Indiana University


Tobias Center Vision

The enduring mission of the Tobias Center is inspiring leadership excellence on a national scale.  Special access to the Center’s work will be furnished to Indiana citizens for the distinct purpose of enhancing leadership within the state.


2015 Tobias Leadership Conference: April 30 - May 2, 2015 at The Alexander Hotel in Indianapolis, IN

Click HERE to register for the 2015 Conference

We are now accepting abstracts for the Conference. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should describe the proposed paper, panel, or discussion session. Due date for abstracts: February 1, 2015. Acceptance of abstract will be confirmed via email after February 9, 2015. Please email your submissions in a .pdf or Word file to the Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence at

Click HERE to email your abstract


The 2015 "Tobias Leadership Conference: A Multi-Sectored Forum on the Theory and Practice of Leadership" will be hosted April 30 - May 2, 2015 at The Alexander hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

April 30 - May 2, 2015
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday
The Alexander hotel
Indianapolis, IN
Time: 6:00pm Thursday – 12:00pm Saturday

The Conference brings together scholars and practitioners from the entire spectrum of leadership including corporate leadership, not-for-profit leadership, religious leadership, educational leadership, medical leadership, and political leadership. The Forum will feature papers and panels from all academic disciplines. A primary purpose of this conference is to promote interdisciplinary collaboration and facilitate the exchange of ideas on the broad subject of leadership.

The Conference will begin the evening of April 30. Multiple sessions will be held Friday and Saturday consisting of speaker presentations, panel discussions, and research presentations concerning the broad topic of leadership. Additionally, there will be a gala dinner on Friday evening.

Conference Registration Fees:

The $250 registration fee includes all conference sessions, Thursday's reception, two continental breakfasts, two lunches, and the gala dinner.

The student rate of $45 is for the conference sessions only; no meals are included.


Conference Hotel: The Alexander

Nestled in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, The Alexander features outstanding business amenities, 157 guest rooms, 52 extended stay suites, and an emphasis on art and design. Guests can take advantage of a fitness center, multiple restaurants, and 16,500 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space. The Alexander offers a refreshing dose of local color and flavor and promises a unique experience for Tobias Leadership Conference attendees. The discounted group rate during the Conference is $179 per night; you may make a reservation by clicking on this link: Tobias Leadership Conference Reservation at The Alexander hotel.

Click HERE to register for the 2015 Conference


2015 Conference Speakers: To Be Announced


2014 Conference Speakers

"Data-Smart Leadership" - 8:00am, Saturday April 26

Stephen Goldsmith, Professor of Government, Director of Innovation in American Government, and Director of Data-Smart City Solutions at Harvard Kennedy School and Managing Director at Huron Consulting

Stephen Goldsmith previously served as Deputy Mayor of New York and Mayor of Indianapolis, where he earned a reputation as one of the country's leaders in public-private partnerships, competition, and privatization. Stephen was also the chief domestic policy advisor to the George W. Bush campaign in 2000, the Chair of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the district attorney for Marion County, Indiana from 1979 to 1990. He has written The Power of Social Innovation; Governing by Network: the New Shape of the Public Sector; Putting Faith in Neighborhoods: Making Cities Work through Grassroots Citizenship and The Twenty-First Century City: Resurrecting Urban America.  He currently directs Data-Smart City Solutions, a project to highlight local government efforts to use new technologies that connect breakthroughs in the use of big data analytics with community input to reshape the relationship between government and citizen.




"Frankenstein's Leadership Monster" - 11:45am, Friday, April 25

Richard Gunderman, Chancellor's Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, Philanthropy, and in the Honors College at Indiana University

Richard Gunderman is Chancellor’s Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy at Indiana University. He received his AB Summa Cum Laude from Wabash College, MD and PhD (Committee on Social Thought) with honors from the University of Chicago, and MPH from Indiana University. He was a Chancellor Scholar of the Federal Republic of Germany andreceived an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University. He is a nine-time recipient of the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award. He has published over 420 scholarly articles and 8 books, including Achieving Excellence in Medical Education, We Make a Life by What We Give, and Leadership in Healthcare.




"Spirituality and Leadership Effectiveness" - 11:25am, Saturday, April 26

George Houston, Design and Delivery Manager, Center for Creative Leadership

Prior to joining the Center for Creative Leadership, George held a number of leadership roles in business and industry.  As a human resource manager for the Deluxe Corporation, George was the inaugural chair of the Deluxe Diversity Advisory Council. The council's work led to a widely-imitated business and industry diversity model. George served the state of Colorado in the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) as the chair of the Civil Rights Commission. He also demonstrated leadership in the faith community as executive and youth pastor of a local ministry.  George holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Colorado State University and is completing doctoral requirements in Leadership and Change at Antioch University. 


"Effective Leadership in Japan: the Case of Shibusawa Eiichi" - 10:40am, Saturday, April 26

Gil Latz, Associate Vice Chancellor for International Affairs, Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis

Gil Latz is Associate Vice Chancellor for International Affairs and Professor of Geography, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; and Associate Vice President for International Affairs, Office of the Vice President for International Affairs, and Affiliated Philanthropic Studies Faculty Member, Indiana University. Latz comes to IUPUI from Portland State, where he served as vice provost for international affairs since 2002 and professor of geography and international studies since 1993. Gil is the 2011 recipient of Portland’s Global Business Award, which recognizes leadership success. He received his doctorate and master’s degrees in geography from the University of Chicago and his bachelor’s in religion and English literature at Occidental College in Los Angeles.







