John A. DeFlaminis

Executive Director, Penn Center for Educational Leadership
Adjunct Professor of Education

Academic Associate

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

Phone: 215-573-0586


Professional Biography

Dr. DeFlaminis completed his Ph.D. in 1975 at the University of Oregon and its Center for Educational Policy and Management with special areas of concentration in administration and organizational psychology. His research involvement in the Center focused on team teaching and leadership development.

Throughout his career, his teaching has ranged from elementary through university work. After completing his doctorate, he taught for four years at the University of Louisville and assisted in the development of a doctoral program for school leaders. During that period, he also wrote and administered several federally funded and state-funded proposals targeted to leadership development and delivery of training to field administrators.

Prior to joining Penn’s Graduate School of Education, Dr. DeFlaminis was superintendent of the Radnor Township School district for 17 years. Through those years, he provided leadership in the direction and development of extensive planning processes in the district, including strategic plans, capital improvement plans, comprehensive staff development plans, curriculum development plans, and district-wide technology plans. He also developed extensive evaluation processes at all levels, including administrative and teacher performance appraisal systems, and extensive program evaluations in six major areas including management services. Throughout his tenure at Radnor, his priority was the continued development of an excellent education system. His priorities included the development and implementation of a standards-based system in all curricular areas with international benchmark emphases and comprehensive performance assessments from kindergarten through grade 12. Comprehensive professional development and program development processes emphasizing state-of-the-art training and curricular updating occurred in all program areas with the addition of peer coaching, enhancement of thinking skills, and other important supports for a strong academic program.

Dr. DeFlaminis has consulted with the U.S. Department of Education, several state departments of education, rural and urban school districts, administrative organizations, private business organizations, and the Kettering Foundation. He has conducted hundreds of workshops and delivered keynote speeches in many areas, but especially those related to key management processes, such as motivation, leadership, and change. Since 1987, he has served as an adjunct faculty member of several colleges and universities, including the University of Pennsylvania. He has also served on and led several statewide organizations, including the Pennsylvania Educational Research Association, the Council of Organizations in Education, the School Districts in Support of Excellence and Equity, and the Council of Superintendents of Delaware County. He has been a board member in many organizations, including the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators, the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Cabrini College, the Main Line Chamber of Commerce, and the Haverford School.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. DeFlaminis’s primary interests and projects include providing leadership for the Penn Center for Educational Leadership; conducting training in organizational process areas, especially motivation and leadership; advising students on dissertations; coaching new administrators; and working with GSE faculty and programs to bring their work to the field. With funding from the Annenberg Foundation, he is currently working with the School District of Philadelphia and 16 schools on a $5 million project on distributed leadership. He also is collaborating with GSE’s Office of International Programs and engages in training work with China, Dubai, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, and Thailand.