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Securing Our Future

A letter from Chief Executive Officer Diana Spencer

Greetings Friends,

As I have shared many times, one McGowan endeavor—the McGowan Fellows Program—is an anomaly from our overall work in poverty reduction. The program objective to infuse six core principles of ethical leadership in second-year MBA students is one that we believe is critically important to the future of business and society. One could ask why this is important, but finding a plethora of reasons to substantiate the need is only a quick Google search away.

We recently held the annual Symposium on Business Leadership & Ethics, where we heard from an expert on the intersection of AI and ethics, a McKinsey & Company representative discussing the newly released book on CEO excellence, and the highly acclaimed author of Rethinking Success: Eight Essential Practices for Finding Meaning in Work and Life. The overarching theme of “The Future of Being True” emphasized the need to establish values that will serve as one’s true north when making tough decisions. While the audience majority was comprised of business leaders, we know that leading a nonprofit organization is no less challenging nor less important.

I believe that the critical need for ethical leaders working in this space is often overlooked, dismissed, or even disparaged. To move our country forward we must unite people and solve systemic problems using the same accountability, character and integrity, courage, empathy, resilience, and self-awareness that is needed in business leaders. Are the stakes higher? I would argue that solving complex societal challenges is more difficult than increasing market share and profitability.

In this newsletter you will read about how nonprofit leaders protect their organization and the communities they serve. You will learn how one McGowan Fellow alum works to solve problems in K–12 education. Regardless of budget size or the program emphasis, the problems of today can only be solved by innovative, courageous leaders who are not afraid to challenge societal and systemic norms.

Solving problems of poverty, broken education systems, and the increasing divide in our country is not work for the meek. We are grateful to our many nonprofit leaders, experts who work tirelessly to secure the future of the organizations they serve, and more importantly the end beneficiaries of their work.

We look forward to working with you in 2023.


Diana Spencer

Chief Executive Officer