Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Fr. Jean-Pierre Bongila

Second Advisor

Eleni Roulis

Third Advisor

Robert Werner


The purpose of this study was to learn how King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) enhanced Saudi female students’ leadership skills while they were in the U.S. and after they returned home upon graduation. To gather data relevant to this study, I interviewed twelve Saudi female graduates from King Abdullah Scholarship Program and three male chaperones who lived with them in the U.S. I derived three themes from the Saudi females’ experiences in the U.S.: Saudi females’ pre-KASP leadership experiences, perceptions of leadership in the U.S., and family members as support resources. I also derived three themes relative to KASPs effects on Saudi women’s post-graduate lives: personal growth, changes in the participants’ professional and personal lives, and the participants’ vision of female leadership in Saudi Arabia. I used grounded theory as the overarching theory (Charmaz, 2006) to shed light on the findings; the study also employed three theoretical frameworks: Al Lily’ (2011) culture theory, Perkins and Zimmerman (1995) empowerment theory, and Northouse (2013) transformational leadership theory. The most important finding was that KASP has changed the educational, cultural, and leadership landscapes of the Saudi females who benefited from it. I made recommendations in three areas: for the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia, and for current, and newly-admitted Saudi female student beneficiaries of KASP. Future studies could investigate how KASP affects Saudi families’ economy and financial status when their sons and daughters graduate from the program and return home

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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