Strategic Plan

Our Mission and Vision


The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College connects aspiring young leaders with public policy experts to discover their passion and tackle society’s most challenging issues. We are nonpartisan, inspired by President Eisenhower’s approach of engaging diverse people and ideas to find common ground and take action.


The Eisenhower Institute at Gettysburg College prepares young adults for a lifetime of public, private and nonprofit service. They will lead with integrity, be responsible global citizens, and inspire meaningful action.



Democracy is embedded in the fabric of our nation. The U.S. Constitution grants power to citizens through elected, representative government. It is our right and responsibility to educate and provide opportunities for people to practice civic engagement across political divides. We are in a unique place to do so. Surrounded by Eisenhower's legacy and Gettysburg's battlefields, we are reminded that strengthening democracy is part of the unfinished work that President Lincoln challenged us to accomplish.


We embrace a rigorous pursuit of facts. Facts are nonpartisan. They require context and must be verified. We can debate what facts mean but not what they are. We value different perspectives and interpretations based on complete, factual information.


We recognize what President Eisenhower called the “transcendent value of the individual and the dignity of all people.” Respect for all – despite ability, social status, intellect or economic power – is a powerful and necessary foundation for finding solutions. We create a culture of respect by teaching people how to have civil conversations and engage constructively.

Diversity & Inclusion

We solve problems better and more equitably by embracing personal, professional, cultural, political, and philosophical differences. We respect perspectives and practice inclusion by empowering people to share their thoughts and lived experiences, and considering them in our work.


A world full of great ideas without action falls short of its potential. Thinking about change isn’t enough. We will provide experiences that allow young leaders to develop new ideas and present them to decision makers who can take action. We want students to deeply engage in public policy, to get their hands dirty here and now. Taking action as undergraduates will help students identify what matters to them, and how they will inspire change and make a meaningful impact on the world around them.


President Eisenhower made difficult decisions and took full responsibility for the outcome. We follow his example, taking individual and shared ownership of our choices without excuse. Mistakes are part of the human and educational experience. We will use them as opportunities to learn, grow and improve.  


Expand Washington Opportunities

25% of GBC students from a variety of academic majors participate in EIDC programs and events.
Students conduct policy projects and research with professionals and faculty in DC.
EI’s DC opportunities are among the top 3 reasons that students attend Gettysburg College.
Washington professionals connect regularly with EI to hear new ideas from aspiring young leaders.
Employers, especially GBC alumni, seek EI graduates for entry-level policy positions.

Grow External Audience

EI events and communications attract a diverse external audience of policymakers, government officials, nonprofit leaders, government relations professionals, philanthropists, academics and members of the public interested in major policy issues.
External audience for in-person and virtual events increases by 50%.
Social media following and engagement double.
Email contacts and engagement double.

Strengthen Student Programs

Experts, speakers and participants reflect a wide variety of personal, professional, philosophical and academic diversity.
Student program topics are flexible and adjust to reflect the most pressing current policy issues.
Experiential learning is more hands-on than observational.
Most program leaders are non-resident experts, with significant reputation and experience.
Students choose EI to fulfill co-curricular pathways.
EI actively collaborates with faculty, and faculty enthusiastically promote the Institute.

Ensure Organizational Effectiveness

EI has a larger staff to support expanded programming.
Travel planning and financial functions are outsourced.
Operating budget and salary pool balance needs for dual locations.
All student programs are endowed.
Advisory groups provide strategic guidance and financial support.