Simmons University Creates New Institute for Leadership

Appoints Susan MacKenty Brady as Managing Director

Simmons University today announced the establishment of the Simmons University Institute for Leadership to be run by Susan MacKenty Brady, a nationally renowned women’s leadership expert. The Institute will take Simmons’ longstanding success in developing empowered women leaders to a new level — hosting global conferences and conversations, offering educational programs for corporate partners, conducting research studies, and developing other activities to advance women’s leadership.

The new Simmons Institute for Leadership will draw on the expertise of Simmons faculty, alumnae/i and students, as well as global thought leaders, academicians, executives, authors and other experts to empower and inspire women of all ages to become leaders in their personal and professional lives. The Institute will engage men as allies and partners to bring inclusion and equity to leadership. Simmons’ existing Leadership Conferences, executive education programs and Center for Gender in Organizations will also come under the Institute’s umbrella.

“The Simmons Institute for Leadership builds on our founding principles of advancing opportunities and empowering women for leadership roles,” said Helen Drinan, President of Simmons University. “Susan brings a proven track record of success, exceptional experience, and a passion for advancing women in leadership. We are delighted to have her at the helm as we launch the Simmons Institute for Leadership.”

Brady, a renowned women’s leadership coach, strategist, and author, will serve as Managing Director of the Simmons University Institute for Leadership. Brady joins Simmons from Linkage Inc., a worldwide leadership development firm specializing in consulting, training, organizational assessments, executive coaching and immersive learning experiences. In her role as Executive Vice President, she founded and co-chaired Linkage’s Women in Leadership Institute™, now in its 20th year with a network of over 10,000 alumni worldwide. Brady also oversaw the growth of Linkage’s global Advancing Women Leaders practice. She led the field research behind Linkage’s 7 Leadership Hurdles Women Leaders Face in the Workforce™, which she shares in her latest book: Mastering Your Inner Critic and 7 Other High Hurdles to Advancement

“Simmons has made a positive difference in so many successful women’s lives and careers,” Brady said.  “I am honored and humbled to join an organization that has known the importance of empowering women for 120 years. This new Institute is a catalyst for expanding the university’s reach and for continuing to change the game for women around the world.”

Since its founding in 1899 as a women’s college, Simmons University has offered a practical liberal arts education focused on professional development and preparing women for leadership roles. Today, Simmons serves thousands of undergraduate and graduate students both on campus and online. The Simmons Leadership Conference -- now in its 40th year -- draws thousands of professional women and men across the United States and abroad for skill-building workshops and panel discussions. Past speakers include Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Christiane Amanpour.

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