Our Staff

Dr. Linnette R. Lopez Werner

Linnette WernerDr. Linnette R. Lopez Werner, President and Faculty Member at ILI,  spent many years as the Director of the Undergraduate Leadership Minor at the University of Minnesota before joining the ILI. She started working with the Leadership Minor in 2001, when she was asked to join the teaching staff of the newly created Undergraduate Leadership Minor. With a background in Educational Policy and Administration, teaching, the arts, and leadership, Dr. Lopez Werner was then asked to work with the minor to align its curriculum to the civic engagement mission of the University of Minnesota, increase the capacity of the minor, provide instructor mentoring, and begin research initiatives. Starting (in 2002) with a total of 251 students per year in two sections of the introductory course and one section of each of the upper core courses. Under Dr. Lopez Werner’s guidance (from 2006-2019),  the Leadership Minor increased capacity to serve over 1,800 undergraduates per year, making it the largest program of its kind in the world.

In 2007, the Leadership Minor at the University of Minnesota became the first undergraduate Leadership Minor in the nation to begin adopting the Heifetz model of teaching leadership. Based on the innovative and adaptive teaching techniques documented in the book, Leadership Can Be Taught (Parks, 2005), Dr. Lopez Werner and David Hellstrom began to adapt the work of Heifetz and his colleagues at Harvard to be equally effective with undergraduates. Based on programmatic research and evaluation, the adaptation has been extremely successful. Their work can be found it the book, Engaging Young Leaders: A Contemporary and Compassionate Approach to Developing Leaders.