So You Think You Want to Lead?
Session 1E

Wednesday, October 3 | 10:00–11:00 AM

Presented by: 
Kathleen Diemer

Session Description: 

There are times when you just don't understand your leaders; their decisions don't seem to make sense; they don't always communicate well. Maybe you have even rolled your eyes on occasion and thought, "I could do a better job." Leading a team or a division may seem simple; but is it?

This session will debunk some of the misconceptions about leadership roles and will help attendees determine if they have the soft skills necessary to move up the leadership ladder. From a distance, leadership often looks enticing; but in practice, leadership roles can be messy, complicated, and come with plenty of challenges that most people outside the leadership level don't ever see. Whether you have thought about moving up the leadership ladder or just want to gain a new perspective on the leaders at your own organization, join professional colleagues for an inside look at the realities of leadership.

Shop Size
Suitable for any size shop

Experience Levels
Early-career (4–7 years)
Mid-career (8–12 years)

Private College/University
Public College/University
Private Secondary School
Religious Organization
Arts Organization
Environmental Organization
Advocacy Organization
Social Services
Other Nonprofit


About the Speakers:

Kathleen Diemer
Interim AVP, Advancement and Alumni Relations
George Mason University

Kathleen Diemer, CFRE, currently serves as Interim Associate Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations at George Mason University. In her role at Mason, she oversees the donor relations and advancement communications efforts on behalf of the university's comprehensive Faster Farther campaign.

Prior to her work at Mason, Kathleen helped guide the University of Maryland's central donor relations unit through two comprehensive fundraising campaigns. During her tenure at Maryland, she helped design and implement the university's Celebration of Scholarships website and Online Endowment Donor Portal, which are widely-recognized as the first applications of their kind. These award-winning projects set industry standards and served as models for donor relations and stewardship programs at other organizations.

Kathleen has proudly served as both Secretary-Treasurer and President of the Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP). During her term as President, she helped strengthen association policy related to partnerships and conflict of interest, and also led the association through a strategic visual identity and re-branding process.