Gama Perruci looks on as colleague Rob McManus shakes hands with Max Klau at ILA’s 2017 global conference in Brussels.
by Robert M. McManus, Ph.D., McCoy Professor of Leadership Studies and Communication, The McDonough Center at Marietta College
Date 12 July 2021
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The International Leadership Association (ILA) mourns the passing of Dr. Gamaliel Perruci, who died on July 9, 2021, following an extended battle with cancer.
Always approachable and kind, most members of the ILA knew him simply as “Gama.” He served on the ILA Board for many years and served as Chair of the Board from 2011 to 2015. He was recently honored with the title ILA Board Member, Emeritus.
His wife, Kathleen, recalls Gama’s three passions: his family, the McDonough Center at Marietta College (Ohio), and the International Leadership Association.
Gama called the ILA his “professional home.” He was a native of Brazil, and he was committed to ILA’s mission and its vision to create a thriving global leadership community. Indeed, his last project with the ILA was to serve as the editor of The Study and Practice of Global Leadership, a volume in ILA’s Building Leadership Bridges series, which will be released in January 2022.
A gifted educator, Gama served as Dean of the McDonough Center at Marietta College since 2003. He brought this experience to his service as a facilitator for the Young African Leaders Initiative, as well as his work as the co-chair of ILA’s General Principles Task Force. Through his work as an educator, he has influenced a generation of young leadership scholars and practitioners.
I will best remember Gama as my friend. I think many people will remember him this way.
Of course, Gama had a long list of other scholarly accomplishments including serving as a leadership education consultant for The New York Times, being a frequent guest on the BBC, and serving as a member of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library’s Academic Advisory Council. He also left behind his books Global Leadership: A Transnational Perspective; Teaching Leadership: Bridging Theory and Practice with Sadhana Warty Hall; and Understanding Leadership: An Arts and Humanities Approach, which he and I co-authored.
Yes, Gama was an accomplished scholar, educator, and leader; however, I will best remember Gama as my friend. I think many people will remember him this way. In the past few days, I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of grief I have witnessed from my fellow ILA members. It seems that everyone has a Gama Perruci story – a kind word of encouragement, a friendly embrace at an annual conference, a piece of wise advice at a difficult time. Gama would be happy that so many people considered him a friend. He worked to make the ILA a place where everyone would feel welcome and think of it as their professional home. Because of him, we did, and we still do.
To celebrate Gama his many scholarly accomplishments there will be a session at the ILA global conference this October. Details are forthcoming.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Gama to Marietta College and in support of the International Leadership Association’s International Student Case Competition.
International Leadership Association: Donate online at https://ila.memberclicks.net/donate. Select “International Student Case Competition Fund” and indicate that this is a Tribute Gift in honor of Gama.