Undergraduate Academic Affairs

October 19, 2018

Francesca Lo named executive director of leadership education in Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Undergraduate Academic Affairs

Director of Husky Leadership Initiative to lead new alignment of leadership and community-engagement service programs

Undergraduate Academic Affairs is pleased to announce organizational shifts designed to more proactively align the unit’s community engagement and student leadership development work.

Portrait of Fran Lo

Francesca Lo, executive director of leadership education and director of the Husky Leadership Initiative in Undergraduate Academic Affairs

These Undergraduate Academic Affairs programs have been close partners for many years. Being explicitly connected will enable even more nimbleness and coordination among all these programs. This effort will be led by Dr. Francesca Lo in the newly-created position of executive director of leadership education. The programs involved are:

“Ethical service and student leadership go hand in hand,” says Dr. Ed Taylor, vice provost and dean of Undergraduate Academic Affairs. “For our students, to lead is to serve. Bringing these units together grounds our values and makes leadership and service part of our curricular and co-curricular mindset.”

“We’ve been engaged in conversations about the intersection of leadership education and community engagement for years,” says Lo, who is also the director of the Husky Leadership Initiative. “This realignment builds upon these conversations, furthers our collaborative efforts and makes a statement that the kind of leadership we’re cultivating and teaching is grounded in our values of service as a public university.”

“Our hope,” says Taylor, “is that students are ever thinking about issues that matter in our community in serious ways, understand these issues with depth, and then use their knowledge and skills to lead meaningful lives.”

For Lo, this move also emphasizes that students develop their leadership capacity through multiple contexts, including serving in community-based organizations, preschools, K-12 schools, neighborhoods, and in courses across campus.

“Leadership and community engagement,” says Lo, “are mutually-reinforcing concepts and bodies of work. Our community engagement programs are critical to a UW education, and they are critical to the kind of leadership we are trying to foster in our students through and beyond the classroom.”

Lo will report to Dr. Michaelann Jundt, associate dean in Undergraduate Academic Affairs, who also oversees UAA Advising, Academic Support Programs and First Year Programs. Jundt is a former director of the Carlson Center and was integral in starting the Husky Leadership Initiative.

The community engagement and leadership programs will be located in the Center for Experiential Learning and Diversity in Mary Gates Hall, suite 171.


About Dr. Francesca Lo

Leadership development and community engagement have been hallmarks for the last 20 years of Lo’s career. Prior to being the first director of the Husky Leadership Initiative, she was associate director of the Pipeline Project, coordinated leadership programs at Brown University, was program director of the YMCA’s Seattle Earth Service Corps Program, among other work. She earned her doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the UW’s College of Education, her master’s degree in marine affairs from the UW, and her B.S. in aquatic biology from Brown University.


About the programs being aligned

Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center

The Carlson Center develops and supports programs that incorporate academic coursework with community-based learning and leadership. These opportunities deepen students’ understandings of complex philosophical, economic and political issues and help them develop a broad sense of civic responsibility.

Dream Project

The Dream Project is a student-initiated college-access program that partners UW students with first-generation and low-income students in Seattle area high schools to assist in the college admissions process and post-secondary planning.

Husky Leadership Initiative

The Husky Leadership Initiative catalyzes student leadership education opportunities at the UW both in and outside the classroom.


Jumpstart connects UW undergraduates with Seattle preschoolers who come from low-income backgrounds to help them build the language, literacy and social-emotional skills necessary for later academic and life success.

Pipeline Project

Through the Pipeline Project, UW undergraduates tutor, mentor and support K-12 students in Seattle schools and rural and tribal communities across the state. The project transforms the learning and inspires the growth of both UW and K-12 students, while addressing inequities in public education in Washington state.