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Former advisor to Barack Obama hosts leadership conversation at SFU Surrey

Dec 04, 2019


Betsy Myers in discussion with Steve Dooley, executive director of SFU’s Surrey campus.

A former senior advisor to U.S. presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Betsy Myers recently shared her expertise with an audience of students and the local community at SFU. A renowned leadership expert, author and advocate, she discussed six emerging leadership trends for the 21st century.

Myers, who was most recently the chief operating officer of the Obama presidential campaign and chair of Women for Obama, visited SFU’s Surrey campus on November 6. She spoke on the radical transformation of leadership in the 21st century as a result of unprecedented changes in technology, demographics and the global economy.

“I have a simple belief about leadership,” says Myers. “When leaders are committed to bringing out their people’s most productive feelings, it makes for happier people and more productive work environments. This should not be cutting-edge leadership but it is!”

SFU’s Beedie School of Business and the Surrey campus, in partnership with BMO Financial Group, invited all community members to attend this free event.

“Leadership takes many different forms,” says Stephen Dooley, executive director of SFU Surrey. “Whether it’s in our family, workplace or community, to some extent everybody takes on leadership roles, and I think everybody could learn a great deal from Betsy.”

The conversation was the first event to take place in the campus’ new lecture hall, a 400 seat, state-of-the-art facility, and served as an opportunity to celebrate the expansion of the campus and its community.

“Betsy Myers is a renowned and inspirational leadership expert who shares many values with SFU Beedie, and we were excited to welcome her to speak at our campus,” says Ali Dastmalchian, dean of SFU’s Beedie School of Business. “Inclusion and purposeful engagement are at the centre of our school’s calling, and this event was a wonderful opportunity for our students and the wider community to connect with Ms. Myers’ ideas.”