Results of the Strategy Retreat


On April 26-28, 2019, we convened faculty, program administrators, industry scientists, government researchers and leaders from non-profit organizations at our first ever Strategy Retreat. During this event, we charged them to work together to develop outcomes and initiatives for the next strategic plan for the Leadership Alliance.  Through the process of Appreciative Inquiry, these stakeholders built a draft strategic plan, which will lead us to realize our vision to accelerate the diversification of the research workforce through sustainable collaborations and thought leadership on inclusive excellence.

The plan focuses on four goals to move the Leadership Alliance forward:

  1. Develop regional, organizational networks to promote awareness of academic and professional development opportunities
  2. Expand programs and resources to ensure seamless education and career transitions
  3. Build strategic national and international partnerships to accelerate the development of a diverse and inclusive research workforce
  4. Leverage the collective knowledge of the Alliance to advance national discussions on research workforce diversification.
Summary graphic of the the outcomes for each of the strategic goals that were developed at the strategy retreat.
Figure 1. Summary of the vision, goals, and outcomes that will be incorporated into the strategic plan.

At the strategy retreat, participants worked together in a generative process that allowed for ideas from multiple perspectives to be refined through group discussion to create outcomes for each goal (Figure 1). The strategic plan development will continue through the summer, with committees creating operational plans based on the ideas from the strategy retreat.

Our Progress Since 2010

For the last nine years, we have been guided by our ten-year strategic plan, A Decade of Distinction, which was developed in 2010. This plan set goals to expand the summer research opportunities, develop data infrastructure to support systematic outcomes and evaluation reporting, and to build the visibility of the consortium. We have met and exceeded these goals thanks to our dedicated partners who are committed to our success. Take a moment to review our progress below.

Stakeholder Engagement Process

The Leadership Alliance reached out its partners to hear from stakeholders across the country in listening sessions. These sessions gave us a chance to learn from current and future stakeholders about best practices, opportunities to collaborate, and ways that the Alliance can broaden its scope and reach to support underrepresented researchers. Below are the dates and locations where we held listening sessions to gather feedback, which informed our strategic planning goals.

Harvard University, Boston, MA – September 22, 2018
University of Colorado, Boulder, Boulder, CO – September 26, 2018
Montana State University, Bozeman, MT – September 28, 2018
American Society for Microbiology, Washington, DC – October 2, 2018
UNCF Mellon Conference, Atlanta, GA ( – October 6, 2018
North Carolina A&T State University, Greensboro, NC – October 19, 2018
New York University, New York, NY – November 9, 2018
Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Scientists (ABRCMS), Indianapolis, IN – November 14, 2018
Spelman College, Atlanta, Georgia – November 29, 2018
Dillard University, New Orleans, LA – December 5, 2018
University of Chicago, Chicago, IL – January 22, 2019
California State Long Beach, Los Angeles, CA – January 23, 2019
Stanford University, Stanford, CA – January 24, 2019