Leadership Education

The Leadership Education Member Community involves and serves leadership educators, professors, and teachers working in and/or interested in curricular or co-curricular programs in higher education institutions as well as primary and secondary (k-12) schools and other educational settings. We gather and offer opportunities to share curricula, pedagogies, programs, and research to advance the how, what, and why of leadership education.

Priorities & Projects

  • Expanding member participation in initiatives, activities, and governance
  • Advancing the field of leadership education to and from all corners of the globe
  • Providing resources for leadership educators
  • Supporting the Leadership Education Academy
  • Organizing the International Student Case Competition, leadership educators networking lunch, and other conference programming
  • Promoting the Leadership Education Research Agenda
  • Supporting initiatives that focus on program evaluation, assessment, and guidelines with respect to best practices in leadership education.

Join this Member Community

Contact the Community Leaders

Community Leaders

Heather Henderson Kyle O'Dell

Heather Henderson
Professor & Director, Alberta MEd in Leadership, City University, Canada

Tara Widner-Edberg
Lecturer of Leadership Studies, Leadership Studies Program, Iowa State Univ.

Kyle O'Dell
Director of Undergraduate Leadership Education, Donnelly School of Leadership and Social Innovation, John Carroll University

Sample Resources

Leadership Perspectives Webinars


Tara L. Widner-Edberg joined the Leadership Studies faculty at Iowa State in the fall of 2016 after completing her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego. She currently teaches LD ST 322, "Leadership Styles and Strategies in a Diverse Society," and LD ST 370x, Special Topics in Leadership: Global Leadership. She also coordinates the Vermeer International Leadership Scholars, an academic cohort-based program which involved studying global leadership and travel to the Netherlands.

Tara's research interests include global leadership, higher education, cultural competency, study abroad, undergraduate leadership education and effective teaching methods. Her doctoral dissertation, Curricular Instruction of Global Leadership at Colleges and Universities in the United States, examined how undergraduate leadership programs were teaching global leadership, which methods had proved effective through assessment, and created a model for teaching global leadership. She has several publications in the works, and has presented on various topics at national and international conferences including Case in Point Teaching, Coupling Leadership Education with Social Entrepreneurship, Effective Capstone Experiences for Leadership Education, and Teaching Global Leadership Through Study Abroad.

Additionally, Tara is a Certified Leadership Coach, qualified administrator for both Strengths Quest and the Intercultural Development Inventory, has helped facilitate the Leadership Can Be Taught Symposium, and has been involved with the ILA for over 10 years. ×


Kyle O'Dell is in his 16th year at John Carroll University, a Catholic and Jesuit university outside of Cleveland, OH, and currently serves as the Senior Director of Student Engagement as well as the Director of Undergraduate Leadership Education in the Donnelly School of Leadership and Social Innovation. In this role, Kyle coordinates co-curricular leadership formation and training for the JCU campus, while also serving as the director of the Leadership Development academic minor and director of the institution's Leadership Scholars Program. He also coordinates new student transition programs while supervising the staff who direct the following functional areas: campus programming, student government, student organizations, liturgical music and musical arts, and commuter services.

Prior to his arrival at John Carroll, Kyle worked full-time at the University of Toledo while completing his doctorate, with additional prior experiences at Bowling Green State University during his undergraduate and graduate degrees. In his free time Kyle likes to hang out with his wife Emily and their two children, whether it's on hiking trails in the nearby national park, catching the latest movie, or trying new restaurants in the area. Additionally, he serves as a cantor for his parish and volunteers regularly at the local regional food bank.


Q&A With Chair-Elect of Leadership Education,
Heather Henderson

Q: What are you looking forward to as Chair of Leadership Education?
I am looking forward to working with individuals from around the world, not only to expand and grow the Leadership Education MIG, but to engage in deep and reflective discussion related to leadership and education.

Q: What new goals do you have for the year as chair?
I think we, as a MIG, must continue to work on making the group stronger and becoming more engaged in conversation and research. My goals are to (a) to fully engage and to encourage others to have more purposeful and reflective conversations related to leadership in education, (b) to grow the MIG numbers, and (c) to grow the membership.

