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Sue Shear Leadership Academy


In light of necessary restrictions on all public gatherings across the state and nation, it has become necessary to host this year’s Sue Shear Leadership Academy virtually on June 9th and June 10th, and June 14th - June 18th

The Sue Shear Leadership Academy is an intensive 7-day leadership development program designed to inspire civic engagement and encourage women’s public sector leadership. This program was originally sponsored by the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Lifein 1998 and transitioned to UMSL’s College of Education (COE) in 2019. The Sue Shear Leadership Academy program was developed in partnership with the NEW Leadership™ National Network. NEW Leadership™ is a national non-partisan program developed by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University to educate the next generation of women for public leadership. The Sue Shear Leadership Academy brings together college women from across the political spectrum to discuss the roles of women in leadership and politics. Participants are exposed to new ideas and opportunities and consider their future careers. 

Students will be selected from participating universities to attend the Sue Shear Leadership Academy. Throughout the 7-day program, Shear Fellows learn and hone leadership skills, discuss important public policy issues, connect with women leaders from the public and private sectors, learn how to influence and craft public policy, explore the meaning and practice of leadership in a diverse society, and consider how they can incorporate public leadership into their future plans.

The Sue Shear Leadership Academy curriculum includes interactive panel discussions, small group exercises, skill-building workshops, and opportunities to network with women leaders who are shaping public policy as elected officials, government leaders, and policy advocates. These women role models make policy “real” and donate their time to give participants a glimpse of what it means to be a woman in public life. They also help participants develop leadership skills that will increase their effectiveness as policy makers.

Over 700 college women have graduated from the Sue Shear Leadership Academy and are making a difference as leaders in their communities. Past Fellows build lasting networks with other Academy alumnae and women leaders who serve as mentors and role models. 


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