Social workers and human service professionals are at the forefront of catalyzing needed change for their clients, within their agencies, and in their communities. Yet as changemakers, we face daunting systemic challenges that can lead to feelings of disillusionment, and burnout. The purpose of this one-day advanced leadership program is to strengthen the capacity of human service professionals to facilitate adaptive change and bring about progress on these difficult challenges.

The symposium will be guided primarily by the adaptive leadership framework, which defines leadership as an activity that is focused on engaging and mobilizing others in addressing challenges without easy answers.

The program is designed to deepen understanding of adaptive leadership ideas while helping root these concepts more firmly into everyday practice. The symposium will also be a space for building community with other practitioners who wish to support each other through the difficult challenges of leading.

The program will feature engaging and interactive learning experiences facilitated by an experienced team of adaptive leadership practitioners. Dr. Kimberlyn Leary, an adaptive leadership educator at the Harvard Medical School and T.H. Chan School of Public Health, will deliver a plenary address titled “Leading With and Without Authority.” A special World Café session will enable participants to deepen their connectivity through small group conversations around topics of mutual concern.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided. We hope you will join us for this special event. For more info please click here.



  • Gain a better understanding of the organizational stakeholder systems of which they are a part in order to take more informed action as social work and nonprofit professionals
  • Develop strategies to learn to confront the loss and other forms of resistance that they will face in trying to bring about necessary change in their organizations
  • Learn strategies for initiating change in their organizations whether or not they are in positions of authority


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9:30-10:00 Breakfast & Networking

10:00-10:15 Opening Remarks

10:15-11:30 Dr. Kimberlyn Leary: Leading With and Without Authority

11:30-11:45 Break

11:45-1:00 From Purpose to Progress: Getting to the Root of the Adaptive Challenge

1:00-1:40 Lunch

1:45-3:00 Strategic Interventions: Moving between Diagnosis and Action

3:00-3:10 Break

3:10-3:50 World Café

3:50-4:30 Reception


Dr. Kimberlyn Leary
Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School
Enabling Change Program Director, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Kimberlyn is an associate professor of psychology at the Harvard Medical School and an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where she directs the Enabling Change program. Dr. Leary is also the Executive Director of Policy Outreach at McLean Hospital and a faculty affiliate at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. She has taught courses on negotiation and conflict transformation to undergraduates at Harvard College, to senior executives at Harvard Law School, and to physicians working in high-conflict zones as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Amsterdam. She is currently teaching a course called Exercising Authority: Power, Voice and Strategy at the Harvard Kennedy School with Dr. Ronald Heifetz. She has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, and an AB from Amherst College.

Dr. Linda Lausell Bryant
Katherine and Howard Aibel Executive-in-Residence
Clinical Associate Professor, NYU Silver School of Social Work

Dr. Lausell Bryant’s work at NYU Silver focuses on building the capacity of social work students to exercise leadership in the human services sector to have a transformative impact on pressing social challenges. Her career spans 32 years in youth services in both the private and public sectors. Dr. Lausell Bryant served as the Executive Director of Inwood House and as associate commissioner for youth development at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services. She was appointed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to the New York City Panel for Education Policy. Dr. Lausell Bryant was featured in the New York Times Corner Office column in May 2011, and her insights were featured in Mr. Bryant’s book titled Quick & Nimble: Lessons from Leading CEO’s on How to Create a Culture of Innovation. She is the co-author of “A Guide for Sustaining Conversations on Racism, Identity and Our Mutual Humanity.”

Marc Ross Manashil
Adjunct Lecturer, NYU Silver School of Social Work
Lecturer, Graduate School of Management, University of California, Davis Principal, 11plus Philanthropy, LLC

A social worker by training, Marc worked for two decades in the global health and philanthropy arena, having served in director roles with an international grant making foundation, a medical relief organization, and an NGO preventing child mortality in West Africa. Since studying adaptive leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School from 2009-10 and serving as a Teaching Assistant to Dr. Dean Williams, Marc has organized and facilitated numerous adaptive leadership training programs in the nonprofit and public sectors. Marc lectures at NYU’s Silver School and the University of California, Davis. In addition to an MPA, he holds a BA in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a MSW from the University of California, Berkeley.

April Bang
Doctoral Candidate in Adult Learning and Leadership
Teachers College, Columbia University

April is an artist and leadership educator specializing in adaptive leadership, systemic change, and collaborative capacity building. As an artist, April has an on-going curiosity to examine and demonstrate how art could foster individual and collective transformation. She is a doctoral candidate in the Adult Learning and Leadership program at Teachers College, Columbia University where she also obtained her Ed.M. Prior to her doctoral studies, she taught leadership at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea and worked as a practitioner across several fields. She holds an MPP from Harvard Kennedy School and a BA in economics from Smith College.

Jared Carroll
Coordinator, NYU Silver Adaptive Leadership Fellows Network
Executive Director, Play at the Core

Jared is a social worker and youth development specialist, with work spanning the non-profit, education, and mental health fields over the past 15 years. His experience includes direct practice, program administration, strategic planning, fundraising, and training in program leadership, development, and implementation. With a focus in programs that serve children impacted by trauma, Jared’s mission is to grow a community of change that engages program practitioners, leaders, and youth themselves to overcome the challenges they face. In 2017, Jared founded Play At The Core, LLC -- a youth development program consulting organization that seeks to help youth thrive by inspiring growth and change through play.

Asiya Vickers
Teaching Assistant, NYU Silver Adaptive Leadership Fellowship Program
2019 MSW Graduate, NYU Silver School of Social Work
President, NYU Phi Alpha Honor Society

Asiya is a newly minted social worker who is passionate about both micro and macro level practice. After spending nearly a decade of working and volunteering in the non-profit sector, Asiya is familiar with how adaptive challenges can either stifle or spur organizational growth. Asiya was recently offered positions on both Bellevue Hospital’s Auxiliary Board and with the New York State Society for Clinical Social Workers’ Metropolitan Chapter and intends to apply lessons learned, as a former fellow and teaching assistant, from NYU Silver’s Adaptive Leadership Program. Asiya holds both her B.A in Political Science and Masters of Social Work degree from New York University.

Erik Yazdani
Teaching Assistant, NYU Silver Adaptive Leadership Fellowship Program
Psychotherapist, National Institute for the Psychotherapies
Career Coach, Adaptive Dialogues

Erik is a psychotherapist and career coach. After a career in software where he led product development teams, Erik trained in the Adaptive Leadership model at the Harvard Kennedy School. He has since developed and taught workshops on adaptive leadership, conflict resolution and a variety of other professional development topics for professionals across industries. Erik enjoys the fulfillment of working one-one-one and in group settings facilitating the personal and professional growth of his clients. Erik has a joint MBA/MPA from the MIT Sloan School and the Harvard Kennedy School as well as a Masters of Social Work from NYU Silver.