Qatar Leadership Academy (QLA) was formed in 2005, under the leadership of Chairperson H.E Sheikh Joaan Bin Hamad Al Thani, with an innovative partnership between Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development and Qatar Armed Forces. The Academy was designed to take a holistic approach to youth development, providing the highest standards of education to develop young men into future leaders; advice was sought from many sources, with a special early partnership formed with St. John’s Northwest Military Academy in the U.S state of Wisconsin.
The Academy opened its doors in the town of Al Khor, north of Doha, on August 28, 2005, with 48 cadets being greeted by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Amir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of Qatar and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation. By the end of its second year in the summer of 2007, 85 students were enrolled and the school received authorization to offer the prestigious International Baccalaureate Diploma.
In May 2008, the first group of students graduated from the Academy, and in May 2009, the first IB Diplomas were awarded. In the spring of 2010, QLA was accepted as a candidate school for accreditation by the prestigious Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools in the United States and has an internationally recognized high school diploma program in addition to the IB Diploma.