Kimberly A. Carlson

Assistant Professor of Practice/Business Leadership Center Director
Headshot of Kimberly Carlson
2103 Pamplin (0233)
880 West Campus Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061


  • Ph.D., Virginia Tech, 2011
  • M.S.W., Florida State University, 2000
  • B.S., Psychology, 1997
  • B.A., Theatre, 1997


Kimberly A. Carlson is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Management and the Director of the Business Leadership Center in the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. Previously, Dr. Carlson served as director of the Business Diversity Center in the Pamplin College of Business; as adjunct faculty for the Center for Public Administration and Policy and the Political Science Department; and as the Assistant Director for Presidential Global Scholars, a semester-abroad program, and Fulbright Program Adviser in University Honors at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Carlson’s teaching and research experiences include leadership, organizational and workforce development in national and local organizations, governments, and universities. Particularly, her dissertation research was focused on succession planning processes in university-wide research institutes in public, doctoral universities with very high research activity.

Holding a B.S. in Psychology and B.A. in Theatre Arts with a minor in Sociology from Virginia Tech and an M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work and a certificate in Arts and Community Practice from Florida State University, Dr. Carlson has held a variety of positions related to community engagement, strategic planning, and arts education. Before returning to Virginia Tech, she worked as a director for community arts and arts education programs at various arts organizations in both Oklahoma City, OK and Pensacola, FL. Since returning to Virginia Tech, she completed three certificates – Nonprofit and Nongovernmental Management, Future Professoriate, and Higher Education Administration – and has worked on the Arts Initiative for Virginia Tech through the Office of the Senior Fellow for Resource Development and with the Long Range Planning effort through the Office of the Senior Fellow for International Advancement. She also served as the Chief Justice of the Graduate Honor System and as Editor-in-Chief of Public Knowledge Journal.

Currently, Dr. Carlson serves as a VTEngage Faculty Fellow, community adviser on the Distribution Committee at the Community Foundation of the New River Valley. She advises two student organization. The Leadership Development Team (LDT), which coordinates Pamplin’s Annual Student Leadership Conference and conducts leadership training workshops for student groups across campus. Project Esperanza is a student organization affiliated with the Project Esperanza nonprofit in the Dominican Republic. They help raise awareness and funds to support educational initiatives for the Haitian population living in the Dominican Republic.