Michael B O'Leary


Teaching Professor


MSB Faculty
General profile



+1 202-687-9257


554 Hariri Building


Michael Boyer O’Leary graduated from MIT’s Sloan School of Management (PhD, Organization Studies) and Duke University (BA, Public Policy). Previously, he was on the faculty at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management and worked as a management consultant (Coopers & Lybrand) and policy analyst (Pelavin Associates, now American Institutes of Research).

Prof. O’Leary’s research and teaching deals with high performing teams, young leaders, multitasking, multiteaming. His work has been published by MIT Press and in the Academy of Management Review, IESE Insight, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Organization Science, MIS Quarterly, Organization Studies, and Academy of Management’s Best Paper Proceedings.

Prof. O’Leary teaches classes on leadership, organizational change, organizational behavior, and teams at the undergraduate, MBA, EMBA, GEMBA, PhD, and executive levels. At the executive level, he has worked with the World Bank, IFC, OPIC, Booz Allen, Deloitte, the Irish Times, Abengoa, Telvent, Josoor Institute/World Cup 2022, Inter-American Development Bank, AACSB, INSEAD's Global Leadership Development Program, and a variety of other organizations.

He is co-lead academic advisor for the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, and academic director of leadership development programs for AARP, Community Connections of DC, and ESADE's Executive Master in Healthcare Organization Leadership (EMHOL) program's Georgetown module, among others.

He has won multiple teaching awards at both Boston College and Georgetown. At Georgetown, he led the effort to re-design the undergraduate Management major and received the 2010 Dean’s Distinguished Service Award. At Boston College, he helped design a first-year introductory course in leadership, management, and ethics for all incoming undergraduate students, and helped re-design the MBA and undergraduate leadership and management majors.

O’Leary is or has been a member of the executive committee of the Academy of Management’s Organizational Communications and Information Systems Division, the Interdisciplinary Network of Group Researchers (INGRoup) and Harvard’s GroupsGroup since their founding. He serves (or has served) as an expert reviewer for three National Science Foundation grant review panels -- Innovation and Organizational Sciences (IOS), Cyber-Enabled Discovery and Innovation (CDI) program, and Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE). He also has reviewed for more than two dozen academic journals.

Prior to his academic career, Prof. O’Leary worked as a management consultant for Coopers & Lybrand, where his practice focused on higher education, medical, and non-profit institutions. Before that, he served as a policy analyst in the Washington, DC office of Pelavin Associates Inc., now part of American Institutes of Research. At Coopers & Lybrand, his clients included major research universities and medical centers (e.g., Columbia, Georgetown, Stanford, Tufts, Boston University, and the Universities of Pennsylvania and Minnesota), as well as several large nonprofit organizations (e.g., the Educational Testing Service and the NCAA). His consulting clients were all undergoing major changes in their information technology systems and dealing with the strategic, organizational, and behavioral implications of those new systems. At Pelavin Associates, his clients included the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, the National Center for Education Statistics, the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Bureau of Prisons.

Prof. O’Leary served as a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees from 1991 to 1995 and the Academic Advisory Board of Creative Realities Inc., an innovation consultancy. He grew up and attended public schools in Stony Brook and Setauket, New York, lives with his wife and two children in Bethesda, Maryland. He plays soccer, tennis, and racquetball; is an avid fan of college basketball; and loves to travel, ski, and cook.


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  • Ph.D. (2002) Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Organization Studies
  • B.A. (1991) Duke University, Public Policy


  • German (speak)