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Member Spotlight on Georgia Sorenson
Submitted by Deborah Meehan on Wed, 11/23/2011 - 01:00
Who best to introduce Georgia Sorenson for our Member Spotlight, but Deborah Meehan who shares some of her reflections about how LLC took shape over a cup of coffee and a long lasting partnership born . . . .
LLC’s Genesis: A cup of coffee, napkin scribbles and a good friend
Fifteen years ago I met up with someone I barely knew for one of those pivotal conversations. I had been meeting with leadership programs around the country in the course of doing alumni organizing for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and could not help but notice that the staff of different leadership programs were dealing with many of the same issues and with very few opportunities to talk to or learn from each other. I found myself wondering if there would be value in creating a community of learning and practice for people doing leadership development work. I had never started an organization so I reached out to Georgia Sorenson who was the founder of the Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland. Even though I had only met Georgia once, she graciously agreed to meet for coffee in downtown DC. Georgia became an enthusiastic champion of the idea. She offered more than support though. She grabbed a napkin and began sketching out a budget and offered staff and facilities resources for our first Creating Space gathering, the event that launched the Leadership Learning Community. Georgia rolled up her sleeves and served on the LLC board stewarding the LLC vision and growing our community. It’s a pleasure to have this opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate Georgia as a valued founding partner, dear friend, invaluable member of this community and contributor to the leadership development field.
Georgia Sorenson is one of three founders of the International Leadership Association (along with James MacGregor Burns and Larraine Matusak). Attending this year’s ILA conference in London, she was pleased to see how successful the ILA has become. Georgia is the current Visiting Professor of Leadership Studies at the Carey School of Law, University of Maryland, and teaches leadership theory for law students. “We also completed a book on Leadership and Law, which will be the first comprehensive look at leadership pedagogy in the legal school.” Georgia’s work has facilitated leadership work in other professional schools, including medicine, social work, pharmacy, public policy and business. Among her many projects, this year Georgia also found herself co-editing, along with Ron Riggio who is Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology and Director of the Kravis Leadership Institute, a leadership theory and practice series for Routledge Press. The project has kept them on the “. . . lookout for cutting edge theory and practice ideas and manuscripts.” In addition, Georgia is finishing up a book with Gill Hickman of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies, “Invisible Leadership,” for Sage Press and due to be out next year!
We are extremely fortunate to have Georgia Sorenson as a learning partner and deeply appreciate and value all her contributions to LLC over the years. She’s been a real champion of and contributor to our work.
I've been excited about the work of LLC for many years and consider it to be the premier leadership development and evaluation institution. LLC has always generated the ideas on the horizon for leadership practitioners and scholars. The learning community culture and the transparency of its work were firsts in the leadership field.
LLC is the fruit of people like Georgia!