Pat Tillman Foundation announces the Tillman Leadership Institute

Press Releases, News | 01/05/2023

Headed by education expert Colleen Reaney, TLI to bring Tillman Scholars’ leadership lessons to corporations, universities, NPOs, and government agencies

CHICAGO — The Pat Tillman Foundation (PTF) today announced the Tillman Leadership Institute (TLI), a program that provides leadership development programs and executive coaching to corporations, student athletes, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. TLI will be led by Colleen Reaney, former director of Loyola University Chicago’s executive education program. 

“As we center our approach to training and development on Pat Tillman’s example of servant leadership, as exemplified by our Tillman Scholars, I’m excited to transition my 20 years of higher education knowledge, research, and teaching experience to close the leadership gap in today’s workforce,” said Reaney. 

Reaney, a Chicagoland native, founded Loyola University Chicago’s Executive and Professional Education Center and was named to Crain’s Notable Women in Higher Education in 2018. She will finish her doctorate at Loyola University Chicago next year, with a dissertation focused on external partnership engagement with higher education institutions. 

Built with research on the leadership gap from McKinsey & Company’s Chicago Community Consulting Team, as well as financial support from the National Football League, TLI’s programming will help leaders at all levels make an impact at their organizations, in their communities, and in the world at large. 

TLI’s curriculum will draw on six leadership attributes inspired by Pat Tillman’s life — creativity, tenacity, inclusivity, caring, decisiveness, and passion — with content and curriculum led by Reaney and facilitated by Tillman Scholars. The institute will offer programs to three audiences: high potential early to mid-career professionals, executive leadership, and student athletes, as well as customized leadership and management training. 

“Investing in the mission of the Tillman Leadership Institute helps us fulfill our promise to honor, empower, and connect with service members, veterans, and their families through Salute to Service,” said Anna Isaacson, SVP for Corporate Social Responsibility at the NFL. “By empowering Tillman Scholars to share their hard-earned leadership lessons with organizations throughout the country, we continue to carry on Pat Tillman’s legacy of action and service.”

PTF piloted its student athlete program at Brown University in early 2022 and will expand the program in January 2023 to focus on high potential professionals at Bank of America, Clear, Directors Mortgage, State Street, DE Shaw, TEKsystems, the USO, and Wounded Warrior Project. These sessions will be facilitated by a Tillman Scholar matched to the cohort, based on their professional and leadership experiences. There are now more than 800 Tillman Scholars with extensive experience as leaders, including entrepreneurs, politicians, educators, and healthcare professionals.

“The veterans and military spouses who make up our Tillman Scholar community bring valuable skills and talents to not just fill the leadership gap our country faces, but to inspire others to lead like Pat led,” said Dan Futrell, CEO and 2011 Tillman Scholar. “Organizations who understand that people are their core asset, and that investing in leadership development drives outsized returns, will benefit from the diversity of experiences within our Tillman Scholar community.”

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About The Tillman Leadership Institute 

Grounded in the leadership embodied by Tillman Scholars, the Tillman Leadership Institute is a strategic initiative of the Pat Tillman Foundation that empowers professionals, students, and global citizens to lead through action and develop teams and communities that do the same. 

About the Pat Tillman Foundation

The Pat Tillman Foundation identifies remarkable veterans and military spouses as the next generation of leaders and helps them scale their impact as they enter their next chapter of service beyond self through academic scholarships, lifelong leadership development, and a global community of peers and supporters. For more information on the Pat Tillman Foundation and the impact of the Tillman Scholars, visit