The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Rockefeller Leadership Fellows

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow Relections

Rockefeller Leadership Fellow (RLF) alumni, Oyebola Olabisi '06 and Jenny Ratner '08, reflect on how the RLF program continues to impact their leadership today.

RLF Recap: "Business, Strategy, Society"

On Thursday, February 17th, Professor Curt Welling ’71 came to talk to us about the leadership challenges presented by controversial social issues. Professor Welling graduated from Dartmouth College as part of the class of 1971, and later graduated Tuck Business school in 1977. After graduating from Tuck, Professor Welling spent 25 years working in the investment banking and securities industries, and then spent the next 11 working for AmeriCares as their president and chief executive officer. He now teaches classes on Impact Investing, Social Entrepreneurship, Business and Society.

During our session, he spoke to us about how to handle potential obstacles that might arise due to controversial social issues. He began by outlining all of the various considerations that a leader must take into account when faced with a challenge. After that, he helped us establish a framework by which we could lay out the opportunities and obstacles that are associated with facing a difficult challenge. He then took these concepts out of the abstract and had us role play through a real-life case study.

RLF Recap: "How to Frame Three Hard Cases: Abortion, Same-sex Marriage, and Affirmative Action"

On February 6, we were joined by professor Sonu Bedi, a professor in the Government department and Director of the Dartmouth Ethics Institute. Professor Bedi’s research focuses on issues of constitutional legal theory, identity, and justice.

RLF Recap: "Don't Go It Alone: Effective Delegation and Empowerment for Leaders"

Alison Fragale graduated from Dartmouth in 1997, majoring in math and economics. After graduation, she worked as a management consultant for McKinsey before leaving to pursue her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior, with a focus in social psychology, at Stanford. Currently, Alison works as the associate professor of organizational behavior and strategy at the University of North Carolina’s business school. Additionally, she does research on interpersonal hierarchies in groups and organizations.

RLF Recap: "The Art of Telling People What They Don't Want to Hear"

The real distinction in Washington lies not between Democrats and Republicans, or liberals and conservatives, but between Political Hacks and Policy Wonks.  The Hacks consist of consultants, pundits, and professionals who believe campaigns are won and lost on strategies including image, polling, advertising, and turnout. The Wonks consist of policy experts and academics who believe voters care what a candidate stands for and will do in office. In order to identify the problems on Americans’ minds and develop and pass policies that solve these problems, we need collaboration between Hacks and Wonks.     

RLF Recap: From Public Narrative to Policymaking

How does one translate personal stories from a place of “we’re mad” into a force for lasting change? On November 14, Shasti Conrad helped answer this question in an evening session with the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows on “Activism and Institutional Change: Tools for People-Powered Policymaking”. Shasti Conrad holds positions as Chair of the King County Democrats, and most recently as U.S. campaign manager for the 100 Million Campaign. She has worked with three Nobel Peace Prize winners, including President Obama, Malala Yousafzai, and Kailash Satyarthi. As of October, Shasti left the foundation and is now working with the Democratic presidential campaigns to connect artists, actors, and musicians to their campaigns. 

RLF Recap: Present Moment, Wonderful Moment

On October 24, the 2019-2020 cohort of Rockefeller Leadership Fellows welcomed The Rev. Dr. Nancy Vogele ’85 in an evening session titled “Naked Leadership.” Vogele currently serves as Rector of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Goffstown, NH, continuing her 20 year-long history of commitment to Episcopal parish ministry. She was also previously the Director of Religious and Spiritual Life at the William Jewett Tucker Center at Dartmouth College. Vogele prides herself on building bridges with others, and combines her passions for the religious professions and social justice through spiritual leadership and strategic program development. 

RLF Recap: “Facilitative Leadership”

During the Fall Retreat, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows enjoyed hearing from Jay Davis ’90 and learning about distinct styles for working in groups. Jay Davis’ 90 is an inspiring role model for many Dartmouth students – he directs the First Year Student Enrichment Program and the King Scholar Program, helping first-generation students and global student leaders transition and thrive both inside and outside of the classroom. Jay Davis has devoted his career to education; his previous work includes founding the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) for low-income high school students from under-resourced schools, and teaching in the Secondary Teacher Education Program for the Dartmouth Department of Education. 

RLF Recap: "Leadership Paradigm: The Good and The Bad"

Dr. Lowell ''Chris'' Matthews embodies what it means to be an effective leader and an engaged global citizen. As an associate professor of Global Business and Leadership at Southern New Hampshire University, Dr. Matthews brought an academic research perspective on what it means to be an effective leader. More importantly, Dr. Matthews has a fascinating life story and well-developed trajectory as a leader.

On September 26, Dr. Matthews presented "Leadership Paradigm: The Good and The Bad." Through the session, we learned what leadership means and how to become a leader. He used a storytelling method to describe his journey as a leader and how he handled obstacles along the way. Dr. Matthews emphasized the importance of making the most of every situation. He grew up on a pig farm in Tennessee and was the first in his family to attend college. Dr. Matthews made deliberate choices to take risks and grow, both as a person and as a leader. Whether it was moving to Japan, going onstage at a concert, or pursuing an academic career at Southern New Hampshire University, Dr. Matthews consistently challenged himself and grew as a leader.

RLF Recap: "Developing Identities and Capacity to Engage in Leadership for Social Justice"

On October 11, the Rockefeller Leadership Fellows had the privilege of participating in a workshop entitled "Developing Identities and Capacity to Engage in Leadership for Social Justice" with Dr. Kerry L. Priest. Dr. Priest has her PhD and is an Associate Professor in the Staley School of Leadership Studies at Kansas State University. She focuses on how to combine critical perspectives and engaged methods of practice in order to foster conditions for students to exercise leadership, as well as to contribute scholarship that progresses the field of leadership education. Dr. Priest explores the overlaps between leadership development and community-engaged teaching and learning in higher education, specifically through lines of inquiry around leadership identity, leadership educator identity, and leadership educational practices. 


The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences