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The Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership prepares community members to engage with real world challenges and explore solutions within and beyond the classroom.

Work with BCIL impacts the entire Brentwood School community, cultivating innovative problem solvers, courageous risk takers, effective managers, adept communicators, and inspired community builders. Through their involvement in BCIL, students and faculty seek answers in creative, collaborative ways and discover that their work can have an impact.

Welcome from our Director

At the Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership, we help students follow their curiosity beyond the textbook, grapple with questions for which there are no prescribed answers, and develop lifelong leadership skills. Experiences in the BCIL range from entrepreneurial contests that promote social change, to prototyping products designed from reusable waste materials, to exceptional professional development opportunities for our K-12 faculty. We offer a wide variety of curricular and extracurricular programs revolving around engagement with real world challenges and connect Brentwood School to the surrounding Los Angeles community, and the world.

Newsworthy BCIL stories

Our Programming

Click on the images to learn more.

Core Leadership Skills

Through the integration of the following leadership skills, the Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership cultivates: 

Innovative Problem Solvers

  • Critical, creative, and design thinking
  • Collaboration and co-creation; inspiring a shared vision
  • Adaptability and perseverance

Courageous Risk Takers

  • Brave thinking and actions
  • Embracing failure as an opportunity to learn
  • Being in the present

Effective Managers

  • Breaking large projects into small steps
  • Seeking and incorporating feedback
  • Follow-through and accountability

Adept Communicators

  • Active listening
  • Public speaking and group facilitation
  • Media and digital literacy

Inspired Community Builders

  • Cross-cultural fluency
  • Empathy and conflict resolution
  • Self-reflection and societal awareness

BCIL Collaborative

Darlene Fukuji

Darlene Fukuji

Director of the Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership
Zach Chien

Zach Chien

Class of 2013
Assistant Director of the Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership
Elena Cardenas

Elena Cardenas

Administrative Assistant, Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership
Aidyl Gonzalez

Aidyl Gonzalez

BCIL Applied Science Research Lab Coordinator
David Hernandez

David Hernandez

Dean, Class of 2026; History, Upper School; BCIL Upper School Curriculum Innovator and Collaborator
Ronit Kumar

Ronit Kumar

Science, Middle School; Robotics Coach, East Campus; BCIL Facilities Design
John Wan

John Wan

Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership Fabrication Innovator and Collaborator
Lauren Weisfeld

Lauren Weisfeld

Lower School Fabrication Innovator and Collaborator, Fourth Grade Teaching Associate
Gina Rocca

Gina Rocca

Assistant Director of Admissions, East Campus, BCIL Collaborative Member
Jhamasa Lewis-Adams

Jhamasa Lewis-Adams

Class of 2008
Director of Service Learning, Upper School
Suzanne Lyons

Suzanne Lyons

Director of Middle School Service Learning and Veteran Education
Whitney Abramo

Whitney Abramo

Director of Service Learning, Lower School
Jon Alexander

Jon Alexander

Class of 2013
Science Lab Assistant, Upper School and Belldegrun Center for Innovative Leadership
Laura Feucht

Laura Feucht

Science, Upper School, BCIL STEM Curriculum Innovator and Collaborator (CIC)
Grace Lieberson

Grace Lieberson

Third Grade, Lower School
Gianna Vargas

Gianna Vargas

Science, Middle School; BCIL Middle School Curriculum Innovator and Collaborator
Jason Wang

Jason Wang

Assistant Director of Equity & Inclusion