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Saint Rose President Carolyn J. Stefanco with the 2020 BOLD Scholars and Yolanda Caldwell and Lisa Haley Thomson at the International Leadership Association's Women and Leadership 2019 conference.
President Carolyn J. Stefanco at the International Leadership Association Women and Leadership conference with Saint Rose 2020 BOLD Scholars, Saint Rose BOLD Director Yolanda Caldwell, and Chief of Staff Lisa Haley Thomson

C-Suite Women Leaders from around the world headline the 4th Women and Leadership conference June 16 to 19, hosted by the International Leadership Association (ILA).

Saint Rose President Carolyn J. Stefanco, who is attending the conference with the Saint Rose 2020 BOLD Scholars, Saint Rose BOLD Director Yolanda Caldwell, and Chief of Staff Lisa Haley Thomson, will welcome attendees on behalf of the ILA Board and chair a panel of women leaders in higher education. The panel also includes Verna Fitzsimmons (President, HERS), Cheryl Faye Green (Interim Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater), Pamela Gunter-Smith (President, York College of Pennsylvania), and Deborah MacLatchy (President and Vice Chancellor, Wilfrid Laurier University).

The conference is taking place at 1440 Multiversity, a modern retreat center in Scotts Valley, California. The ILA’s unique cross-sector conferences bring together the people whose work inspires innovation — business executives and public leaders, thought-provoking authors and researchers, experienced educators, and game-changing coaches and development professionals.

The conference’s opening plenary features C-Suite Leaders (L-R) Karen Clark Cole (Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Blink); Cindy Pace (Vice President, Global Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, MetLife); Denise Raquel Dunning (Founder and Executive Director, Rise Up); and Parminder Vir OBE (Former Chief Executive Officer, The Tony Elumelu Foundation), and panel moderator Liza Howe-Walsh (Senior Lecturer, Department of Organisation Studies, University of Portsmouth).

Panelists will share how they build solutions and work toward the greater good as they discuss stakeholder relations, contributions to the development of women leaders, and the ways their organizations work to benefit their local and global communities.

Caroline Kisia (Executive Director, Action Africa Help International) will give the closing keynote address, offering leadership insights and lessons drawn from her career and current work with refugee populations in conflict and post-conflict countries in Africa.

This year’s conference theme is Building Solutions, Harmony and the Greater Good. “The sequence of the words in our conference title points to the proactive nature of this conference. Solutions is listed before harmony. We do not begin and end with a focus on our inner worlds. We start with solutions, ask how solutions promote harmony, and how solutions and harmony facilitate the greater good,” shared conference co-chairs Ann Berghout Austin (Director and Professor, Center for Women and Gender, Utah State University) and Lynne Devnew (Distinguished Research Fellow, Women and Leadership Research Group, Center for Leadership Studies and Organizational Research and Associate Faculty, School for Doctoral Studies, University of Phoenix) along with ILA Women and Leadership Affinity Group Chair Denise Thomson (Executive Coach and Consultant, DeWitt-Thomson LLC).

Presenters from around the world will share leadership tools, tips, tactics, and takeaways in more than 100 skills-focused workshops, provocative panels, stimulating symposiums and presentations, and dynamic roundtable discussions. Sessions are organized around five compelling themes: Helping girls and young women become leaders; Leadership development and education worldwide; Advancing women in leadership; Quality in power and decision making; and the conference theme.

Each evening, the conference will screen thought-provoking, documentary films followed by facilitated discussions. This year’s films are: “This Changes Everything; Eva: A-7063”; “Algeria: Women at War”; and “Miss Representation.” Other featured speakers include Hadeel Anabtawi (Founder, The Alchemist Lab; Winner, WE Empower Challenge, UN Sustainable Development Goals) and award-winning author, Shelley Stamp, who has a featured role at the conference as a film discussion facilitator.

The International Leadership Association is the largest worldwide community committed to leadership scholarship, development, and practice. We accomplish our mission to advance leadership knowledge and practice for a better world through the synergy that occurs by bringing together our members and partners; collectively having a multiplier impact on leadership and change. For 20 years, the ILA has convened extraordinary talent across sectors, cultures, disciplines, and generations. Learn more at