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Message from Institute Chair and Executive Director

Posted August 21, 2013 in News

Welcome to the Kravis Leadership Institute! We are a premier academic center dedicated to leadership development located in the Kravis Center on the Claremont McKenna College campus.

Why KLI? To promote responsible, innovative leadership and provide our students with developmental opportunities in the public, private, and social sectors. We believe our students are our primary reason for being. We serve students from every discipline by extending life-changing opportunities to them and encouraging them to grow as leaders. Below is one example of how hundreds of CMCers are developing their leadership skills through a KLI designed and sponsored program.

One organization that KLI has partnered with is Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), which was the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership recipient in 2008. The Kravis Prize is a $250,000 award directed to one outstanding nonprofit organization each year to support their strong performance and to share each recipients’ best practices with other organizations worldwide. Juetzinia Kazmer ’15, who spent this past summer as an intern with FAWE in Zanzibar, shared how her experience helped her grow as a leader:

“This experience has definitely changed me…  [Being] in Zanzibar has really opened my eyes to a new culture and work environment. I had far more limited resources when I was working in Zanzibar, but that pushed me to be more creative as I developed projects, documented information, and communicated with others.

The work environment in Zanzibar is completely different than it is in western nations; unlike here at home, people focus more on cooperative teamwork. This gave me the opportunity to grow, learn, and create with my FAWE Zanzibar team. My experience working in a team-oriented organization has helped me further develop my communication and problem solving skills, which are skills I can now apply back home.

Zanzibar has been the most inspiring experience I have had in my life. I cannot stop thinking about how much FAWE Zanzibar and the individuals I have worked with have helped me grow more than I helped them. FAWE has given me a better understanding of educational issues abroad and has fueled my unstoppable drive to continue pursuing my work in youth education and empowerment… Now, I am inspired to further investigate issues dealing with educational equality and opportunity.”

– Juetzinia Kazmer ’15

Through her sponsored internship, Juetzinia learned to immerse herself in an unfamiliar culture, work in a country with fundamentally different values, and was ultimately able to lead her team in creatively overcoming obstacles. Moreover, this enriching experience gave her greater awareness about an issue that she is now even more passionate about. Juetzinia’s positive experience in Zanzibar reflects KLI’s commitment to selecting quality opportunities for our students to help them maximize their leadership potential.

We would like to thank everyone who makes KLI what it is: our KLI team members; the faculty who teach in the Leadership Sequence; our partners and collaborators, such as the Center for Civic Engagement; the Robert Day School, with whom we work to develop leadership components to further the mission of CMC of developing responsible leaders; and the wide variety of co-curricular, research and employment opportunities for students available on the Claremont McKenna College campus. Together, they create what we are most proud of – profound and enduring leadership development experiences for our students.

As always, we extend our deepest gratitude to our founder, Henry Kravis, whose generosity allows students and faculty to work in a highly functional and aesthetically appealing space that has reenergized the heart of Claremont McKenna. The award-winning Kravis Center is a beautiful building fit for developing leaders of the 21st century, and it has already become the face of Claremont McKenna College. It was recently featured in Business Insider’s “20 Best College Campuses in the US,” where Claremont McKenna College ranked #1.

Finally, without the dedication and involvement of our Board of Advisors, led by David Hetz, we would not have the financial resources nor the leadership development programs described above. We are deeply grateful for your contributions both financially and through your active engagement in KLI and CMC activities. We are looking forward to the start of the 2013-2014 academic year and our continued impact on the development of leadership talent at CMC.

Jay and Sarah