Defining Authentic Leadership: Decolonizing How We Lead in Global Workplaces

  •  July 29, 2021
     8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

This event is now open to the general public!

It is time for global development to reckon with our colonial past and dismantle the systems still embedded in our work. The legacy of colonization, imperialism and other historical and societal forces underpin our work in global development. Just like in the US for us to dismantle the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow laws, we have to understand and confront our history, we believe that to help us understand, analyze and ultimately build a more impactful way forward, we need to confront the historical legacies in global development. To help us do that, we use a decolonizing lens. We use “decolonization” as a catch-all phrase to help us break down these multi- and inter-disciplinary forces that create the current status quo. This includes conducting historical and power analysis to more fully understand the contexts in which we work, and to help us better design and implement programs. Read more about this approach here

Session Details

Leadership is critical for how we run our organizations, work on our projects, manage our teams, and everything in between. And yet for so long, the majority of leadership and professional development opportunities have centered particular leadership styles (read: those that are most common for white men) and have asked people to mold themselves into those stereotypes. What happens if we turn that equation on its head and focus on shaping our leadership styles to who we are?
This session will explore topics of leadership and how to build belonging in our workplaces, including through exploring topics related to diversity, equity, belonging, and decolonizing leadership.

This is a 2 hour session with 2 optional office hours.

Office Hours. We know how critical it is for us to connect workshops to our actual day-to-day work. As such, we will hold two optional “office hours” for participants to ask specific questions directly related to the work they are doing. 


Who should participate?
This program is for active global development practitioners willing to make changes at your organization and incorporate a decolonizing lens into your work – whether or not you are currently in an executive or leadership role. As a community, the Posner Center is committed to going beyond learning to implementing decolonization practices in development.


Photo of Farah Mahesri

Farah Mahesri
Lead consultant and DE&I expert
FNM Advising and Quantum Impact

As the co-founder of Quantum Impact, a DE&I – focused non-profit and the co-author for the 2018 State of Diversity in Global Social Impact report, Ms. Mahesri is both an experienced international development expert with more than 15 years of experience in global development and DE&I expert with nearly 10 years of working on diversity initiatives. She is a skilled facilitator and expert in training design, and has experience conducting organizational development work both as internal staff for an organization and as an external consultant. She has also served on multiple boards and brings her lived experience to board engagement. You can see more about her work at



This program is priced to cover a portion of the facilitator costs, the remainder of which is being covered by donations from Water for People, iDE, Sherry Manning, Global Seed Savers, and the Posner Center. Please determine how much you should pay using the below categories, and consider donating to support additional decolonizing development programming. To further support this work, please contact our Development Director or make a donation here.

Water for People logo, including the tagline "Everyone. Forever"             Global Seed Savers Logo



The Posner Center for International Development is committed to accessibility and inclusion for all people. We use Zoom’s Live Transcription feature during all virtual events. This session will include simultaneous interpretation from English to Spanish for Spanish-speaking participants. To request additional accommodations or for questions about accessibility, please contact Lauren Andraski at  or 720-515-9071.

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Zoom link will be provided prior to the meeting.