Whitehead-hosted forum to educate students about leadership skills
The Whitehead School of Diplomacy will host a seminar focusing on leadership development skills, featuring speakers such as Whitehead’s founder and the former president of the United Nations.
Leadership: A Dialogue, will take place Mar. 21 at 3:00 p.m. in the Jubilee Hall auditorium. According to the forum’s head coordinator, Mie-Na Srein, the seminar is a reflection of the values advocated by the Dag Hammarksjold Foundation , which according to Srien, is a foundation following in the second Secretary-General of the U.N Dag Hammarskjold’s works and beliefs. The forum will follow leading participants in the field of International Relations and instruct students on how they can become self-sufficient leaders in the global community According to the event’s Concept Note, the seminar will feature speakers such as John C. Whitehead, founder of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations, as well as former president of the U.N. Ambassador William Leus. Students with prior experience in international government organization will also be presenting; Florence Dennis, who is obtaining a master’s from the Whitehead graduate program and was a former intern with the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Liberia to the United Nations, and Sunghyun (Sean) Lee, who is also obtaining a master’s degree from the Whitehead graduate school, and was a former intern with the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. Finally, Maj. Jon Martin of the U.S. Army and a 2010 M.A. graduate in Diplomacy will speak alongside panelists. As a discussion-based seminar, most of the surrounding questions regarding leaders will concern ethical values, education and “their connections with the world around them,” Srien said. Srein said the forum’s goal is searching in the cultivation of what makes an exceptional leader who influences communities not only locally but globally. The central message in the search is to promote leadership skills in various ways made available to anyone of interest regardless of expertise. “Anyone who opens a newspaper or is cognizant of domestic and global issues will tell you that our world today and in the future, will be in desperate need of strong, effective, mobilizing and extraordinary leadership,” Srein said. The one-hour panel will offer different perspectives from students and experts that will enable undergraduates to form their own analysis and ideas about the world,” she said. According to Srien, the DHF provided the inspiration for the forum’s creation. As an establishment to promote the skills needed in debate with intellectuals, the DHF uses public speaking as a form of objective exercises where students and faculty lead in challenging ideas by applying those to global issues. Students have the opportunity to reflect on their own opinions and values.
“I believe that this is so important for us as students,” Srein said. “It’s a road to understanding, what is it I really think? How do I see the world?” Srein said members of the DHF host public events like Dag Hammarskjold lecture, seminars and write periodic journals on topics such as “human rights, democracy and United Nations issues.” Publications of the foundation’s literature will be distributed throughout the event. Srein said the qualities of a leader are inherent in their values. “What values does a leader possess? Do these values reflect a sense of otherness, and of love? Do they reflect integrity and pure intention? Perhaps some may disagree with me, but that is my personal opinion,” Srein said. Katia Diaz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.