The Alumni Leaders Experience is an annual conference in which Columbia’s top alumni leaders and volunteers gather to exchange best practices, advice, and ideas. Held in-person for the first time since 2019, this year’s event was chaired by Shaun Hoyte (SPS’16), and co-chaired by Courtney Cesari (CC’04). The activities kicked off Friday, September 30 with an informal get together and chat with Columbia Business School professors, followed by a tour of the University’s new Manhattanville campus, guided by Greta Larson (SIPA’21), Administrative Director of Columbia Business School Private Equity Program.
During Friday afternoon, regional club leaders as well as members of shared interest groups, gathered in an event catered exclusively for alumni leaders, in which representatives from various countries shared their experiences, best practices, and strategies to develop their respective clubs. The official kick off was that night, during the All Alumni Leader Reception, that took place at Columbia’s Lenfest Center for the Arts.
The following day, participants in the Alumni Leaders Experience had the opportunity to attend interactive sessions dedicated to topics such as career transitions, leading in challenging contexts, and using Columbia resources for social justice causes. Gormaz attended a panel entitled “Redefining Your Personal Brand,” in which a group of experts gave insights on how to develop a brand, making it distinctive, memorable, and effective.
Democratic Party Congresswoman and Columbia alumna Sara Jacobs (CC’11, SIPA’12) was the keynote speaker of the weekend. In conversation with Thomas Brennan (JRN’15), Jacobs, who is currently serving as a representative for California's 53rd congressional district, particularly focused on the needs of military veterans. The activity was followed by a leaders luncheon with Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger, as well as Trustees Wanda Holland Greene (CC’89, TC’91 & TC’21) and Jonathan Lavine (CC’88), who spoke to the attendees about the ties that bring together Columbia alumni around the globe: A shared love for their alma mater and a collective belief in the power that Columbia has to address some of the world’s greatest challenges.