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COL (RET) Joseph E. Sanders, Ph.D.


  • Former Air Force Colonel and Professor & Director at Air Force Academy

  • Ph.D. in Leadership and Human Resource Development from Colorado State University

  • Renowned expert in his fields, published author, and prolific lecturer

  • Currently the Vice-President of C-Force Academy

As an Air Force Colonel, Joseph Sanders served as the first Senate-confirmed Permanent Professor and Director, Center for Character & Leadership Development, United States Air Force Academy, CO. During this time, he profoundly influenced the moral and ethical growth of over 13,000 cadets and staff, while supervising over 960,000 hours of character and leadership education, experiences, and training. In addition, Sanders has served as a Missile Combat Crew Commander and Instructor. He has been assigned to the Pentagon at US Air Force Headquarters; where he was responsible for formulating, developing and reviewing human capital policies and strategic plans for the Secretary of the Air Force. Sanders has also assumed the Air Force’s most sacred leadership responsibility as the commanding officer for training, support, and combat units.

A renowned expert, Sanders earned his PhD in leadership and human resource development from Colorado State University in 2003, where he was recognized as a top graduate in his doctoral program. He has authored and published several articles and book chapters on topics ranging from transformational and servant leadership to organizational spirituality and moral development. In addition, Sanders has delivered over 2,000 lectures and workshops on these topics to a variety of audiences. Specifically, as a former collegiate athlete and indoor professional football player, Sanders has been sought by coaches and teams at all levels to apply his expertise in the athletic context. Sanders has also applied his expertise to developing a national award winning ‘coaching program’ for character development and to the founding of a peer-reviewed journal for character and leadership integration.


Sanders has served his community in multiple capacities. He has regularly hosted and keynoted church conferences and retreats, taught Bible classes, and led a local ministry for the homeless in Colorado Springs, CO. Sanders also served as the Air Force Academy’s lead for community service; garnering the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll six times and guiding the contribution of 200,000 hours of volunteer service. However, Sanders’ most significant contribution to the community is his family. He and his wife, Lourdes, are the proud parents of Isaiah, Jasmine, and Josiah.

Sanders is currently the Vice-President of C-Force Academy; a team of professionals who are committed to impacting culture and community through character. He is also the Director for Leadership Development at All American Leadership; an organization that inspires, empowers, and challenges leaders to create and sustain elite cultures.

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