Bridget Chisholm, Director of Conferences - introducing her association


1. When was your association founded? 


2. Where is your association based, how many members do you have & in how many countries?

  • Based: USA

  • Members: 2600

  • Countries: 68

3. Who are your members?

  • Educators/Professors

  • Executives/CEOs

  • NGO/Community/ Gov’t Leaders

  • Scholars/Researchers

  • Students

  • Higher Ed. Presidents/Provosts/Deans

  • Program Directors/Managers

  • Coaches/Consultants

4. What is your mission & aim of the association?


Advancing leadership knowledge and practice for a better world.

Our Purpose

The world has a deep and pressing need for leadership that inspires and enables us to face the challenges of a complex, diverse, and ever-changing world. ILA is committed to advancing leadership knowledge and practice for a better world. We do this by creating trusted spaces for leadership learning across boundaries and providing trusted leadership resources for our members, partners, and the public.  

The ILA was created to bring together professionals with a keen interest in the study, practice, and development and teaching of leadership. Today, ILA is the largest global community dedicated to leadership theory and practice. Through conferences, webinars, publications, and other resources, ILA convenes and connects its members, provides professional development opportunities, and advances the field of leadership.

For twenty years the ILA has convened extraordinary talent across sectors, cultures, disciplines, and generations. Our members and partners are at the forefront of leadership thinking; inspiring new collaborations and innovative ideas for the greater good of individuals and communities worldwide.

This is who we are. This is what we do. With our members and partners, we can collectively make an impact.

5. What are the major challenges facing your association?

  • Gun violence and visa application processes in United States.

  • Global political and economic trends.

  • Not a major, but also not minor: How to grow engagement on the African continent and in Latin America

6. What kind of events are organised by your association?

One annual global for the entire membership plus regional and topical events.

7. What is the decision process behind the selection of a destination/venue?

Staff recommends to the ILA President after careful site selection process and bid negotiations are conducted over a two-year period.

8. Can you share your insights about the latest trends within the association community?

Redefining Membership: With open source documents and vast Internet access, what does the membership of the future look like?

9. What does your association do in terms of legacy, do your meetings have a societal impact on the destination?

  • We provide local college students an opportunity to attend for $40 in exchange for eight hours of volunteer time on site at the conference. The society of local scholars and practitioners are given an opportunity to present.

  • We hold an international student case competition that focuses on a current pressing global subject.

  • We hold an emerging scholars’ event, creating space for the newest brightest minds to spend 90 minutes with a renowned global scholar.

  • We purchase totes, gifts, printing services etc. from the local community and we make certain local farms, bakeries, breweries, vineyards, etc. supply the product needed.

  • If items are compostable, we make sure they are being composted and if they are not, we require non-disposable items be used instead.

  • NO bottled water allowed. No plastic soda bottles either.

  • We ask our delegates to bring their own coffee mugs and water bottles so that we do not add to the landfills.

  • Materials are printed on 100% post-consumer paper with soy or vegetable-based inks.

  • By asking for all of these things and more in our RFP and during the planning process we have the ability to and have successfully created change in the cities visited.

  • We also have a program honouring the legacy of long-time contributors to the field of leadership practice, research and theory, We have a legacy award program, learn more here.

10. Are you looking to forge collaborations with other associations? If so in what areas of expertise?

Absolutely! Collaboration, especially toward effecting climate change, such as all agreeing to include in our RFPS the request that compostable items be composted, products be sourced from the local farming community, LEED certification centres be preferred, electric buses be available, carbon offsets be part of the offer, etc. It would be great to have a quarterly ICCA roundtable in the WDC area so we can discuss trends and look at ways to work collaboratively.


For more information on ILA please check their website: