New players can often appear seemingly out of nowhere with new ways or products to serve our market. As as result, today's managements may find ourselves in a "new" business environment where we are unfamiliar with the keys to strategic success. While our team sorts through an exploding amount of data searching for understanding and strategic responses, as leaders we are challenged to make sense from all of it and define the parameters of a path forward.

How do we organize to respond? Do we need some new team members? Do we as leaders have gaps in our own competencies to be successful that need to be addressed? Changing the way we respond, or even think about things, will require some real "soul searching" and likely change in some of our behaviors.

These are the kinds of challenges that we address in our programs in The Leadership Center. Leadership is largely about behavior and changing, modifying, improving our behavioral skills is a learn, practice accompanied by accountability.

Connect with the Assistant Executive Director

Clinical Professor, Executive Education
Assistant Executive Director
(972) 883-4785

Keith Thurgood is the Assistant Director of UT Dallas’ Leadership Center, a Clinical Professor of Healthcare Leadership and Management and an Adjunct Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship. 

In addition to his responsibilities at UT Dallas, Dr. Thurgood is a faculty member and senior advisor for the Thayer Leader Development Group (West Point, New York) and is a managing partner with Pioneer Partnership Development Group focused on strategy development, operational excellence and leadership development. 

Dr. Thurgood brings a unique perspective on leadership, operations management and healthcare having served at senior level leadership positions in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Most recently Dr. Thurgood was selected as the interim CEO leading the Department of Defense Community Services reform effort. This initiative included the organizational and operational transformation of the global retail and grocery business units, lodging, morale and recreation facilities supporting all global branches of the military. He worked with senior Department of Defense leadership, Congress and other stakeholders to drive the largest transformation effort in a generation.                          

Dr. Thurgood served as the CEO of The Exchange, formerly the Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES), the United States Department of Defense’s $10 billion global for-profit retail enterprise and he has held executive positions with Frito-Lay and PepsiCo.  He was also President and CEO of Overseas Military Sales Corporation and Senior Vice President of Operations for Sam’s Club.

In addition to his civilian positions, he has over 28 years of Army service, both active and reserve.  Major General Thurgood served as the Deputy Commanding General and Chief of Staff, United States Army Reserve in Washington, D.C.  His last assignment prior to his retirement was the Deputy, Business Transformation, Office of the Secretary of the Army.

Dr. Thurgood serves on numerous not-for profit boards and is an executive board member of the Boy Scouts of America (Dallas, Texas).  

Dr. Thurgood holds a BA in Political Science from Brigham Young University, a MS in Strategic Studies from the Army War College, a MS in Business Administration from Boston University and a PhD in Organizational Development and Leadership from Capella University. He is a frequent nationally recognized speaker on leadership and operations management.