Syracuse University’s Women in Leadership Initiative (WiL) seeks to make the University a pacesetter among higher education institutions for cultivating women leaders. The initiative’s cohort experience advances that objective by creating a personalized, intensive professional development opportunity that will:

  • Foster greater self-discovery in work/life exploration, identify and enhance personal and professional leadership strengths, heighten overall emotional intelligence.
  • Expand upon and improve skills in areas of personal branding, public presentations, management, negotiation, collaboration and conflict resolution.
  • Gain greater knowledge of University governance, academic leadership and the overall educational enterprise.
  • Explore career options in higher education and academic leadership in a post-pandemic world.
  • Connect you to an extended network of referrals and contacts of women leaders within and beyond academic settings.
  • Attain new success—on or off campus.

Each cohort includes emerging leaders from faculty and staff. The Cohort Experience typically combines group experiential learning or hands-on assignments, executive and peer coaching, personal skill development, self-assessments that promote greater emotional intelligence and networking for professional and personal growth. Criteria for selecting participants will include such factors as diversity, job and responsibility focus, years of experience, expertise, interest and desire for self-development and a commitment to complete the cohort process and advance personally and professionally.

Each cohort experience runs from September through the following March. Those interested are encouraged to apply for one of 20 class seats by securing nominations from colleagues or by self-nomination. Nominations will be accepted from late March to mid-April. Selected participants will be notified by mid-May.

Each application should have gained at least seven years of professional experience and have served for at least three years in a leadership role (this could be through research, teaching or service for faculty or through a supervisory or committee leadership role for staff). For those wondering whether this program is a good fit, staff members may contact Dara Royer or Candace Campbell Jackson, and faculty members may contact Marcelle Haddix. For questions about the nomination form itself, send an email to

Learn More about Syracuse University Women in Leadership:

View the Women in Leadership Cohorts:

Inaugural Cohort (2022-23)

Cohort 2 (2023-24)

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