For more than a decade, Contemplative Leaders in Action (CLA) has provided a supportive community for talented young adults to explore the gifts of Ignatian spirituality and cultivate their leadership skills to share with the world. As we look to the next decade, we aim to ensure that CLA continues to provide the best experience possible.
We are taking time to reflect on how we “do” CLA to assure it continues to serve its mission and respond to the needs of participants and the greater Ignatian community. During 2019, we are assessing what works and what needs to be updated — revising parts of the curriculum and inviting the shared wisdom of alumni, participants, and supporters to improve an already wonderful program.
We will launch the enriched program in the fall of 2020.
Follow Our Progress.
As we move through this process, we promise to keep you updated. We will post more information as we proceed, so check back soon for more updates.
We want to hear from you. The CLA community is what makes the program so strong. So, we want to hear your thoughts on how we're doing throughout this process.
Share Your Thoughts with Us
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources & Organization Development, Le Moyne College
Karin Botto serves as the Assistant Vice President of Human Resources & Organization Development at Le Moyne College. In that role, she is responsible for providing leadership in recruiting and onboarding, performance management, wellness, employee relations, benefits and compensation, labor relations and professional development. Prior to this role, she worked at Saint Joseph’s University for nineteen years. Her most recent role was the Executive Director of Organization Development & Ignatian Leadership where she was responsible for leadership development of faculty and administrators through the SJU Ignatian Leadership Program. She co-developed a model of Ignatian Leadership published in the Journal of Jesuit Business Education in June 2015 and featured annually at AJCU’s Jesuit Leadership Seminar from 2014-2017. She also co-authored a chapter of Success After Tenure released in November 2018 by Stylus Publishing.
Karin holds a Masters of Science in Training & Organization Development and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in Interdisciplinary Leadership at Creighton University. Her areas of focus include leadership development, group dynamics, coaching and mentoring, management training and Ignatian Spirituality. She is certified to use the Emotional & Social Competency Inventory through The Hay Group and Benchmark’s 360 Assessment Suite through The Center for Creative Leadership.
Associate Director of the Leadership Initiative, Harvard Business School
Leticia Garcia is the Associate Director of the Leadership Initiative at Harvard Business School. In this capacity, she primarily focuses on program design and oversees the delivery of highly successful executive education programs. Her current projects include developing the Leading and Building a Culture of Innovation Program, a cutting-edge innovation ‘learning lab’ for senior executives. Ms. Garcia also oversees events and research supported by the HBS Leadership Initiative. As an experienced coach at the Harvard Business School, Ms. Garcia leverages her expertise in leadership development to effectively coach high-potential managers from a broad range of industries and professions. She is also an experienced team facilitator and is certified in Emotional Intelligence coaching and facilitation.
Prior to joining the HBS Leadership Initiative, Ms. Garcia was with MIT's Sloan School of Management where she coordinated the Seminar in Leadership for the MIT Sloan Fellows Program in Innovation and Global Leadership. In that role, Ms. Garcia planned and managed the Seminar which included a variety of industry leaders and academics. In a prior role, she was the Special Projects Coordinator for the MIT Entrepreneurship Center.
Ms. Garcia holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and is a graduate of the Leadership Coaching Certification at Georgetown University. She serves on the Harvard Business School’s Learning and Development Advisory Board and the Committee on Concerns for Women at Harvard University. Ms. Garcia serves as a leadership coach for the HBS Authentic Leadership Development MBA course, Women’s Leadership Forum, General Management Program, Senior Executive Leadership Program – India, and the Program for Leadership Development. She is also as a career coach for the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Family Association. Ms. Garcia is currently participating in the Immunity-to-Change Coaching Certification (ITC) based on research conducted at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in adult developmental cognitive psychology. The ITC process supports adult development, adult learning and professional development.
Director of Program Planning for the Network of Sacred Heart Schools in Canada and the United States
Bill Hobbs currently serves as the Director of Program Planning for the Network of Sacred Heart Schools in Canada and the United States. He is the Founder and Principal of “The Pilgrim Journey”, providing vision, direction, and consulting for groups and individuals. In addition, Bill is actively engaged as a member of the men's team for the Ignatian Spirituality Project, a retreat program for those in recovery and formerly homeless. He works with Office of Ignatian Spirituality’s Contemplative Leaders in Action program; provides spiritual direction; and speaks on Ignatian Leadership and Spirituality. He has undergraduate degrees in theology and philosophy from Saint Joseph’s University, a master’s degree in Adolescent Religious Development from Fordham, and a Doctorate in Education in Spirituality and Leadership from the Graduate Theological Foundation. He is an MBTI master practitioner. He has served as a counselor, teacher, principal and president in Jesuit Schools. Prior to his current role, he was on the staff of the Jesuit Schools Network, directing the Seminars in Ignatian Leadership. He currently lives in Takoma Park, MD.
