ILA Podcast

The Many Faces of JEDI

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leadership Podcast. Episode 167: Dr. Aftab Erfan & Amiel Handelsman - The Many Faces of JEDI. Listen Now. The Official Podcast of the International Leadership Association

with Dr. Aftab Erfan and Amiel Handelsman


Dr. Aftab Erfan and Amiel Handelsman join Scott to explore the complex intersection of adult development and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.


“When the JEDI movement looks in the mirror, it sees many faces reflected back. I can only hope that giving names and definitions to some of these faces enables all of us who see ourselves a part of this movement to take our next steps with more awareness and mutual responsibility to one another.”

About Dr. Aftab Erfan

Dr. Aftab Erfan (she/her) is a scholar-practitioner currently serving as the City of Vancouver’s first Chief Equity Officer. She leads internal transformation for a public organization of nearly 10,000 employees. Originally from Iran, she moved to Canada as a teenager. Her formal education is in environmental sciences, fine arts, and urban planning. Aftab did much of her growing up within the youth environmental movement, where she learned that activism is an effective antidote to despair. In her late 20s, Aftab completed an action-research-based Ph.D. in Community and Regional Planning at the University of British Columbia, where she subsequently taught for nearly a decade and completed a 4-year stint as Director of Dialogue and Conflict Engagement for the university. She has worked as a consultant on four continents but finds much more meaning in working locally. Next to her family, Aftab’s primary engagement is with the large systemic issues of our times. She wonders how we can become useful leaders in times of societal struggle, transition, and collapse.

About Amiel Handelsman

Amiel Handelsman is a seasoned executive coach with 20+ years of experience helping leaders and teams navigate complexity. His clients have included college presidents, C-level business executives, and teams at every level. He is passionate about climate solutions and specializes in helping people deliver what they promise and build highly engaged workforces. Amiel is the author of four books, including Practice Greatness and the free e-books Reimagining American Identity and How To Be An Anti-race Antiracist, and is a frequent guest on podcasts. He holds a B.A. in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and an M.B.A. from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Amiel lives with his wife and two children in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Host Scott J. Allen

Scott Allen

Scott J. Allen, Ph.D., is the Standard Products—Dr. James S. Reid Chair in Management at John Carroll University. He is an associate professor and teaches courses in leadership, management skills, and executive communication. He is also a communications coach, consultant, author, podcast host, and entrepreneur. For almost two decades, he’s worked with clients to improve their leadership and communication skills. Learn more about Scott here.

About Phronesis

Phronesis: Practical Wisdom for Leaders offers a smart, fast-paced discussion on all things leadership. Scott and his expert guests cover timely, relevant topics and incorporate practical tips designed to help you make a difference in how you lead and live.