Name: Liliane Ursache
Employer: GCSP - The Geneva Leadership Alliance
Education: MSc Development Management
Current Job titles: Partnership Development Coordinator
Fun Fact: My genius cat is able to count the days in a week.
Contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org
GCSP: Why did you choose to enter this field?/What got you into this field?
My first steps into working life started with a summer job in a UN agency in Geneva. It was a revelation: having been a refugee, self-conscious of being different, now I was in a work environment where everybody was a foreigner… I realised that we can all be valued for our differences.
This was the beginning of an initiatory journey: 26 years dedicated to international development issues, mostly project work, always being acutely aware of the increasing complexities in this space. Today, more than ever, I still believe we need to overcome our differences and draw together our collective intelligence to solve ever more serious development challenges.
GCSP: What is your role at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy?
My mission is to help GCSP’s Geneva Leadership Alliance meet its growth objectives both in terms of funding and relationship building. The Leadership Alliance has been successful in delivering leadership executive education in the field of peace and security for the past 3 years – it is now important to scale up this effort to enable more leaders to deal with an increasingly complex world.
GCSP: How do you see leadership shaping the future?
Over the decades, we have seen global threats shift from fairly controllable to potentially devastating: climate change, migration, escalating conflicts, etc. Such issues need to be addressed by a new generation of leaders who understand well global interconnections and are equipped with the knowledge and tools to deal with a world in turmoil. Leadership education is key to shaping a safer, desirable future.
GCSP: What is the best piece of advice you were ever given?
This was actually related to me questioning the idea of individual freedom of action. One of my former supervisors gave me this advice: “freedom is mind-set and we are all free of our actions, but only as long as our actions are ethical”.
GCSP: What’s the next challenge for leadership?
In the field of leadership education, the greatest difficulty is to measure the outcomes of our efforts. Although we know that our alumni are better equipped to face their personal and work-related challenges, we would still like to have more visibility on how their decisions are being influenced by our courses.
GCSP: What should readers stay tuned for in leadership?
Our upcoming course “Lead and Influence with Impact” is taking place next November. This is our flagship course and we look forward to an exciting and experienced group where we can share those real-life situations which are key to our learning methods.
GCSP: Why are you passionate about this subject? Why does it make a difference for you personally or professionally?
The more I learn about leadership, the more I realise how crucial this topic is at all levels, from individual to societal. Everything we know about leadership translates into real life. Whether we look at our past experiences or we concentrate on the “right now”, leadership is all about how we relate to others. How we position ourselves and how we attain – or not – the desired outcomes of our actions. This is truly fascinating, because understanding how leadership happens opens a new window to better understanding ourselves and our world.