Strategic Diversity
Leadership Certificate

Innovative. Customizable. Necessary.


Self. System. Strategy.

Welcome to this pivotal phase of our collective journey in advancing leaders of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). This critical leadership sector requires a unique set of skills that will promote the success and sustainability of our efforts.

Our ODLC Strategic Diversity Leadership Certificate Program combines the latest best practices in DEI training with directly applicable coursework to drive organizational change.

This curriculum focuses on three areas of DEI leadership learning objectives:


Deepening your own understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion


Understanding unique organizational dynamics


Advancing your strategy development skills with course projects designed for immediate application to your work

Let’s take DEI to the next level – together.

What You’ll Love About the Program

Cornell’s Top Minds

All courses are personally developed by Cornell faculty
and experts.

100% Online

Flexible learning that fits your life and career.

Business Impact

Learn in-demand skills and apply them immediately at work.

What You’ll Earn

  • A co-branded certificate from ODLC and Cornell University
  • 60 Professional Development Hours (6 CEUs)
  • Access to eCornell’s online Diversity Symposium, featuring multiple days of live, highly participatory sessions with faculty and experts to explore pressing diversity topics


The program has four core courses and a selected concentration of two electives. To provide you with the best experience, this certificate program affords you the unique opportunity of selecting two elective courses that meet your unique personal or professional development needs and interests. The electives are arranged in “Concentration Tracks” so that you can focus on a specific area and truly sculpt an individualized experience that is as unique as you are.

“Starting this program demonstrates how ODLC values the professional development of the members of this group. I was thrilled to hear about the opportunity to participate in this inaugural certificate program! I was even more excited to know that the program was in partnership with Cornell University.  One of the courses that I really enjoyed was the Leading Strategic Change Initiatives.

One course exercise was to identify all stakeholders involved in organizational change and to discuss how the stakeholders are influenced by change. This was a meaningful exercise because, as leaders, we/I must consider the impact of change on stakeholders at each level of the organization or unit.”

Program Manager

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist


Unconscious Bias

In this course, you will identify the perceptual and psychological processes that impact the way that individuals interact with people who are demographically dissimilar from them. You will examine the psychological processes that impact decision making within organizations and identify how professionals can design better work practices and help to more effectively leverage the potential among employees.

Becoming a Strategic Leader

Advancing to a more senior leadership role requires a specific set of skills. Senior leaders must shift away from tactical oversight into a more strategic and visionary role. This transition does not occur naturally and is often not a part of standard professional training, development, or on- boarding. The ability to adapt to this mindset is crucial and can lead to the success or failure of an individual and/or their team.

Learners will create a personal leadership strategy and build a professional network within their organization to prepare and further their roles in the organization.


In this course, professionals will “reset” their thinking around how best to understand, measure, implement, and lead successful change initiatives. Leaders will assess their current culture, map out the ideal future state, create a business strategy consistent with the organization’s vision and values, and ultimately implement the strategies or business processes needed to affect and support the organizational culture they want.

Diversity & Inclusion at Work

This course provides an overview of the evolution of the management of diversity and inclusion and presents targeted and high- involvement diversity practices. It examines diversity in the contexts of teams and leaders, and it frames diversity in terms of current business and cultural challenges.


Select one track from the options listed:


Problem Solving Using Evidence And Critical Thinking

In this course you will practice a disciplined, systematic approach to problem solving that helps ensure that your analysis of a problem is comprehensive, is based on quality, credible evidence, and takes full and fair account of the most probable counterarguments and risks.

The result of this technique is a thoroughly defensible assessment of what the problem is, what is causing it, and the most effective plan of action to address it. Finally, you will identify and frame a problem by assessing its context and develop a well-reasoned and implementable solution that addresses the underlying causes.

Making A Convincing Case for Your Solution

To make a convincing case, it is more effective to engage with the decision maker as a partner in problem-solving. This makes your counterpart feel less like someone is trying to get them to buy something and more like you are working together to bring about an outcome that is desirable to both parties. Begin by asking yourself: “What is the problem you and the decision maker are solving together?”

By the end of this course, you will have learned how to deeply analyze a problem, possible solutions, and the associated risks as well as the most persuasive and efficient ways of presenting your proposal.


Select one track from the options listed:


Fundamentals of
Organizational Design

In this course, you’ll analyze an organization in terms of how it is structured, what it does, and how it interacts within the larger ecosystem. You’ll develop ways of thinking about these categories and the language you’ll need to describe them, whether you are focusing on organizations in your immediate neighborhood or global organizations. Description is the first step.

You will also develop the analytical skills to explain, from an organizational design perspective, why some organizations function more successfully than others so you can anticipate future changes that may create a need for redesign.

Leading Strategic Change Initiatives

If you’re in charge of developing and leading strategic organizational change, there are certain tools and concepts you must be familiar with. In this course, the emphasis is on cultivating your ability to assess the need for change.
By determining why your organization or team needs change, you’ll be able to better answer questions like: What should you change and how should the change be handled?

You will explore the political and complex process of introducing change, which includes motivating others, dealing with resistance and the emotional elements of change, and finally, extending change over time and sustaining it. The course is designed to give you practice so you can initiate and carry out a change effort.


Select one track from the options listed:


Negotiation Skills

Being able to negotiate is a practical, everyday skill that is critical for anyone working within an organization. The good news is it’s a skill you can practice and master. Negotiation skills are ones you can use in any context and, once you master the behaviors of effective negotiation, you will use all the time.

In this course, developed by Cornell University’s Professor Samuel Bacharach, Ph.D., you will develop an awareness that every conversation is a negotiation, and you will identify the critical components of effective negotiation.


The key to persuasion is knowing your audience, their perspective and needs, and how your solution will benefit them. Through this course, you will understand that the bulk of the persuasion process is spent learning about your audience. Once this is achieved, you use what you’ve discovered to persuade them toward your way of thinking.

While this goes against a natural tendency to think of persuasion as being about you — your cause, your beliefs, your mission — true persuasion requires you to take your needs out of the equation. By focusing on your audience’s needs, you will more solidly persuade them and, ultimately, everyone will benefit.

Select one track from the options listed:


Fostering An
Inclusive Climate

Inclusion is a relational construct. It’s ultimately about how your team functions and performs based on the quality of social connections, openness to learning, agility, and depth of decision making. How can you foster greater inclusion within your workgroup?

Throughout these modules, you will be asked to reflect upon your own experiences and apply the lessons in the modules in your own role. You will examine the concept of climate, specifically inclusive climates, as well as learn about the specific behaviors and skills you need to demonstrate in order to be successful in shaping an inclusive climate.

Mastering The Essentials
of Influence

As a leader, you are always influencing others. However, if you’re not mindful of how you exert this influence, it could lead to unforeseen consequences for yourself and your team. Your ability to negatively impact someone’s performance, or elevate it to new levels, is powerful and should be taken seriously.

In this course, Professor Allan Filipowicz discusses how your beliefs drive your subordinates’ performance. You’ll learn how to identify negative and positive expectancy cycles and get the tools needed to reverse the former and accelerate the latter.

“As an aspiring orthopedic surgeon and entrepreneur, I believe the Strategic Diversity Leadership Certificate program has been an invaluable learning and professional development experience. These essential skills have allowed me to solve problems effectively at my current teams and will undoubtedly be instrumental in my future career as an aspiring physician-leader.”

MD/MBA Candidate

Georgetown University

Ready to Register?

Visit the eCornell enrollement site

Join the Orthopaedic Diversity Leadership Consortium