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Advocate Feature - Learning Abroad Center -University of Minnesota

18 Apr 2018 10:18 PM | Anonymous

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Martha Johnson,

Assistant Dean for Learning Abroad at the University of Minnesota shares:

Why did your organization want to be involved in the Global Leadership League? 

I viewed it as an opportunity to be a part of an important cultural shift and to support the empowerment of the future leaders in our field. 

What inspires you in your work? 

I am inspired by the change in students we are a part of and contribute to.  I am inspired by the amazing peer mentors, colleagues, and friends I get to work with around the world who are all working towards a common goal. 

Who has been a professional mentor for you and how did they influence you? 

I have been particularly lucky in my peer mentors. I joined the field at a time when there were few women, GLBT, or people of color in leadership positions, so I did not get much mentorship from leaders I  personally identified with.  My generation of peers, however, who started at the same the field was becoming professionalized... are an inspiring cohort of mentors from whom I have learned so much.  There are too many to name, but I can think of so many ways they individually inspired, supported, and pushed me.

Which professional development experience/s have been most important to you in your career?

Volunteer and leadership positions on non-profit organizations and boards outside of my daily position have been particularly helpful in developing my skills. Contributing in contexts outside of your work can help you see the bigger picture, learn from other organizations, and engage with interests you are passionate about.  I have been on the board for the University YMCA, a girls school in Kenya, a professional theatre company, and the Fund for Education Abroad, and in all cases I have learned as much as I have contributed.

What excites you most about the future of this field?

When I see the talent and intentionality that the next generations are bringing to the field I am inspired.  The field is barely recognizable from when I started, and so it is up to all of us to make sure international education is what we want it to be. The ability to influence a profession is daunting and exciting, and the younger professionals are certainly up for the challenge and are innovating in ways I couldn't have imagined.



Our members come from different backgrounds, abilities, levels of experience, and parts of the world. Our goal is to embrace this diversity and encourage relationships across generations and experience levels for the benefit of all involved. 

The Global Leadership League was started by a group of women in the field of international education for the purposes of advancing women’s leadership skills, knowledge, and connections.


Our Mission

The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders.  Become a Member