"A Conversation with Russ Mawby, 25-year CEO and Chairman Emeritus of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation" - 3:30pm, Friday, April 25

Russ Mawby, Chairman Emeritus of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Russell Mawby has earned a global reputation as a thoughtful and visionary leader in effective philanthropy. Known for his quarter-century stewardship of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, one of the world’s largest grantmaking institutions, Russ’s tenure was marked by creative programs including unprecedented opportunities for youth and leadership in the field of philanthropy. He actively continues to guide and advise those who continue the major philanthropic efforts launched during his career. Mawby attended Michigan State University and graduated with a baccalaureate degree in horticulture.He earned his Master's degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and received his doctorate, also in Agricultural Economics, from Michigan State University.


Gene Tempel, Founding Dean, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University

As founding dean of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Dr. Eugene R. Tempel leads the world’s first school devoted to the study and teaching of philanthropy. He is an internationally recognized expert on philanthropy and the philanthropic sector. His professional experience includes teaching, training, and consulting internationally. He has received numerous honors, including the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s James L. Fisher Award for Distinguished Service to Education. He earned a B.A. degree in English and philosophy from St. Benedict College, an M.A. in English, and a doctoral degree in higher education administration from Indiana University, and holds the Certified Fund Raising Executive professional designation.


"Put Your Whole Self In: Leadership Beyond the Rules" - 8:45am, Friday, April 25

Sandy Sasso, Senior Rabbi Emerita, Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, Indianapolis and Director, Religion, Spirituality and the Arts, Butler University

Senior Rabbi of Congregation Beth-El Zedeck, Indianapolis since 1977. Rabbi Sasso is active in the arts, civic and interfaith communities and has written and lectured on women and spirituality and the discovery of the religious imagination in children. Rabbi Sasso received her B.A. Magna Cum Laude and M.A. from Temple University. She was ordained from the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1974 and received her Doctor of Divinity after 25 years in the rabbinate. She is the recipient of a Doctorate of Ministry from Christian Theological Seminary, an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from DePauw University, an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Butler University,an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, and an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Franklin College.


"Why Culture Matters" - 2:45pm, Friday, April 25

Jeff Smulyan, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Emmis Communications

Widely recognized as one of the most visionary leaders in the radio industry, Jeffrey Smulyan serves as Founder and Chairman of the Board of Emmis Communications Corporation, an Indianapolis-based radio and magazine publishing company with operations in nine U.S. markets. Emmis was named one of FORTUNE magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” a point of particular pride for Smulyan, who believes that creating a vibrant, collaborative company culture is critical to success. In 2013, Smulyan was named a “Giant of Broadcasting” by the Library of American Broadcasting alongside such media luminaries as Barry Diller, Alex Trebek, Morley Safer and Dick Cavett. A cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California with a B.A. in History and Telecommunications, Smulyan earned a Juris Doctor degree from USC School of Law, where he served as note and comment editor of the USC Law Review.


"Responsible Leadership: Stewardship of the Future" - 11:00am, Friday, April 25

Sandra Waddock, Galligan Chair of Strategy, Carroll School of Corporate Responsibility, and Professor of Management, Boston College's Carroll School of Management

Dr. Sandra Waddock is a co-founder of the Leadership for the Change Program: Sustainability, Responsibility, Community at Boston College and the Initiative for Responsible Investing (formerly at the BC Center for Corporate Citizenship, now at the Hauser Center, Harvard Kennedy School). Her current teaching includes the Social Issues in Management (graduate business in society) course. She has also taught Strategic Management and was the module coordinator for the Leadership for Change Program’s Organizational Module for 14 years. Widely published, Dr. Waddock's research interests are in the area of macro-system change, corporate responsibility, management education, and multi-sector collaboration. She has published numerous books, most recently Building the Responsible Enterprise: Where Vision and Values Add Value (2012) and SEE Change: Making the Transition to a Sustainable Enterprise (2011).


"Made for Each Other: Leading with Collaboration and Creativity" - 8:45am, Saturday, April 26

Jim Walker, Executive Director, Big Car Collaborative

Jim Walker is founder and director of Big Car, a nonprofit community creativity organization based in Indianapolis. One of Big Car's better-known projects is Service Center for Culture and Community, a formerly vacant Firestone automotive shop repurposed as an art space with a garden on the front parking lot. He works as a designer, public artist, photographer and writer. Walker also worked 20 years in newspapers as a reporter, editor and photographer. Jim has an MFA from Warren Wilson College, and is a member of CEOs for Cities.


"Changing Minds in the Army: Why it is so Difficult and What to do About It" - 8:00am, Friday, April 25

Leonard Wong, Research Professor of Military Strategy, Strategic Studies Institute, United States Army War College

Leonard Wong is a research professor in the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College. He focuses on the human and organizational dimensions of the military. He is a retired lieutenant colonel whose career includes teaching leadership at West Point and serving as an analyst for the Chief of Staff of the Army. Dr. Wong’s research has led him to locations such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Vietnam. He has testified before Congress, and his work has been highlighted in news media such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the New Yorker, CNN, NPR, PBS, and 60 Minutes. Dr. Wong is a Professional Engineer and holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Texas Tech University. 


For More Information:

Tobias Center for Leadership Excellence
Phone: 317-278-2800


Click on the following to view:

Past Tobias Leadership Conferences

Past Multi-Sector Forums