Meet Our Director
“Leadership development is a lifelong journey—we are all works in progress. What we want to do at Johnson is accelerate your development and equip you to keep growing as a leader throughout your career."
— Jerry Rizzo, Director, Leadership Programs
Jerome (Jerry) Rizzo
serves as Director of Leadership Programs and Senior Lecturer of Management at Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. He is responsible for developing, implementing and managing all of the school's classroom and non-classroom leadership-related programming. Bloomberg Businessweek recently ranked Johnson’s Leadership Development Program #4 in the world among all business schools.
Before joining Johnson, Jerry served for 21 years as an officer and F/A-18 pilot in the United States Marine Corps. During 2012 he retired from active duty as a Lieutenant Colonel. Prior to joining the Marine Corps, Jerry worked as an assistant football coach at the University of California (Cal).
Jerry’s Marine Corps service involved numerous operational deployments to Japan, Korea, Lebanon, and Cyprus; service with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) and with the U.S. Sixth Fleet, both in the Mediterranean; peace enforcement operations in Kosovo; and combat operations throughout Iraq as part of the 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. His other duty stations included the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN); the United States Naval Academy; and Cornell University Naval ROTC, where he served as Associate Professor of Naval Science. Jerry’s military awards and honors include Marine Corps Basic School Honor Graduate, Naval Training Command Student Aviator of the Year, United States Naval Academy Varsity Coach of the Year, the Combat Action Ribbon, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals (one with Combat ‘V’), the Joint Service Commendation Medal, and three Meritorious Service Medals.
Jerry holds a BA in Economics from Williams College, an MA in Educational Administration from the University of California at Berkeley, and an MBA, with Distinction, from Cornell University.