Owner, Virginia Klamon Executive Coaching
Virginia Klamon has devoted her career to supporting organizations and individuals in expressing their natural impulse to grow and evolve. She brings 25+ years advancing leadership and organization development, creating productive workplace communities and fostering transformational cultures. In addition to running her own coaching practice, Virginia is a leadership coach for Seattle University’s Executive Leadership Program (ELP). Previously, she led multi-million dollar organizational change initiatives for Citigroup, Freddie Mac and Seattle Children’s Hospital. She started her career as a consultant at Accenture.
These days she finds herself drawn to working at the intersection of spirituality and leadership. She has supported CLA Seattle since 2009 in a number of roles, including: interim director, curriculum designer and facilitator, advisor, and mentor. As part of her own spiritual journey Virginia completed the Living School program hosted by the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, NM and the 9-month SEEL program in Seattle. She is currently studying with the contemporary mystic, Thomas Hubl, in the Timeless Wisdom Training program. Virginia is a Certified MAP Scorer and Certified Leadership Maturity Coach. She co-leads the MAP Scoring Forum and partners with Dr. Susanne Cook-Greuter and Beena Sharma in supporting VeDA clients. She will co-teach with them this fall. Virginia holds a PhD in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University and is an ICF Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with advanced training in Integral CoachingTM and Adult Stage Development. She and her husband have lived in several US and European cities and now reside in Seattle, WA where she enjoys volunteering for a number of leadership, social entrepreneurship and philanthropic programs. Visit www.vklamon.com for further information.
Vice Chair of the Board, CommonSpirit Health
Chris Lowney is vice chair of the board of CommonSpirit Health, America’s largest nonprofit health system with $29 Billion in revenues and more than 150,000 employees. He is a one-time Jesuit seminarian and later served as a Managing Director of J.P. Morgan & Co on three continents. He is a popular keynote speaker who has lectured in more than two-dozen countries, on leadership, business ethics, decision-making and other topics. He is the author of six books and has co-authored two more. The best-selling Heroic Leadership has been translated into eleven languages and was named to the recommended reading list of the Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. His A Vanished World relates fascinating stories of Christians, Muslims, and Jews in medieval Spain: Chris was featured in the PBS-aired documentary, “Cities of Light,” which echoed many of that book’s key themes. His other works include Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads, which has been called, “a book for the ages.” He won a 2018 Catholic Press Association award for Everyone Leads: How to Revitalize the Catholic Church. His latest work is Make Today Matter: 10 Habits for a Better Life (and World), which won a 2018 Independent Press Award as a “Distinguished Favorite.” The book also won a Gold Medal in the 2019 Illumination Awards.
Chris' efforts in philanthropy and social entrepreneurship have included helping to launch an innovative collaboration to offer online university education in refugee camps in Africa and elsewhere; he also co-founded Contemplative Leaders in Action, an emerging leader formation program now active in a half-dozen cities; and he founded Pilgrimage for Our Children’s Future, which supports education and healthcare projects among severely impoverished, marginalized communities: to learn more, visit www.pocf.org. He is a summa cum laude graduate of Fordham University, where he also received his M.A. He is holder of seven honorary Doctoral degrees; was raised in Queens, New York; hates the Yankees; and roots for the Mets without feeling shame.
Fr. David McCallum, S.J.
Vice President for Mission Integration and Development, Le Moyne College
David McCallum is a Jesuit priest who serves as the Vice President for Mission Integration and Development at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY. Fr. McCallum serves as a facilitator for mission driven, personal and organization development programs, provides developmentally informed executive coaching, and delivers leadership development programs and spiritual retreats internationally. A graduate of the Integral Honors program at Le Moyne College, he entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1990, and subsequently completed an MA in Philosophy at Fordham University, an MDiv. and Licentiate degree in Sacred Theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and an Ed.D. in Adult Learning and Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University. Ordained in 2001, Fr. McCallum helped to found the Contemplative Leaders In Action program for the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus. He also helped to found, develop and lead the Mission Integration Institute at the University of San Diego, and the Ignatian Leadership Program at the Curia of the Society of Jesus in Rome. His research interests include adult learning and development, group relations, leadership and organizational development, mission integration, and spiritual maturation.
Associate Professor of Higher Education Administration and Faculty Fellow for Mission and Identity, Saint Louis University
Molly Schaller is an Associate Professor of Higher Education Administration and Faculty Fellow for Mission and Identity at Saint Louis University where last year she completed a 13 month appointment as Interim Dean of the School of Education. Prior to arriving at SLU, Dr. Schaller worked for 28 years at the University of Dayton. She held positions in Student Affairs including in residence life, new student orientation, alcohol and other drug education/prevention and sexual assault education/prevention. For the past 20 years, Schaller has taught master’s and doctoral students in student affairs master’s and higher education doctoral programs. She has held roles as program coordinator, department chair, and faculty fellow in the learning and teaching center. Her research includes areas related to college student development, particularly the sophomore year; student affairs in Catholic higher education, and the relationship between physical space and learning. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the Ohio State University, an M.A. from Miami University, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Ohio University
CEO of Leadership Roundtable
Kim Smolik serves as the CEO of Leadership Roundtable. Throughout her career, Kim has proven to be a dynamic and committed advocate for leadership development, community service, and social justice. She has a passion for helping others to become agile and collaborative leaders whose skills serve a purpose-driven mission and have measurable impact. Kim founded the Nonprofit Servant Leadership Program that offers Catholic young adults the opportunity to give back as they develop their leadership and nonprofit management skills during one year of full-time service in Washington, DC. She also developed international service programs for Franciscan Mission Service in Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Guatemala and Jamaica.
