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Program Goals

  • To enhance and advance the impact of women leaders on the educational excellence of independent schools
  • To provide women leaders with the affirmation, competencies and personal vision needed to advance to the highest levels of independent school leadership
  • To connect participants to a network of current school leaders who will act as mentors, sponsors and advisors to facilitate their development in independent school leadership
  • To identify opportunities for women leaders to undertake meaningful leadership roles in projects and initiatives currently available in AISGW schools

Program Components

  • Nine sessions held primarily in-person addressing key leadership topics for women
  • Mentoring from a DC-area head of school/senior administrator
  • Affinity conversations as needed based on cohort composition
  • Reading assignments, webinar recommendations, journal reflections, and a review of case studies and current research on school leadership
  • Identification of goals, educational philosophies, and a plan for leadership in support of next steps
  • Independent presentation on a school issue
  • Potential for participating in real-time leadership projects in AISGW schools
  • Complimentary attendance at selected AISGW programs for school heads 
Click Here to View the Previous Year's Syllabus


Who Will Lead the Program? 

The program will be led by Kathleen O’Neill Jamieson, former head of school at the National Cathedral School. AISGW heads of school, independent school thought-leaders, and independent school consultants from throughout the region and nationally have been invited to share their expertise on specific topics.  The program sessions will be guided and facilitated by an advisory faculty comprised of heads of school from a range of AISGW schools.

Who Should Apply?

This program is for women aspiring to independent school headships or senior leadership roles in academics, enrollment, fundraising, or finance. Applicants should have prior experience working in an administrative or leadership capacity; women currently in director positions are highly encouraged to apply. In addition to formal leadership experience, applicants should exhibit high potential for leading teams, managing change, solving problems and successfully engaging in complex human interactions. While not all cohort members are expected to be interested in a head of school role, it is anticipated that many will be exploring this type of leadership opportunity.

Click here to access the application

How is the Leadership Initiative Different from Other Leadership Development Programs?

The Leadership Initiative will have a uniquely local focus on the greater Washington, DC region since both the program leaders and the cohort members will have extensive knowledge and a shared experience of the leadership needs, opportunities and culture of DC-area schools. At the same time, this local focus will be amplified with the wisdom of national experts. The Leadership Initiative also will offer opportunities for hands-on engagement in school leadership work through case studies and participation in real-time school projects. Finally, there will be a distinct emphasis on sponsorship through relationships developed with the head of school advisors and the broad support of current AISGW school heads who are invested in the success of the participants in this program.

Please note that this program is for women in AISGW schools only.