In 2017, the Allen School partnered with ten other leading computer science programs (Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Georgia Tech, Harvard, Illinois, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and UT Austin), under the leadership of CMD-IT (the national Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT), to establish the LEAP Alliance.

The LEAP Alliance addresses the challenge of increasing the diversity of the professoriate in computing at research universities as a way to achieve diversity across the field. The approach is to increase the diversity of the Ph.D. graduates at the institutions that are the top producers of faculty at research institutions. The hypothesis of the LEAP Alliance is that by impacting the top producers of computer science faculty, we will impact faculty diversity - and thus student diversity and success - in computer science at research universities. The focus is on African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and People with Disabilities - groups that are severely underrepresented in computing, especially in the professoriate at research universities.


  • According to the CRA Taulbee Survey, less than 5% of tenure-track faculty at Ph.D.-granting universities are from underrepresented groups.
  • Diverse faculty are important to serve as role models, and to bring diverse perspectives to research and the environment.

Shared Vision

  • Increase faculty diversity in computing at research universities by increasing the diversity of Ph.D. graduates from the top producers of computing faculty.
  • Target groups: African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, and People with Disabilities.

LEAP Faculty and Staff Advocates

  • Implement effective recruiting, admission, and retention strategies, in close collaboration across the LEAP institutions.
  • Serve as a point-of-contact for LEAP Fellows.

Student cohorts of LEAP Fellows

  • The objective is to have two or more students from the target groups start graduate studies each year at each LEAP institution. The benefits of having students in cohorts is well known, as it builds community, provides a support structure, and provides a sense of belonging.
  • The cohorts are recognized as LEAP Fellows.


  • Cross-institutional sharing of effective strategies for recruiting, admission, and retention
  • Community building among LEAP Fellows - within institutions and across institutions.
  • Mentoring groups for LEAP Fellows across LEAP institutions.
  • Professional development events.

In the Paul G. Allen School

Reach out to us if you feel we could support you in your time in the Allen School community