Skip directly to content


About the Program

The Distributed Leadership Program at the Penn Center for Educational Leadership was conceived and developed by Dr. John DeFlaminis with the support of Dr. James Spillane and Dr. James O’Toole and initially funded by a $4.9 million grant from the Annenberg Foundation in 2005. Without the generous support of the Foundation and the vision of its Executive Director, Dr. Gail Levin, this program would not have been possible.

The program was developed to operationalize a distributed perspective on leadership within a robust intervention in 16 Philadelphia schools designed to create a stronger leadership fabric in support of school improvement (DeFlaminis, 2009, 2011 and 2013). The DL Project was one of the first efforts in the nation to deliberately take on the challenge of designing and implementing a concerted effort to build distributed leadership capacity in a diverse set of urban schools to improve the quality of teaching and learning. The success of the project in Philadelphia schools led to a request for a $3.2 million, 4-year replication in 19 Archdiocese of Philadelphia schools in 2010.