The World Premiere of 100 Leaders in World History

WASHINGTON, D.C. – National History Day (NHD) announced today the release of the 100 Leaders in World History Project sponsored by Kenneth E. Behring. The 100 Leaders in World History Project is designed to help students and the public better understand leadership by reviewing the leadership qualities and legacies of great leaders from the past.

“We need great leaders,” said NHD Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “More specifically we need moral and dedicated leaders who will wisely guide the next generation of world leaders. Through 100 Leaders in World History, National History Day encourages students to identify those leaders whom they should emulate and those they should revile. There are hundreds of leaders throughout history who have impacted the world today. Those who made our 100 Leaders in World History List are the people who have made a significant impact on the world and will help the next generation of leaders think about how they want to lead and the type of legacy they want to leave behind.”

For this project, NHD partnered with George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media to bring together a leading panel of historians, teachers, and students, tasked with identifying 100 world leaders in history who left a lasting legacy. The panel also was asked to pinpoint five common qualities that most leaders possess, and using those qualities as the criteria, determine who made the final list. Starting on September 8, 2014, all of those who made the list will be featured on

The website,, enables students and the public to read about the selected leaders, view discussions on leadership, and consider the importance of good leadership today. This list will prompt student discussion about the role of leadership in history and the legacy those leaders leave behind. Using the 100 leaders as examples of both the positive and negative impact leadership can have, students may gain knowledge about the types of leaders they want to become, follow, and support. From November to February, the public will be able to vote and campaign for their favorite leaders in world history.

NHD is a nonprofit education organization in College Park, MD. Established in 1974, NHD offers yearlong academic programs that engage over half a million middle and high school students around the world annually in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. These research-based projects are entered into contests at the local and affiliate levels, where the top student projects have the opportunity to advance to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD also seeks to improve the quality of history education by providing professional development opportunities and curriculum materials for educators. NHD is sponsored in part by Kenneth E. Behring, Patricia Behring, HISTORY®, Jostens, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, Southwest Airlines, Weider History Group, Inc. and the WEM 2000 Foundation of the Dorsey & Whitney Foundation. For more information about NHD, visit

TWITTER: @NationalHistory

Lynne O'Hara
Director of Programs
Phone: 484-919-2595
Press Release