Q: Why is the Leadership Education MIG important?
For me, both leadership and education are important. We need to understand others, know ourselves, and provide growth and guidance through education. Education, though the lenses of K-12 and advanced education, as well as through learning more about societal norms, are keys to understanding leadership. This MIG allows for these educational environments to be further examined and explored.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing leadership right now?
Diversity in Leadership continues to be an issue to be grappled with – gender, race, sexual orientation, etc. are all areas we need to understand, to research, to shift, to teach, and to learn. For example, from my recent research, I found that while 80% of our K-12 teachers are female, only 20 % of the superintendents (CEO's) are female. Disproportionality and inequity persist.

Q: What's the best leadership oriented book you read for the first time last year?
Wow – this is a big question –I will give you a short list of authors. (Kouzes & Posner, Sinek, Lencioni, Northouse, Christensen, Fullan, Zenger & Folkman, Godin, Leithwood) ×


Heather Henderson is Program Director for the City University MEd in Leadership program within the province of Alberta. She obtained her Ed. D. in Leadership from City University of Seattle. Before joining City University, Heather served in a variety of educational leadership positions including teacher, vice-principal, principal, superintendent of curriculum and instruction, interim director of education/assistant director, assistant superintendent, and deputy superintendent, working throughout the three provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. She has also worked within the 'not for profit' realm as Senior Program Manager for the Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youth, an organization that supports young immigrants and their families as they travel their journey to Canadian life.

All of these experiences, her education, and her values have given Henderson the opportunity to understand leadership in the 21st Century and how we need to adapt to a new paradigm. ×


Joy Pillay is dedicated to continued service through her organizational practice, as well as her community at large. Joy earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Psychology as well as a Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Management, Law and Policy from La Sierra University. She finds genuine fulfillment in using her passions, realized through both educational scholarship and practice, in her service as Chair-elect of the ILA Leadership Education Member Interest Group, as a Leadership Development Consultant at the Institute for Leadership and Professional Development in Southern California, a college instructor, as well as serving in the capacity as a leadership training advisory board member.

In addition to continually pursuing dynamic, innovative and sustainable organizational leadership models through both research and practice, Joy enjoys international travel with her husband, reading books, daily energizing aerobics, connecting with family and friends, impactful community service collaborations, creative interior design projects, and frequenting her favorite international restaurants! ×


Mindy McNutt In 2000, Mindy was the inaugural faculty member in Organizational Leadership (OL) at the Wright State University Lake Campus. After a 3-year hiatus into administration, beginning in the fall of 2010, she re-joined the faculty in the bachelor's in OL and the master's in Leadership Development at the Wright State University main campus in Dayton.

Mindy's interests are in both the process of leadership education and women in leadership. Over the past year and a half, the entire leadership team was in a unique position to re-invent the OL curriculum when the Ohio Board of Regents required all public colleges and universities that were on quarters to convert to semesters. This allowed the program faculty the opportunity to completely re-examine the undergraduate curriculum. Utilizing a variety of methods, including using the "Guiding Questions" document and a newly developed construct to inform conversations, the curriculum was reinvented into something both contemporary and current. Mindy is happy to share the process with those who are interested. ×


Natalie Coers joined the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) at the University of Florida in Fall 2010 after receiving her Master of Agricultural Leadership degree from the University of Georgia and B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Natalie's work at UF involves two programs: the CALS Leadership Institute and CALS Teaching Resource Center. Her interests include student leadership development through international service experiences, program development, and teaching/learning practices. Natalie has been a member of the ILA since 2007 and is excited to be serving in the capacity of Team Lead for the Resources Team of the Leadership Education MIG! ×

Leadership Education MIG Leadership Teams

Conference Creative Team
The Conference Creative Team is responsible for creating innovative and exciting programming for the Leadership Education community at the ILA Annual Global Conferences. Initiatives include the Annual Student Case Competition, the Great Ideas Teach and Share Forum, and the Dissertation Workshop.

Member Engagement Team
The Member Engagement Team works to create, coordinate, and implement experiences throughout the year that serve and involve Leadership Education MIG members fostering active engagement and connection in between conferences.

Resources Team
The Resources Team is responsible for providing effective resources and tools for leadership educators who are members of ILA. The group has worked in the past to create web resources related to class curricula, and has compiled a current list of other organizations that leadership educators might benefit from. Future goals include increasing the degree of web-based interactivity among MIG members and helping to augment online resources. ×