Changes at Research Center for Leadership in Action


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We write to share some bittersweet news. After 11 successful years of building knowledge and capacity for diverse leadership across all sectors, RCLA will cease to operate in its current form as of August, 2014. We will engage in a yearlong process to consolidate the Center’s legacy and identify alternative platforms by which our important work can continue in new outlets and varied forms.

We take joy in our accomplishments and are thankful that the circumstances have aligned for completing RCLA’s present life cycle in a positive and responsible manner. We also celebrate the depth of the knowledge and capacity generated over the past decade to support leadership through collaboration and coproduction with our partners. At the heart of our work is the notion of leadership as a collective achievement rather than an individual characteristic. While that idea was still nascent when we began our work, it is now widely championed.

We take pride in these achievements: helping to change the conversation about leadership through articles, book chapters and practitioner documents based on our research; working with leaders of color and members of other marginalized communities to draw from their leadership experience and elevate their contributions to theory building and effective practice; convening hundreds of diverse leaders and scholars in programs where they learned from each other, built strong networks, and developed strategies to accelerate social change; and developing novel research designs and pedagogical tools that highlight the power of practice-based knowledge and collaboration. All these contributed to building leadership that makes democracy work.

We are in the process of transferring RCLA administrative functions to the Wagner School and relocating current programs and their funding to Wagner or NYU’s Leadership Initiative. We will take the next year to codify our learning, identify effective dissemination strategies, and explore alternative ways to realize RCLA’s vision.

In the coming months, we hope to engage you in helping us ensure that RCLA’s legacy continues to have impact. We will be sending out additional information as the process unfolds. Thank you for your continued support over the years -- our success would not have been possible without it.

With warm appreciation,

The RCLA Leadership Team,

Sonia M. Ospina and Erica Gabrielle Foldy, Faculty Co-Directors
Rachel Pfeffer, Interim Executive Director
Amparo Hofmann-Pinilla, Deputy Director