The Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI), an organization that works to develop leadership competencies around holistic approaches to complex food systems, has been named into the top 10 continuing education programs with a strong leadership focus by the organization Leadership Excellence. FSLI is a flagship leadership program of the Association of Land Grant and Public Universities, of which the University of North Carolina is a member.
Dr. Claudia Fernandez, one of the founding members of the FSLI program, is a clinical assistant professor of maternal and child health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and an adjunct assistant professor at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University. Dr. Fernandez helped create the FSLI curriculum 12 years ago.
As director of the program’s leadership core and the executive coach, Dr. Fernandez works with colleagues from NCSU, the Ohio State University and California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo to provide expertise in food systems content to the FSLI. She also teaches leadership content and guides fellows through the program.
“While UNC and NCSU often compete on the athletic floor,” Dr. Fernandez noted, “FSLI is a unique cross-university partnership and a wonderful example of collaboration between local institutions. Through this partnership we have assisted in training more than 200 academic and business food system leaders in the United States and globally. Many of these leaders have gone on to become deans, provosts, university presidents and chancellors, and global business leaders.”
Dr. Fernandez will learn FSLI’s exact ranking among the top 10 continuing education programs with special emphasis on leadership when she attends HR.com and Leadership Excellence’s LEAD2016 meeting in Nashville on February 4. This year’s awards had more than 4,500 applicants, with more than 600,000 individuals voting on the results.
Being ranked at the top of the continuing education category means FSLI will be featured in two editions of the magazine Leadership Excellence Essentials as well as in an online video.
“FSLI has a strong reputation for preparing leaders who are able to navigate complex challenges and lead organizational change, all while honoring the mission and ethics of the enterprise itself,” said Dr. Fernandez. “Overall, I think UNC’s involvement with FSLI reflects well on the UNC Gillings School because it is a clear demonstration of our School’s eager willingness to partner with other universities to promote good work on a larger scale.”