Acclaimed & Inspiring

Keynote Speakers

q

Each summer, the Leadership Lab has opened with a galvanizing presentation from an extraordinary guest. Our speakers have held the highest positions in Education, Business, the Military and the Media.

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair

Leadership Lab 2016

Dr. Catherine Steiner-Adair is an internationally recognized clinical psychologist, school consultant, speaker and author. Dr. Steiner-Adair has consulted to over 350 independent and public schools, parents and students on a wide range of topics related to strengthening children’s social and emotional development, shaping school culture, and deepening parents’ connections to their children. Dr. Steiner-Adair also works with professional organizations and businesses re-visioning work-family-life integration in the age of technology.

Ms. Jessica Lahey

Leadership Lab 2015

Ms. Jessica Lahey is a teacher, writer, and parent. A contributing writer for The Atlantic and The New York Times, Ms. Lahey has become a voice of insight and wisdom for parents and educators across the world. She is a commentator on Vermont Public Radio and the author of the book: The Gift of Failure: How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed.

Mr. John Hunter

Leadership Lab 2014

Mr. Hunter is an elementary school teacher in rural Virginia, who 35 years ago invented an extraordinary game known as the World Peace Game. Mr. Hunter is the subject of the internationally heralded documentary “World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements,” which has been screened at the United Nations. Mr. Hunter’s students have given briefings at the Pentagon to four-star generals and the Secretary of Defense about their approach to problem-solving.

Mr. John Hunter

Leadership Lab 2014

John Hunter is an elementary school teacher in rural Virginia, who 35 years ago invented an extraordinary game known as the World Peace Game. Mr. Hunter is the subject of the internationally heralded documentary “World Peace and Other Fourth Grade Achievements,” which has been screened at the United Nations. John’s students have given briefings at the Pentagon to four-star generals and the Secretary of Defense about their approach to problem-solving.

A graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, Mr. Hunter is a musician, composer and filmmaker. During his university years, he traveled throughout Japan, India and China, studying comparative religions and philosophy. It was during these travels, inspired by Ghandi’s philosophy surrounding non-violence, that Mr. Hunter began considering how his profession might contribute to world peace.

In 1978, at the Richmond Community High School, Mr. Hunter led the first sessions of his World Peace Game. About the game, he says, “The World Peace Game is about learning to live and work comfortably in the unknown.”

He has since been recognized with a long list of honors and awards, including Fellowships from the University of Virginia and University of Maryland, the Phi Delta Kappan Outstanding Elementary Teacher Award, the Common Ground Award, and the GlobArt Award. He has been named one of 100 people who are changing the World by Time Magazine and has given one of the top TED talks of all time. Mr. Hunter was also the very first interviewee for the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute’s EDGE program.

Dr. Earl Ball

Leadership Lab 2013

Dr. Earl Ball is Director of the School Leadership Program at PennGSE, a Masters degree program that brings together aspiring leaders from independent, public, and charter schools. He also oversees The Penn Residency Masters in Teaching program, specifically targeting independent school educators working in Boarding schools.

Professor Pearl Rock Kane

Leadership Lab 2012

Pearl Rock Kane is the Klingenstein Family Chair Professor of Education in the Department of Organization and Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is also the Director of the Klingenstein Center for Independent School leadership, after having been a member of the first class of twelve Klingenstein Fellows in 1978.

Dr. Doug Lynch

Leadership Lab 2011

Dr. Lynch has spent his entire career focused on the intersection of innovation in learning in order to increase access and efficacy. Before joining the Rossier faculty, Dr. Lynch was the vice dean at the graduate school of education at the University of Pennsylvania and while there also served for a time as an academic director of Wharton Executive Education and a senior advisor to the Fels Institute of Government. Prior to Penn, Dr. Lynch was an assistant dean at New York University and before joining NYU, Dr. Lynch worked at the College Board and Arizona State University.

Mr. Gus Lee

Leadership Lab 2010
Leadership Lab 2009

Gus Lee is a nationally recognized ethicist, character-based leadership authority and best-selling author. He has worked across fifty professions and industries with leaders from every continent. Mr. Lee has served as an executive coach for leaders across corporate America, government, non-profits, law enforcement and the military.

Mr. Gus Lee

Leadership Lab 2010
Leadership Lab 2009

Gus Lee is a nationally recognized ethicist, character-based leadership authority and best-selling author. He has worked across fifty professions and industries with leaders from every continent. Mr. Lee has served as an executive coach for leaders across corporate America, government, non-profits, law enforcement and the military.

He has authored six bestsellers including China Boy, a memoir of his journey from impoverished, immigrant youth to successful JAG officer, and Courage: The Backbone of Leadership. A contributor to Time and Encyclopedia Britannica, he was the Chair of Character Development at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he was mentored by H. Norman Schwarzkopf.

Mr. Patrick Bassett

Leadership Lab 2008

Mr. Bassett is President and co-Founder of Heads Up Educational Consulting, a consulting firm that provides strategic, operational, governance, and programmatic guidance and consultation to educational enterprises.

Mr. Patrick Bassett

Leadership Lab 2008

Mr. Bassett is President and co-Founder of Heads Up Educational Consulting, a consulting firm that provides strategic, operational, governance, and programmatic guidance and consultation to educational enterprises.

From 2001-2013, he served as President of the National Association of Independent Schools. NAIS, a membership organization for approximately 2000 independent (private) schools and associations of schools in the U.S. and abroad, is the “national voice for independent schools and the center for collective action on their behalf.”

Bassett began his career in independent schools in 1970 as an English teacher, lacrosse coach, and dorm parent at Woodberry Forest School (VA), an all-boys boarding school.

In 1980, he became Headmaster of an all-girls school, Stuart Hall (VA), where he remained until 1989, when he was appointed Head of School at Pomfret School (CT).

From 1993-2001, Bassett was the President of the Independent Schools Association of  the Central States (ISACS). He is an adjunct faculty member of Teachers College, Columbia University.

Bassett has served on the board as a trustee of NAIS (1985-1989), The Multicultural Alliance (1994-2000), The Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education (CSEE 1996-2013), The Council for American Private Education (CAPE 2001-2013), and the National Network of Schools in Partnership (NNSP, a public/private school consortium, 2012-2014). He currently serves on the board of trustees of his alma mater, Williams College (MA), United Educators (a school and university risk management insurance company), Finalsite (a website & mobile technologies company), Woodberry Forest School (VA), the Benedict Foundation (whose mission is to support successful but smaller or challenged independent schools), and Noodle (a high-tech, web-based online service to help families match a student’s need with the right school or college).

Professional recognition has included being named a Kellogg National Leadership Fellow in 1986; a recipient of the Educational Leadership Award in 2000 by The Klingenstein Center of Teachers College (Columbia University) and global leadership awards from The European Council for International Schools (ECIS), from the Near East South Asia Council of Overseas Schools (NESA), and from NAIS.

A Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude graduate of Williams College (’70) where he wascaptain of the lacrosse team, Bassett also holds a master's degree in film studies from Northwestern University (’73).

Professor Ellen Condliffe Lagemann

Leadership Lab 2007

Professor Ellen Condliffe Lagemann was the Charles Warren Professor of the History of American Education at Harvard University before joining the Bard faculty. A historian of education, Prof. Lagemann is a former dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a former president of the Spencer Foundation, in Chicago, Illinois. She is the author or editor of many books, articles, reviews, and reports. Prof. Lagemann has been president of the National Academy of Education and of the History of Education Society. She is a former trustee of the Russell Sage, Greenwall, and Markle Foundations, and a former vice chair of the board of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral and Social Sciences at Stanford University. She is also a former president of the board of Concord Academy, Concord, Massachusetts, and, from 2005 to 2011, she chaired the National Research Council's Committee on Teacher Preparation.  She currently sits on the board of FairTest, the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, and is president of the board of the Hawthorne Valley Farm Association, in Columbia County, New York.

Ms. Mindy Meads

Leadership Lab 2006

Ms. Mindy C. Meads has had a wide-ranging career serving at the highest leadership positions in United States Businesses. She has served as CEO or President of Land’s End, Aeropostale, and Calypso St. Barth, in addition to being a Senior Vice-President at Sears, Roebuck and Co. During her tenure, Aéropostale was the fastest-growing apparel company in the United States.

Ms. Mindy Meads

Leadership Lab 2006

Ms. Mindy C. Meads has had a wide-ranging career serving at the highest leadership positions in United States Businesses. She has served as CEO or President of Land’s End, Aeropostale, and Calypso St. Barth, in addition to being a Senior Vice-President at Sears, Roebuck and Co. During her tenure, Aéropostale was the fastest-growing apparel company in the United States.

Ms. Meads has served as a Director on the Boards of Aeropostale, Blue Nile, Wet Seal and the Federal Reserve Board of Chicago. She holds a B.S. from the University of Illinois.

Admiral Ray Smith

Leadership Lab 2005

Rear Admiral Smith is regarded as one of the Navy’s most inspirational leaders. A Navy Seal for 31 years, Adm. Smith was known for his emphasis on participatory leadership. As Commander of the 2300 SEAL force, he increased personnel retention to three times the Naval average.

Admiral Ray Smith

Leadership Lab 2005

Rear Admiral Smith is regarded as one of the Navy’s most inspirational leaders. A Navy Seal for 31 years, Adm. Smith was known for his emphasis on participatory leadership. As Commander of the 2300 SEAL force, he increased personnel retention to three times the Naval average.

As a Captain, he was charged with leading the Navy Seals during Operation Desert Storm, overseeing over 200 operations while incurring no casualties. Prior to this, Adm. Smith directed SEAL training, widely regarded to be the most challenging military training in the world.

Adm. Smith has been recognized by Fortune, Newsweek, Reader’s Digest, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and CBS This Morning. He is the recipient of the California Distinguished Service Award, has served as a member of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and has published two successful Navy SEAL manuals on nutrition and fitness. Admiral Smith was the keynote speaker at the inaugural gcLi Leadership Lab.

In 2005, these efforts coalesced into the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute, which is dedicated to researching, developing and disseminating a pedagogy of leadership—research based methods, drawing from the fields of brain science, psychology, leadership theory, and teaching and learning, by which teachers can help young people learn to lead.

Learn more by reading our gcLi Founding White Paper.