Chad Cardani-Trollinger

  • Interim Director, Leadership Studies
  • Assistant Teaching Professor



346 Carver Hall
Ames IA


Leadership Philosophy: What leadership is to me: Leadership is the desire and ability to positively influence others, to help them get from where they are, to where they want to be.

Chad earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Speech at Buena Vista University (1996), a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Iowa State University (2000) and his Ph.D. in Education at Drake University (2020). His dissertation, Preserving the Academy: Staff and Faculty Outlooks on the Future of Higher Education reflects his interest in and commitment to higher education. Chad currently serves as the interim director of Iowa State University’s Leadership Studies program and leverages 25 years of dynamic and diverse professional experiences, including Higher Education Administration, Higher Education Faculty, K-12 Special Education, Training and Development, Real Estate, Entrepreneurship, and Chamber of Commerce work. As an educator, Chad is passionate about helping others develop their own leadership knowledge, skills, and abilities so that they have the ability to positively influence themselves and others. He leads with thoughtful and purposeful reflection, intentional inclusion of the widest variety of voices possible, and by doing what he says he will do. When Chad is not in the classroom, he enjoys spending time with his husband John and their two furbabies, international travel, home improvement, and trying his hand at making things he should probably just buy.