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Sue Shear Leadership Academy


The Sue Shear Leadership Academy (SSLA) has historically been an intensive 7-day leadership development program designed to inspire civic engagement and encourage women’s public sector leadership. The 2022-2023 school year will offer a redesign of the program with monthly one-day workshops from November 2022 to April 2023, bringing participants together with women leaders from a variety of sectors to gain new knowledge around leadership virtues.

This program was originally sponsored by the Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life in 1998 and transitioned to UMSL’s College of Education (COE) in 2019.  The SSLA was developed in partnership with the NEW Leadership™ National Network. NEW Leadership™ is a national non-partisan program developed by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University to educate the next generation of women for public leadership.

The 2022-2023 SSLA is hosted by the UMSL College of Education Center for Character and Citizenship, with support from the Women’s Giving Circle and the John Templeton Foundation.

Over 700 college women have graduated from the Sue Shear Leadership Academy and are making a difference as leaders in their communities. Past Fellows build lasting networks with other Academy alumnae and women leaders who serve as mentors and role models.