Kristin Cullen-Lester

School of Business Fellow and Assistant Professor of Management

Kristin Cullen-Lester

Kristin Cullen-Lester is a School of Business Fellow and Assistant Professor of Management at The University of Mississippi.

Research Interests

Relational Aspects of Leadership, Complex Collaboration, Strategic Large-Scale Change


Kristin Cullen-Lester earned her Ph.D. from Auburn University in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. She worked as a research scientist and consultant at the Center for Creative Leadership, a top global provider of executive education, before returning to academia.

Her research focuses on relational aspects of leadership, including leaders’ social networks and the role of organizational networks in collective leadership, complex collaboration, and strategic, large-scale change. This work aims to improve leadership effectiveness by advancing the assessment and development of leaders and leadership systems. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, and the Academy of Management. Her research has been published in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Applied Psychology, the Journal of ManagementThe Leadership QuarterlyOrganizational Research Methods, and the Journal of Organizational Behavior.

Dr. Cullen-Lester is on multiple editorial review boards and has served as a special issue guest editor. She teaches undergraduate, MBA, doctoral students, and executive courses in leadership and organizational behavior. Kristin is also the co-founder of Network Leader, a start-up focused on helping individuals build meaningful workplace relationships. She won the early career award from the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the junior faculty research award from the School of Business Administration at the University of Mississippi.


Ph.D. Psychology, Auburn University Main Campus (2011)