About IDB

Learning designed to empower change.

If there’s one thing we can count on here in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, it’s change. Inspired by the innovation and technology that defines the Triangle area we call home, we build custom professional education and research to develop leaders who empower meaningful change in their organization.

Who We Are

A nonprofit education and research institute, we believe that effective professional education does more than teach new things. It inspires the type of leadership organizations need to achieve long-term, sustainable success.

What We Do

Across a wide variety of organizations, career levels, and functional areas, we design and deliver learning solutions that spread knowledge and foster collaboration among public and private sector organizations and academia to address shared objectives and challenges.

Who We Serve

We deliver professional education programs and research projects to clients across many different types of organizations including: Private Industry, Government Agencies, Military, Non-Governmental Organizations, and International Organizations.

Our Reach

Over the past 20 years, we have helped over 7,000 leaders across more than 250 diverse organizations create meaningful change.

A vision for change

Public and private organizations work together in numerous ways to address global security, the economy, human welfare, and so much more.

In tackling these monumental and hugely important objectives, it’s rare that counterparts among different government agencies, the military, and private industry come together in an academic environment.

Yet this collaboration is essential to share experiences and best practices, and generate innovative ideas to achieve sustainable solutions within fiscal constraints.

It was this series of observations that set our founder, Bill Powell, in motion to create the Institute for Defense & Business. Here’s the full story:

The IDB Story

In the early 1990s IDB founder, Bill Powell, worked for the state of North Carolina on a project to develop a 2,500-acre, multi-modal industrial park to deliver access to air, rail, highways, and seaports for global transportation – the North Carolina Global TransPark (GTP). GTP was created to foster a pro-business climate aimed at growing the aerospace, logistics, manufacturing, emergency services, defense contracting, and supporting industries in eastern North Carolina.

Project planning required close collaboration with both private industry and the U.S. military on logistics practices, development, and technologies. A common theme emerged in meetings with both stakeholders: each was very interested in what the other was doing to address specific business challenges. Sensing an opportunity to provide real value to both constituencies, Powell, with the help of government and academic partners engaged in establishing the GTP, developed a concept to formally bring together military and private sector leaders in an academic setting to share perspectives and best practices.

In 1997, the Institute for Defense & Business was incorporated by the state of North Carolina and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research institute to develop and deliver custom-designed education programs and to conduct applied research across a range of subject matter areas.

In the years since 1997, the IDB has evolved from a concept to help logistics professionals do their jobs better to a respected leader in custom professional education, offering programs addressing logistics and technology, complex industrial leadership, strategic studies, stabilization and reconstruction, and more.