Pres. Esteban reflects on leadership

Seton Hall University president Dr. A. Gabriel Esteban gave a broadcasted speech via webinar for Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics (LEAP) on Wednesday, Feb. 17. Esteban spoke about leadership and how certain values and principles have affected his life.

LEAP’s mission statement, according to its website, said that the nonprofit organization’s goal is, “to achieve full participation and equality for Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) through leadership, empowerment, and policy.”

Esteban, who is from the Philippines, began the webinar by recalling his own educational journey. He received a doctorate in administration from the Graduate School of Management of the University of California at Irvine and a Master of Science in Japanese business studies from Chaminade University in Honolulu. He also attained a MBA and a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from the University of the Philippines, according to the Seton Hall website.

Esteban worked in various academic departments and began to progress quickly. “I just kept saying ‘yes’… That was my philosophy,” Esteban said. “I strived to learn as much as I could as I went along with the process.”

Esteban also shared the importance of mentors and stated that he had many people that he looked up to over the course of his life that built him up.

“They provided me a value for me to explore my ideas,” Esteban said. He also stated that he enjoys advocating for others, which manifested as him helping the communities he was in and getting to know his surrounding citizens.

“One of my earliest goals as I was starting my professional career was being able to give back,” Esteban said.

To close the webinar, Esteban shared what he considers his “golden rules.” He stated that the way that you treat people is important and that you need to have a fixed set of priorities, that people shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions, and that hard work is a valuable trait.

“I can’t control my personal intelligence and how smart I am, but I can control how hard I work,” Esteban said.

LEAP is honoring Esteban at the Annual Leadership Awards Gala which will be held in Los Angeles on July 21. Other honorees at the event include Phyllis Campbell, chairman Pacific Northwest for JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Willie Chiang, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Plains All American Pipeline, L.P.

Ashley Turner can be reached at

Author: Ashley Turner

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