Cultivating Leadership: YAA Assembly 2019 Opening Day Overview

Cultivating Leadership was the theme of this year's Yale Alumni Association Assembly, held on campus last Thursday and Friday, November 21-22, and attended by approximately 550 Yale alumni leaders, delegates, and guests. In his opening address on Thursday, President Salovey defined a leader as one who encourages and uplifts others, citing as exemplars Levi Jackson (Yale's first African-American football player and team captain) and US Navy Rear Admiral and computer scientist Grace Hopper (after whom Hopper College is named).

Salovey's introduction was followed by a panel discussion ("Yale's Leaders on Leadership: Dean's Panel") featuring the Deans of: Yale College; the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; the Faculty of Arts and Sciences; and the Indra K. Nooyi Dean. Panelists addressed approaches to teaching leadership within their respective fields and university divisions. A panel of three leaders in the field of women's athletics--Director of Athletics Vicky Chun and WNBA team owners Lisa Brummel and Virginia Gilder--closed out Thursday morning's programming with an inspiring discussion about expanding access to competitive opportunities in sports for girls and women at every level.

Attendees were invited to share their own 5-word "leadership stories" with each other and on social media in connection with event. Yale.NYC Board members weighed in with:

--"Listen. Empower. Leverage everyone's strengths." (Billy Kolber)

--"Be positive in negative situations." (Sudip Mukherjee)

--"Idealist Turns Accidental Activist, Persists" (Shawn Marie Garrett)

Our own Mr. Kolber, who serves as yale.NYC's Foodtober guru (we also share him with the YAA Board of Governors) received a 2019 YAA Leadership Award (alongside fellow alumni leaders Lise Chapman, Xiaoyan Huang, and Kevin Winston) for their creation and administration of the Yale Alumni Facebook page, currently 18,000 members strong.

We'll continue to update our blog this week and next with news and stories from Assembly 2019. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts, and please get in touch with us (or comment below) if you have stories you'd like to share!

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