Leadership: Centering Well-being:

A drop falls onto a smooth water surface causing concentric rings  to move outward

Leadership in Transition:

Centering Wellbeing

Keynotes, Panels, and Leadership Fair

Opening Keynote

May 13, 2022

12 - 5 p.m.

Academic Instruction Center - West

Our world is full of transitions, especially right now. During this symposium, presenters will talk about how we can center our wellbeing while helping others around us. There will also be a leadership fair where you can meet several departments across campus who are ready to aid in your current and future leadership including your wellbeing!


12-1 p.m. Leadership/Resource Fair and Free Food

AW main floor lobby and 4th floor Skybridge

1-2 p.m. Welcome from Dr. Melynda Huskey and Keynote Speaker Anna Adeola Makanju

AW 204 - Welcome and Keynote by Anna Adeola Makanju, JD (WWU Alumna)

2-2:30 p.m. Okanagan Charter with Brandon Joseph

AW 204 - Okanagan Charter with Brandon Joseph

2:40-3:25 p.m. Graduate Panel

AW 204 - Panel of recent WWU graduates

3:30-4:30 p.m. Delfine DeFrank

AW 204 - Interactive session with Delfine DeFrank

4:30-5 p.m. Closing Remarks Chris Witherspoon

Closing remarks with WWU Trustee Chris Witherspoon

Free Admission

RSVP to attend online or in-person.


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Anna Adeola Makanju, Head of Public Policy at OpenAI, sits, gazing directly into the viewers eyes.

Anna Makanju (WWU 1997)

Anna Adeola Makanju is currently the Head of Public Policy at OpenAI, an AI research and deployment company seeking to build powerful artificial intelligence tools that benefit humanity. Previously, she was the Special Policy Advisor for Europe and Eurasia to Vice President Biden, and prior to that she was the Senior Policy Advisor to the Permanent Representative at the United States Mission to the United Nations. She also was the Director for Russia at the National Security Council and the Chief of Staff for European and NATO Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Anna was born in St. Petersburg, Russia to a Nigerian father and Ukrainian mother. When Anna was 11 years old, her family moved to Germany, then Phoenix, then Kuwait - where they lived until the beginning of the Persian Gulf War - and finally to Texas.

Anna entered Western Washington University when she was 16 years old and graduated with a BA in linguistics and French, spending her final year studying at the University of Nantes, France. After working for Chef Tom Douglas in Seattle, she went on to study law at Stanford University.

Following law school, Anna worked on the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and clerked for Judge Theodore McKee on the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Following her clerkship, she worked in the international arbitration group of Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP. She left her position at Cleary Gottlieb to work as a field organizer for the Obama for America campaign and joined the Obama administration in 2009.

Gabe standing outside in a blue button down shirt.


Gabe is a First Generation College Graduate from Western Washington University. Gabe graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Management Information Systems and Minors in both Leadership and Business Analytics. He is currently a Senior Associate at Grant Thornton working on Automating Compliance audits. Outside of work, Gabe enjoys playing video games, hiking, and documenting the city of Seattle through street photography.

Gabby standing outdoors and smiling wearing a black cardigan with white flower buttons and a a gold colored necklace


Gabriella is a College Graduate from Western Washington University (Fairhaven College). Gabby graduated with a Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with concentrations in Communications, Business Management and a minor in Leadership Studies. She is currently a Senior Territory Manager at Bausch + Lomb working on increasing market share for B+L Vision Care Products. Since moving to Seattle in June of 2020 Gabby has spent a lot of her time exploring the city. Outside of work, Gabby enjoys playing tennis, trying new restaurants/bars and traveling. 

Abdul grinning down into a microphone


Abdul Malik Ford, a WWU alum of Business and Sustainability and Spanish. Ford is a self employed creative who is pushing the bounds of fashion, sustainability, and creativity. At his time at Western, among many things, he served as the president of the Black student Union (2x) and the president of the associated students. 

RSVP for the in-person or online event

The sessions will be in person in Academic West and streamed on Zoom.

If attending in person, please


If you are attending any portion online, please pre-register on zoom.