Chief of Staff Executive Education at the University of Oxford

A four-day intensive residential programme designed specifically for the world’s leading chiefs of staff.

Chiefs of Staff are expected to be highly analytical, deftly diplomatic, extremely organized, aware and empathetic, and able to work swiftly and simultaneously across multiple portfolios and agendas. Yet, despite the strategic nature of the role, there exists little in the way of structured professional development delivered to global best standards – until now.

Our programme features insights from invited political, diplomatic and business leaders who share views on the core responsibilities of the role, and on emerging new challenges and responsibilities. Students participate in shared discussion and debate, enriching their perspectives and capability.

Participants are encouraged – formally and informally – to share best practices and learnings gained in their careers and current roles. At the end of the programme, students not only form strong relationships but also a network of competent peers who can act as ongoing sources of advice and professional support.


Learning Objectives

The Chief of Staff Executive Education Programme has four key learning outcomes:

1. Learn to navigate the internal and external factors affecting your organisation.
  • Anticipate challenges, identify opportunities, and develop strategies that can help your organisation to adapt and thrive in a constantly changing environment.
  • Evaluate the impact of internal factors, including organisational structure, culture, policies, processes, and resources, and external factors such as economic conditions, competition, technological advancements, the political and legal environment, and societal trends.
2. Master the skills and capabilities required to influence without formal power.
  • Navigate complex organisational dynamics and achieve goals through persuasion and collaboration, rather than relying solely on positional authority.
  • Understand how effective communication, understanding organisational culture and politics, building networks and relationships, and having the ability to negotiate and compromise can be used to influence.
3. Be equipped with tools and approaches to overcome the most pressing challenges faced by senior leaders.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of various leadership methodologies, and learn how to adapt and modify them to align with your organisation’s priorities.
  • Enhance your ability to advise your Principal on key challenges such as organisational change, strategic planning, risk management, talent management, and crisis management.
4. Sharpen your capacity to identify and prioritise key areas to advise your Principal.
  • Obtain the skillset to provide insight and guidance to your Principal so that they can make informed decisions and develop effective strategies that align with the organisation’s goals and objectives.
  • Learn innovative approaches to information gathering, advising, taking the organisational pulse, and perfecting peripheral vision.

Read Our Programme Reports

The Oxford programme reports capture a flavour of the discussions held during the programme and highlight the key insights that emerged.

The Art of Servant Leadership

The September 2022 report focuses on the notion of balance, investigating how chiefs of staff connect the external and internal environments, and past, present, and future.

How do priorities change across sectors and organisations? What are the implications for leadership style and capabilities? Find out below.


Speaking Truth to Power

The April 2022 report interrogates the complex organisational and leadership responsibilities that chiefs of staff hold while occupying an ambiguous position in the hierarchy.

Who is the chief of staff responsible for? What infrastructure is around them? Which skills and qualities lead to success? Find out in the report below.


April 2023 Programme

  • Date: Sunday 30 April – Thursday 4 May

  • Capacity: Approx. 40 members of The Chief of Staff Association

  • Price: USD7250

For more information, please contact our membership services team at [email protected]

Exclusive to members of The Chief of Staff Association