This is my last, and an exciting, week on the academic component of the 2014/15 Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Year at the Cronkite J-School.
I have been upbeat about taking a 6-week professional affiliation with the BBC in Washington DC, my most favorite US city.
Then during the pioneering Western Cohort Spring Retreat in Phoenix (April 21-23), a seminal question to the theme of Humphrey program arose: What’s global leadership?
Our smaller discussion group of 5 had generated the question.
An alumna who skyped in from Ethiopia, said global leadership is “local leadership”. This dovetailed with what our group member Emiliano Respighi, a fellow from Argentina, said: “We don’t need global leadership, we need local leadership”.
In other words, it’s what leaders do at a local level that produces global impact. And the 10-month Humphrey fellowship is, through tailored leadership and professional development seminars, designed to impart in fellows skills to become “global leaders”.
Global Leadership is “… the interdisciplinary study of the key elements that future leaders in all realms of the personal experience should acquire to effectively familiarize themselves with the psychological, physiological, geographical, geopolitical, anthropological and sociological effects of globalization,” according to Wikipedia.
This branding, to me, requires service for betterment of humanity. It enjoins us to have skill sets applicable and networks across the world; upholding global values; thinking global, acting locally; accommodating diversity; and, influencing the present and future across international boundaries. It’s a theory that Oxford University’s Andrew Pettigrew advances.
Oxford University’s Andrew Pettigrew explains global leadership as that of applying skills across complex issues for influence across international boundaries.
The Cronkite School offers world-class Journalism education. I enrolled at the school when an analogue newspaper writer, and by taking Online Journalism and tailored IT/building Website lectures, I leave as a professional who can prepare and package multimedia content online! The Humphrey seminars honed my leadership skills and I have a working Data Journalism knowledge as a result of Research Methods’ lectures.
The Humphrey brand earned me a competitive slot for the Poynter Institute’s 2015 “the Effective Editor Training”, on specialized newsroom management, enabling me interface and connect with editors from Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, the Seattle Times, and the Boston Globe, among others.
A class on Technology, Business and the Future of Journalism provoked my critical thinking on sustainable business models for Online journalism. It was fulfilling sitting in the Accountability Journalism class taught by Prof. Len Downie, the former Executive Editor (now vice president-at-large) of The Washington Post, who was among editors who superintended coverage of the Watergate scandal that forced President Richard Nixon to resign. And he offered me an opportunity too, to present to the graduate cohort my perspectives and experiences on Investigative Reporting in my country, Uganda.
Besides class, I traversed the US from coast to coast (experiencing my first snow in Connecticut); saw homeless persons; was graciously hosted in homes that required more than half-an-hour to tour the house; rode in the Arizona desert on the back of a horse (Scout); shared, laughed and had difference of opinion with my colleagues fellows; and, explored the social life in greater Phoenix. Through community service, I shared and learned. The friendship families and volunteers, who offered lifts, assisted selflessly without a tangible reward except the fulfillment of serving humanity, truly humbled me.
Last Fall’s Global Leadership Forum in Washington D.C. provided for me a great interface with US government officials, colleague fellows on other campuses and the friendship got rekindled during the Western Cohort Spring Retreat at the Cronkite J-School. Prior contacts made conversations to flow seamlessly. Priscilla Quaih, a fellow at ASU, on the last Western Cohort Retreat day hosted all fellows from (Seattle) Washington University and I for Liberian dinner she prepared at her apartment.
Back in Phoenix, there was the unmatched Superbowl fun experience. I visited the Grand Canyon twice, and spent a night in a Native American Hogan (pronounced Howan) during a visit to the Monument Valley (jointly with ILEP fellows and a group of South Sudanese teachers).