Alumni Spotlight: Dr. Ashley Jordan, President and CEO, African American Museum in Philadelphia, Designing Leadership Alum, 2022

Don’t be afraid to lean in…regardless of the outcome don’t allow fear to stop you from pushing through. Zora Neale Hurston once stated, “there is no agony like an untold story.” The importance of seizing the moment so that you can live with no regrets as it relates to your professional aspirations.

The focus on “radical candor” in Designing Leadership has been a transformative theme within my work to be a leader. I feel like now that I have been equipped to care personally while challenging directly. Overall, I feel like my working environment is harmonious and honest thanks in part to this lecture. 

As a newcomer to the city, I was looking for a leadership program that would place me in an environment with other like-minded mission-driven professionals. In addition to the great networking opportunity, this program provided a sound curriculum for leadership growth. An individual should consider Designing Leadership if they are looking for a program that is “out of the box.” So often leadership development is one-way flowing from the teacher to the students. This program allows the students to be active teachers. Furthermore, the intentionality about the recruitment of students is multi-generational and rich with diversity. This program is very immersive and inclusive for all learners and abilities. 

Dr. Ashley Jordan joined the African American Museum in Philadelphia as President & CEO in September 2021. Dr. Jordan, who most recently served as Senior Director of Development at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, brings significant experience managing and leading cultural institutions focused on memorializing and celebrating the African American experience in the United States. Dr. Jordan is also the proud recipient of numerous professional, academic, and civic awards, including the Pace Setter Award from the Association of African American Museums, the Black Excellence Award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and multiple doctoral fellowships from the Filson Historical Society and the Kentucky Historical Society.

Designing Leadership

This year’s theme is belonging. Stretching beyond diversity and inclusion, a sense of belonging does not form naturally when people from various backgrounds are thrown together. It takes planning and effort. This season provides tools, activities and strategies for individual leaders to build a sense of belonging within the workplace and within themselves.

Designing Leadership is a professional development program that focuses on developing managers and leaders through individual growth and reflection. With dozens of participants each season, the program provides an unparalleled opportunity to connect and network with a wide range of professionals across disciplines and backgrounds. The program caters to mid-career professionals, but all career levels are welcome.