mentor and develop the next generation.

Our Mission & Vision

A national security community without peer Innovative national security leaders and organizations that leverage inclusive cultures and cognitive diversity

Our Pillars

Develop Leaders

Provide executive leadership development education to recruit/retain diverse talent and leverage inclusive cultures

Change the Narrative

Highlight the critical contributions of women and other underrepresented groups to our national security

Build Alliances

Cultivate relationships with individuals & organizations across all industries that are advancing inclusion and innovation

Our leaders agree

"Now more than ever, our nation needs the best leaders available to protect and advance our national security, both men and women. They cannot rely solely on hard work to achieve success. They need mentors and role models, both men and women, to guide them and develop their leadership skills through experience and education. PROMOTE fills this critical gap."

- The Honorable Michèle Flournoy, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Co-Founder of the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and Co-Founder/Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors

"SOCOM needs diversity, we need people of color, we need men, we need women to help us solve problems that we deal with today."

- General Joseph Votel, Commanding General, CENTCOM & Former Commanding General, SOCOM

"Leaders must actively seek mentors."

- General Ray Thomas, III, Commanding General, SOCOM


Now more than ever, organizations require diversity, equity, and inclusion to be successful. Diversity goes beyond race and gender to include age (generation), socio-economic status, education, experience, ethnicity, religion, language, disability status, political perspective, job function, cognition, and numerous other specific differences. To create a culture of creativity and innovation, organizations should move beyond a sole focus on visible diversity and incorporate cognitive diversity (how individuals think and engage with new, uncertain, complex situations) based on different attributes and experiences. If diversity is about representation, inclusion is about leveraging that representation. However, inclusion is not an automatic output of diversity. It is a consequence of the climate (day-to-day organizational artifacts, atmosphere, and undertones) and the culture (long-term policies, practices, and deeply held belief systems) that allow people to feel connected, valued, and welcomed. Similar to other sectors of society, the military is diverse at the junior ranks but becomes increasingly homogeneous through the leadership ranks. Thirty years of extensive research from neurology and social/cognitive psychology reveal that biases are real and have an impact on organizational culture, from who we hire to who we develop, promote, and retain. Each service component has its own policies and manuals on mentoring and professional development programs intended to guide servicemembers throughout their careers. Yet biases often result in leaders mentoring and developing those who remind them of themselves. This can lead to hazardous group think and toxic culture, resulting in sub-optimal performance both at home and deployed in dangerous and demanding conditions. Additionally, vast and varying research shows that a lack of mentorship and leadership development, particularly for women and other under-represented groups, contributes to reduced retention. Men and women with effective, inclusive mentorship and leadership skills promote a stronger and more diverse national security sector. Men and women leading together ensures diversity of thought, varied problem-solving skills, and unique experiences to meet the nation's challenges.

I enjoyed the panel discussion because of the content...but just as important was the generous amount of time between speakers that most people used to network. The discussion on diversity of thought was relevant and something I would like to implement at my organization. I loved the event. I feel energized about the military again!

- Army Captain following the "Future of the Force" event at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum

Thanks to PROMOTE for the wonderful analysis and presentation you gave us at our offsite. The entire process was very professional and timely, and I know a lot of hard work went into it. [The team] expressed the consensus that this was very helpful for the command to reveal truths, guide discussion, and bring us closer. My goal of awareness and recalibration was met and we discussed actual deliverables that will come out of this offsite. In short - a big win for us.

- O-6 level Command Sergeant Major, U.S. Army

Nicole Alexander and Lyla Kohistany were excellent speakers at the 2018 Global SOF Symposium - U.S. Their contributions to the panel discussion titled "Women in SOF" were authentic, thought-provoking, and absolutely necessary. The Global SOF Foundation is proud to support the important work of PROMOTE.

- Meaghan Keeler-Pettigrew, COO, Global Special Operations Foundation

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