IEL is 50!


The year 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Institute for Educational Leadership. Since 1964, IEL has championed the need for leaders at all levels to shake off their institutional constraints and work together to address the needs of children, youth, and families. IEL’s programs have helped define national and state policies in education and workforce development, enabled leaders to build collaborative strategies that get results, and assisted practitioners to implement best practices, leading to better outcomes for our young people. To learn more about us, please click here.

Button - Donate Now: Secure donations through Network for GoodIEL is one of the nation’s premiere leadership development organizations in the education and social services fields. In celebration of our half-century mark, we ask that you please consider making a special contribution to help support IEL’s continuing role in developing future leaders for learning.

IEL's Leadership Lessons for the 21st Century

Fifty years of equipping leaders to work together across boundaries to build effective systems that prepare children and youth for college, careers, and citizenship yields many lessons. IEL’s broad network of leaders—superintendents, principals, policy leaders, academics, public officials, private funders and community-based practitioners—shared their lessons as a part of IEL’s 50th anniversary celebration. Ten powerful lessons emerged from our review of their advice. We are grateful for their contribution.

  1. Leaders are anchored in a commitment to equity and the pursuit of social justice. They mobilize
    partners and build collective will to ensure opportunities for all children and youth.
  2. Leaders dream of a better world. They ground a shared vision in audacious possibility and
  3. Leaders recognize that knowing how to lead change is as important as knowing the change one wants to achieve. They respect history, understand how people adapt, and focus on results. Leaders enable their teams and their community to see and pursue a clear path forward.
  4. Leaders are committed to democracy and participatory approaches to change. By reaching across boundaries and fostering collaboration, they bring together resources from diverse people and
    organizations to help attain shared goals.
  5. Leaders embrace and manage the tensions that are pervasive in their work and help others do the
    same. They balance the importance of building strong trusting relationships with demands for
    accountability and quick action, never overlooking one for the other.
  6. Leaders are humble, yet relentless; tolerant, yet demanding; focused and analytical, yet creative
    systems-thinkers. They are unfailingly truthful, respectful, and ethical.
  7. Leaders create a supportive and responsive culture—a culture of inclusion at all levels, a culture
    that helps individuals grow and learn, and a culture that embraces risk and learns from mistakes
    along the pathway to success. And, they know that “culture eats strategy for lunch.”
  8. Leaders are present. They are reflective. They take care of themselves physically, mentally,
    and spiritually, so they can be fully focused in the moment.
  9. Leaders listen actively and learn from everyone. They learn from their peers, from people in
    their own field and others, and from people all across their community.
  10. Leadership can emerge from anywhere and anyone. Leaders mentor and empower, knowing that
    many more strong leaders are needed to enable all children and youth to succeed.

Download IEL's Leadership Lessons for the 21st Century.


IEL’s 50th Anniversary Celebration

April 29, 2014

IEL hosted a celebration commemorating its 50th anniversary on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 in Washington, DC. The celebration included an unveiling of top leadership lessons IEL collected from its vast networks. The guests were treated to a performance by the Capitol Steps. Download the event program.

Participants at IEL's 50th Anniversary Celelbration applaude.IEL board members and president blow out candles on IEL's 50th birthday cake.Staff and friends of IEL pose for a photo holding an "IEL at 50" poster.

Washington Policy Seminar

April 27-30, 2014

Logo: Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). Policy. Leadership. Networking. Washington Policy Seminar. The Challenges of Ensuring Educational Equity & Excellence with "Equity" and "Excellence" on either end of a scale.
2014 is also the 50th anniversary of IEL’s signature program, Education Policy Fellowship Program (EPFP). With over 8,000 alumni across 46 states, EPFP is one of the oldest and most robust education leadership programs in the nation. Current and former EPFP fellows united for the annual Washington Policy Seminar (WPS) from April 27-30, 2014 in Washington, DC. WPS theme was “The Challenges of Ensuring Educational Equity and Excellence.” The sessions were organized across four content areas: family and community factors, in-school factors, economic factors, and intergovernmental and cross-sector factors.

Jacqueline P. Danzberger Memorial Lecture: Yong Zhao

April 28, 2014

Head shot of Dr. Yong Zhao outdoorsThis year’s annual Danzberger Lecture was delivered by Dr. Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair, College of Education, University of Oregon. The lecture occured during the Washington Policy Seminar on Monday, April 28, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Danzberger lecture was open to the public.

The series was established in 2001 in memory of Jacqueline P. Danzberger, a long-time member of IEL's staff. Danzberger’s long-term endeavors related to education governance and reform continues to inspire school leaders, and each year's featured lecturer is a prominent figure dedicated to improving the education and development of all children and youth. Previous lecturers included Richard W. Riley, former U.S. Secretary of Education; Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education; Melinda French Gates, Co-founder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Eli Broad, Chairman of AGI SunAmerica Inc.; John Merrow, President, Learning Matters, and an IEL Board Member; Claude Steele, Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences, Stanford University, and Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; Governor Roy E. Barnes (D-Georgia); and Governor Jim Geringer (R-Wyoming).

Cross-Boundary Leaders for Education and Equity Symposium

September 30, 2014

Register by September 22!

IEL will host a FREE one-day symposium, Cross-Boundary Leaders for Education and Equity on Thursday, September 30, 2014 from 9:00 am to 12:45 pm EDT. The Symposium is designed to elevate salient leadership issues and to create meaningful dialogue about how our nation develops leaders with the capacity to prepare our children for college, career, and citizenship. The symposium will feature three panels: 1) Attracting and Preparing the Leaders Public Education Needs, 2) Cultivating and Sustaining Positive Relationships between Schools and Families, and 3) Reengaging Disconnected Young People on Pathways to Success. Learn more!

IEL Connects Newsletter

To commemorate 50 years of cross-boundary leadership, IEL is launching in the summer of 2014 a monthly online newsletter, IEL Connects, designed to highlight practices that exemplify cross-system/sector/stakeholder leadership to build effective systems that prepare children and youth for postsecondary education, careers, and citizenship.