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Public Leadership Member Interest Group (PLMIG)

Who are we?
A community for those who lead, work with, or study non-profit, social, civic, political, and governmental institutions that creates opportunities to address sector-specific leadership challenges, strategies, research, programs, and solutions.

What are our current priorities?
  • Cultivate new MIG members and foster the network.
  • Solicit and promote Public Leadership sessions at the 2015 ILA Annual Meeting, and promote submissions for the 2016 Annual Meeting.
  • Establish a collaboration with the International Journal of Public Leadership for a special issue on PLMIG conference sessions and other submissions.
  • Recruit candidates for future PLMIG leadership roles.
How can ILA members be involved?
Members of the community can get involved by:

Submitting and volunteering to review proposals submitted to the Public Leadership track, part of the Annual Global Conference call for proposals. The 2016 CFP opens on October 15, 2015. Additionally, attending the PLMIG business meeting at the conference and networking with fellow members.

Posting pertinent articles and announcements to the PLMIG LinkedIn group.

Suggesting ideas for and helping to organize webinars, submitting public leadership-related content for the ILA Member Connector newsletter, as well as providing resources for the MIG's collection of public leadership articles, books, reports, organizations, programs, courses, etc.

2015 Community Leaders

Nikol Hopman

Director, Leiden Leadership Centre & Centre for Professional Learning, Leiden Univ. Campus Den Haag
Randy Poon

Assoc. Prof. and Chair, Business Department, Ambrose Univ.
Cynthia Robinson
Immediate Past-Chair

Director, Science & Technology Policy Fellowships, AAAS
Conference Creative Team
This is responsible for creating innovative and exciting programming for the Public Leadership community at the ILA Annual Global Conferences.

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

How to Affiliate With This Community
ILA members who affiliate with a MIG receive occasional emails of interest from their MIG leaders including volunteer openings, updates on MIG initiatives, and opportunities to provide feedback. To affiliate: Login to the Member Area of the ILA Website and follow the green button to Update My Profile. Then, click edit at the bottom of the page, select the Communities with which you wish to affiliate, and click save.

Contact ILA's membership team at membership@ila-net.org with any general questions about ILA's member communities.


Nikol Hopman is strongly committed to leadership for the public good and is an active member of the ILA since 2005. At the moment she is heading the Leiden Leadership Centre & Centre for Professional Learning at University Leiden - Campus The Hague. With Professor Keith Grint and Anne Murphy, she has set up the Learning Leadership Lab, an international action research initiative to better understand the challenges leaders in the public domain are facing and how to address these. She seeks and applies new insights with regards to the learning of public leadership in leadership education and programmes for professionals.

She holds a Master's Degree in Public Administration and started her career working for the Association of Netherlands Municipalities being responsible for a wide variety of international cooperation projects in Latin-America and Africa. She has built the Centre for Public Leadership at the Dutch Institute for Public Administration and published on public leadership, European leadership and political-bureaucratic relations. Her current areas of interest include contextual leadership, emergent complexity and values-based leadership. She volunteered in a Primary School Advisory Board (3 years) and in the Board of a Modern Dance Foundation (5 years). She is married and the proud mother of two adolescents. ×


Randy Poon serves as Associate Professor and chairs the Business program at Ambrose University in Calgary, Canada. He also co-chaired the recent Soul of the Next Economy Forum held in conjunction with Ambrose University and several key partners in the community and international development fields. The Forum focused on exploring business solutions to social and environmental issues through means of corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and community development. He teaches in the area of nonprofit management, corporate social responsibility, organizational development, and leadership. He also leads international community development student trips to areas such as the Dominican Republic.

He holds a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Regent University, as well as a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of British Columbia. His doctoral dissertation focused on the relationship between leader attachment/integration and employee mental health and psychological capital.

Randy spent 19 years with the Canadian federal government in the Ottawa/Gatineau area. Working with several departments in a strategic planning and policy capacity, his most recent tenure was with the Department of Canadian Heritage where he held the role of Director General, Strategic Policy and Planning, with the Cultural Affairs Sector. In addition to his time in the academy and federal public service, Randy also worked in the oil and gas industry, and is an accomplished speaker and executive trainer. ×


Cynthia Robinson directs the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships, administering programs and activities for more than 250 Congressional and Executive Branch Fellows annually, with the aim to foster evidence-based federal policy. This is accomplished by engaging scientists and engineers from a broad range of disciplines, backgrounds and career stages to directly contribute knowledge and analytical skills to support well-informed federal policies, regulations and programs; to learn first-hand about policymaking and implementation in the federal government; and to build leadership capacity for a strong S&T enterprise that benefits society. With a team of 20 staff and an annual budget of more than $16 million, Cynthia oversees strategic planning and policy; program development and evaluation; professional education activities; and communications, marketing, and stakeholder relations.

Prior to joining AAAS in 2004, Cynthia worked for seven years directing fellowships for scientists and engineers focusing on the environment and conservation, with the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation, and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program. She has more than 20 years of experience in program management, communications, and non-profit administration. Her early career was in public relations and marketing in the fields of community development, financial services, and healthcare. She also has worked in the education for sustainability realm, and spent three years in international development with the Peace Corps in Thailand and The Gambia, focusing on environmental education and youth enrichment programs.

Cynthia holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University, and a master's degree in urban and environmental policy from Tufts University, with a concentration in international environmental policy and sustainable development. She is a recipient of a UNEP Fellowship in International Environmental Management, and a Switzer Foundation Environmental Fellowship. Cynthia has held numerous volunteer leadership positions. She was a trustee of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation from 1999 to 2007, including three years as board chair; and from 1994 to 2005 she served in various governance positions with the Sea Education Association, including six years as a trustee. She has served in her local community on the Green Plan Steering Committee for the town of Cheverly, MD, as chair of the Education & Outreach Working Group. Cynthia is a member of the Association of Women in Science; and the International Leadership Association, where she is chair-elect of the Public Leadership member interest group. ×