During her eight-year tenure as Executive Director of Franciscan Mission Service, Kim forged strong ties between Franciscan constituencies domestically and internationally. From this platform, she began to regularly contribute to national and international thought leadership in the Catholic Church. She has been a guest speaker or facilitator at various Catholic gatherings in the United States and abroad, including the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, United States Catholic Mission Association, and Catholic Volunteer Network, on whose executive board she served from 2006 through 2012.
Kim has developed a solid track record of success in the strategic oversight of Catholic nonprofit operations. For her efforts, she was awarded a highly competitive Leadership Fellowship with the Archibald Bush Foundation. Kim received her Doctorate of Education from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN. Her dissertation research focused on racial justice in the workplace, adult transformational learning, and organizational development, particularly in a Catholic context. She has an MA in Curriculum Development and Cross-Cultural Education from the University of Alabama, and a BA in History and Education from Bethel University in St. Paul, MN. Kim is also a Certified Intercultural Development Inventory Administrator, a certified Co-Active ® leadership and executive coach, and an experienced facilitator in diversity and racial justice trainings. Kim has extensive cross-cultural expertise, having taught high school, college, and adult social justice advocacy programs in Cuba, Guatemala, Ecuador, and Mexico. She has worked in and traveled to over 55 countries.
Executive Director, Leadership Collaborative
Vicki Wuolle is a member of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes and currently serves as Executive Director for the Leadership Collaborative, an organization that works in the area of developing leadership capacity, relationships, opportunities that serve women religious and their associates through the practice of transformational servant leadership. Prior to her current ministry Vicki received her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies while teaching courses in theology and leadership at Marian University of Fond du Lac, WI. Her interests include conscious evolution in general, and more specifically as it relates to organizational behavior and development, applied spiritual practice, systems thinking, and leading in love.
Responses were principally organized around two broad themes: time for the cohort and alumni. Many respondents wanted additional time to gather. Common suggestions included additional meetings, opportunities for prayer, Mass, social gatherings, community service, and activities with participant’s families. Some suggested a retreat mid-way through the program.
A number of people discussed their desire for periodic alumni events, including retreats, and encouraged CLA to foster a more robust alumni network.
There was some interest in smaller cohorts; fostering stronger relationships with mentors; and post-CLA volunteer opportunities, particularly as mentors, spiritual directors, or advisory board members.
Learning about Ignatian spirituality, the Examen, the Spiritual Exercises, discernment, retreats, praying together, the readings, group discussions, and personal reflection featured prominently in the majority of responses. “Listening to one another”, guest speakers, and extra-curricular materials were also mentioned.
There was significant desire to focus more on prayer, to encourage a shared set of prayer practices, and to celebrate Mass together. A number of respondents recommended that CLA revise the readings, improve implementation of the readings, limit the time given to “check-ins”, and strengthen mentoring. Stronger facilitation, increased accountability within the program, and the opportunity to meet more “professionals” who incorporate Ignatian spirituality into their lives were also cited.
The majority of respondents believe that CLA needs to enhance its leadership content. Many wished for a stronger emphasis on vocational discernment, the integration of spirituality and leadership, and how to do so in secular spaces. A number of people articulated a desire to focus more on practical leadership skills, personal growth, and navigating transitional stages of one’s personal and professional life. Suggestions included diversifying guest speakers, the use of webinars, paying greater attention to issues of justice, networking with other Ignatian leaders, cohort or alumni-led programming, and revising the capstone experience.
Most respondents expressed satisfaction with the current timeline of 24 months and believe that 18 – 24 months is necessary to foster the trust and intimacy the group achieved. There was broad willingness to modify the duration and frequency of meetings. Many said that a somewhat abbreviated program (18 months) that meets with a greater frequency could be successful and potentially address some issues related to the length of the commitment. About 20% of respondents expressed a desire for a shorter program that meets more regularly, an idea that worried others who said they would not have been able to participate had that been the model. As in question #2, some advised that an additional retreat be added, and many expressed a desire for more extra-curricular time to gather.
Several of the responses to this question have been included above, including modifying the capstone, reducing the time for check-ins, revising the readings, fostering a stronger alumni network, and arranging for more opportunities to gather. Many people articulated a desire for greater diversity within the cohort – for some it was racial or ethnic diversity, for others it was professional, educational, or socio-economic diversity, and for others it was ideological diversity. Some hoped for improved communication from the regional coordinator, better facilitation of meetings, and greater cohesiveness in the curriculum. Greater inclusion of Jesuits, peer-mentoring, group projects, an emphasis on justice, and community service were also mentioned.