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5th Women and Leadership Conference - Leading Differently: Capacity Building, Knowledge Sharing, Intergenerational Networking
COVID-19 Conference Update Messages

14 April 2020 (COVID-19 Conference Update Message #3)

Dear Worldwide Colleagues,

The global pandemic has impacted many parts of our lives—changing how we live, work, and lead in this world turned upside down. It has also changed the way ILA thinks about its role as the convener of trusted spaces for leadership learning.

Toward that, the ILA has made the decision to convene our June Women and Leadership conference, Leading Differently, as a live virtual event. While we wish the circumstances for this shift were different, there is also much excitement among our presenters and members of ILA’s Women and Leadership member community about this different way to come together around this important topic.

We will be working hard over the next two months to ensure a smooth transition and to create a virtual community around the conference. As a virtual event, we hope that many more of our colleagues will be able to participate. The new registration fee for the conference is only $329 for ILA members and we are offering a special reduced rate of $199 for members whose financial circumstances have been affected by the pandemic. Visit the conference program page to learn more about the opening plenary, conference schedule, and concurrent sessions taking place.

You may also be wondering about the status of other ILA conferences, particularly Leading at the Edge, ILA’s annual global conference this November. At this time, we are planning for our global conference to occur and are strategically considering all options. Our priority is to support our members as they advance leadership knowledge and practice for a better world and to do so in a trusted, safe environment. Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to monitor and provide updates in a timely manner as this uncertain situation continues to unfold.

As we all practice spatial distancing, finding ways to maintain social connection is more vital than ever. Providing opportunities for our international network to stay connected and exchange new leadership ideas and practices is at the core of our mission.

I wish you good health during this stressful time we continue to confront the challenges in our personal and professional lives.


Cynthia Cherrey, Ph.D. 

ILA President & CEO

16 March 2020 (COVID-19 Conference Update Message #2)

Dear colleagues,

How does our leadership work inform us in times of crisis? The themes from two of our previous global conferences come top of mind. In 2017 we addressed the theme “Leadership in Turbulent Times” and this past year in Ottawa the theme “Leadership: Courage Required.” Both are so appropriate for what the world is experiencing today. In the leadership field we know that in today’s interdependent and connected world there are benefits and challenging downsides. This is one of those challenges.

As I write this letter, I am sure you have received many letters updating you on steps being taken in response to COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. While much remains unknown about COVID-19’s epidemiology and impact, health officials are projecting that we should assume that the virus will spread more broadly despite collective strategies being undertaken to slow the spread of the virus. As of 11 March, the World Health Organization has declared it as a global pandemic that is impacting 100 countries. This is a global crisis not limited to any continent.

Our commitment to our members is to:

-Communicate updates and leadership learnings in this time of crisis;

-Convey status updates on ILA events and address changes in a timely manner; and

-Look at creative ways to continue to do our important work.

At the ILA, we will monitor closely, consult with experts, and revise policies and practices when appropriate. Our goal is to support the mission of the ILA with our core activities of providing trusted resources and creating trusted spaces for leadership learning for our members, partners, and the public. We are continuing to plan, subject to appropriate health and well-being practices, our gatherings unless it is not feasible or appropriate to do so. The ILA has conferences and events beginning in June with the Women and Leadership conference, followed by the Leadership Education Academy (LEA) in July, the Power of Purpose (PoP 3.0) symposium in September, and the annual global conference in November. Mindful that circumstances will continue to evolve we will communicate any changes to our events and related policies in a timely manner.

While the ILA’s global conferences and other specialty events provide unique opportunities and benefits to our members and partners, we recognize that these are extraordinary times that require measures for our collective safety and well-being. For that reason, we are looking at creating and supporting alternative approaches of coming together. As an agile organization we will be working to redefine and stretch our understanding of trusted spaces.

“In times of crisis, people reach for meaning. Meaning is strength.” That quote by Viktor Frankl resonates with all of us and may be particularly relevant at this time. As leaders in leadership we will look at ways to make meaning and explore ways to leverage our collective knowledge in the ILA community.

I appreciate that this is a difficult time for all of us. I also understand that there will be no single way of responding in which everyone will be comfortable. And yet, I also know that we are part of a larger leadership community that cares for the greater good of all. I thank you for your patience and assistance as we work through this uncertain, ever-evolving situation.   


Cynthia Cherrey, PhD 

ILA President & CEO

2 March 2020 (COVID-19 Conference Update Message #1)

With the ILA’s Women and Leadership conference scheduled to take place at the beginning of June, we know many may be wondering if COVID-19 (Coronavirus) will impact our event.

There are currently no plans to postpone or cancel this event. The ILA team and its partners at the College of Saint Rose are closely monitoring the situation and will post updates on this website and in emails to registered attendees as needed.

We are very grateful for the ongoing support of our sponsors and attendees who continue to register and plan to attend.

As a trusted source of leadership resources, we encourage our members and attendees to bookmark trusted health resources, stay informed, and act with good judgement. Click here for information and guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO).  


International Leadership Association
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