An ILA Leadership Perspectives Webinar

From Command to Community: A New Approach to Leadership Education

Presenters: Nicholas Longo and Cynthia Gibson

Date: 29 September 2011


Fueled by an array of cultural forces – such as technology, globalization, and demographic shifts – the notion of leadership is dramatically changing. These and other changes are requiring a new approach to leadership education; one which focuses less on the individual and “position” and instead emphasizes collaboration, community problem-solving, transparency, authenticity, diversity, and results.

Given the role that higher education has played in helping to advance new forms of education, this session will discuss how colleges and universities can start thinking differently about leadership. It will also highlight examples of how some campuses are incorporating new approaches to leadership education which emphasize relationship over position and public action over attainment.

Outcome of Attending

  • An overview of what 21st century leadership looks like and why it’s important for addressing 21st century public problems
  • An introduction to new trends in leadership education in higher education
  • Concrete examples for connecting civic engagement with leadership development in higher education

Speaker Information

Nicholas Longo is director of Global Studies and associate professor of Public and Community Service Studies at Providence College. From 2006-2008, he served as the director of the Harry T. Wilks Leadership Institute, an endowed civic leadership center at Miami University in Ohio. He also served as a program officer at the Charles F. Kettering Foundation in the area of civic education and from 2002-2004 he directed Campus Compact’s national youth civic engagement initiative, Raise Your Voice. Aside from co-editing From Command to Community, Nick is author of Why Community Matters: Connecting Education with Civic Life (SUNY Press, 2007). He holds a Masters in Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute and a Ph.D. in education from the University of Minnesota.

Cynthia M. Gibson is a senior fellow at The Philanthropic Initiative and Tufts University, and an independent consultant who has more than 26 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. A widely published author and active blogger on issues affecting the nonprofit/philanthropic sector, Cynthia was named to The NonProfit Times‘ “Top 50 Power and Influence,” an annual listing of the most influential executives in the sector. Some of her past or current clients include The Case Foundation, Campus Compact,, Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Gibson has a B.A. in psychology from Pennsylvania State University (Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude); an M.S.W. from Catholic University of America; and a Ph.D. in social welfare policy and administration from Rutgers University.