Why are we running this project?

Today’s leaders are increasingly faced with global issues they have to resolve. More often than not, however, they lack the international perspective necessary to successfully tackle these challenges. To this day, most leaders are still trained nationally, and even advanced executive training courses may not have any international participants.

How does the project work?

The “Next Generation Leaders Program” is a tailor-made program of the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University for leadership training. The development program for future leaders from around the world and with different kinds of professional backgrounds focuses on developing character-driven leaders. The Institute’s “Next Generation Leaders Program” has trained 52 leaders representing 39 countries since it began in 2013.

First German Next Generation Leader, Talitha Goldmann-Kefalas

In a first for the program, one of the leaders is German: Talitha Goldmann-Kefalas, whose fellowship is funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. During her one-year fellowship at the McCain Institute for International Leadership, Ms. Goldmann-Kefalas has the opportunity to build international contacts and take part in executive trainings,  focused on personal and professional develop-ment, which will give her the tools necessary to carry out her leadership action plan when she returns to Germany.

Ms. Goldmann-Kefalas has just recently successfully completed a pilot project integrating qualified refugees, based on a further training program in early childhood education. She aims to qualify refugees to have a share in the labor market by building up networks with the educational sector.

Moreover, by including refugees in educational activities, she intends to further the positive integration of refugees into German society.
"To make integration a full and lasting success, we need better cooperation be-tween lawmakers, academics, and educators," said Ms. Goldmann-Kefalas.

This is the conclusion Ms. Goldmann-Kefalas has drawn following years of experience in social work, among others with street children in Brazil. While working on her bachelor’s degree, she co-authored the volume "Street Chil-dren in Europe." Her graduate studies in "Social Work as a Human Rights Pro-fession" allowed her to expand her knowledge about issues of international co-operation as well as children’s and refugees’ rights. To this end, she also volun-teered at a refugee camp in Greece. In her master’s thesis, she focused on the analysis of obstacles to the workplace integration of refugees.

As a project manager at Berlin-based FRÖBEL Bildung und Erziehung gGmbH, a not-for-profit operator of child guidance facilities, she developed and implemented an approach for workplace integration targeted at educators with displacement experiences together with the Gesellschaft für Interkul-turelles Zusammenleben (GIZ e.V.) and supported the cross-organizational cooperation.

Understanding her profession as a link between academia and practice, Ms. Goldmann-Kefalas pursues sustainable, target-group and goal-oriented ap-proaches in social work throughout her career.