A Changing Landscape: Future Leadership for the Great Lakes

December 15, 2015

In the fall of 2015, the Institute for Conservation Leadership, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, conducted a study to better understand the current state of leadership development and future leadership needs in the Great Lakes region.

The study focused on the following key areas:

  • How leaders in the Great Lakes think about their role in freshwater advocacy;
  • What their organizations are doing now to support leadership development;
  • What gaps need to be filled to achieve significant change and impact going forward.

You can view and download the full report here.


Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 10.17.20During the spring of 2015, ICL surveyed 27 executive directors and senior staff, interviewed 18 leaders, and facilitated two leadership roundtable conversations involving 9 executive directors and senior staff. Eight Great Lakes states and two provinces in Canada were represented. Most of the interviews and many of the respondents represent C.S. Mott Foundation grantees and/or members of Healing Our Waters Coalition.

Leadership Themes

ICL identified six themes for organizations, funders, and capacity-building organizations to consider. The concepts overlapped and merged and suggest a composite picture of leadership going forward. The themes are:

  • Community-Connected Advocacy
  • Strategic Collaboration
  • Effective Organizations
  • Diversity and Inlcusion
  • Environmental and Conservation Careers
  • Executive Succession and Transition

You can view and download the full report here.

You can view and download the Executive Summary of the full report here.

Video presentation

The following video gives a broad overview of the report and its findings.

You can view and download the full report here.