Eric Watson ’91 wasn’t envisioning himself as a U.S. Marine Corps aviator when he first came to Syracuse University. The Washington D.C., native originally intended on studying computer science, but as is the case with many college students, Watson realized…
Syracuse University Employee Selected for Bush Institute’s Inaugural Class of Stand-To Veteran Leadership Initiative
The George W. Bush Institute has announced the first class selected to participate in the Stand-To Veteran Leadership Initiative, a first-of-its-kind program aimed at individuals serving our nation’s veterans who are motivated to broaden their skillsets, knowledge and influence across the country. Amy Taft, curriculum and learning manager at the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, is among the 33 selected in the inaugural class.
Throughout the six-month program, participants will hear from a variety of nationally known and distinguished professionals, educators and experts in post-9/11 veteran transition issues and leadership development. Among them will be Mike Haynie, Syracuse University vice chancellor and IVMF executive director and founder; Maureen Casey, IVMF chief operating officer; Nick Armstrong, IVMF senior director of research and evaluation; Rosalinda Maury, IVMF director of applied research and analytics; Robert McDonald, 8th secretary of Veteran Affairs and IVMF board member; and Sean O’Keefe G’78, Maxwell School professor and IVMF board member.
The inaugural class recently gathered for an opening session in Dallas and in the following months will attend four weekend sessions in Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Seattle. The program will conclude with a final session and closing ceremony at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in November 2018.
Selected participants are rising leaders—both veterans and non-veterans—from a wide range of sectors who are working to improve post-9/11 veteran outcomes. They hold a variety of roles, including business and community leaders; members of veteran-serving nonprofits; leaders in government and academia; and active military service members.
“I am honored to be part of the momentous group of individuals dedicated to making an impact for those who serve our country,” says Taft. “The caliber of the program and the expertise of those leading the sessions is both exciting and humbling. I am eager to participate in the program and use what I learn to continue the great work we do at the IVMF to serve veterans and their family members.”
The Stand-To Veteran Leadership Initiative is part of the Bush Institute’s commitment to developing and supporting effective leaders. This program builds on the Bush Institute’s extensive body of work on veteran transition issues, and each participant joins the program with a personal leadership project, which allows them to implement what they learn in service of improving veteran outcomes across the United States. The Bush Center gratefully acknowledges the support of The Boeing Company as the Founding Program underwriter.