March 8, 2010
From SPPD Staff Reports
Richard Callahan, associate dean and director of state capital and leadership programs at the USC School of Policy, Planning, and Development, recently participated as a guest scholar in the Global Perspectives Program at Istanbul Aydin University in Turkey.
According to Callahan, the director of the program, Professor Firuz D. Yasamis – an alumnus of SPPD, who graduated with a master of public administration and master of planning in 1978 – invited him to help “develop a curriculum to teach leadership and governance.”
“Dr. Firuz was interested in finding innovative ways to approach public administration, government leadership and governance questions,” Callahan said. “And they sought out my input to encourage innovative curriculum design and program delivery.”
Over the course of his two-week visit in January, Callahan also gave lectures and held workshops on issues such as effective public sector leadership and public management. He delivered a presentation in Istanbul to 150 local government officials, including the mayor of Istanbul, and one in Central Turkey to 74 public officials.
His largest lecture was on “Leadership in Local Government,” hosted at the university, in which Callahan examined solutions to the urgent challenges facing local municipalities.
The Consul General of Afghanistan, Azim Nasser-Zia, was among 200 in attendance who came to hear Callahan discuss the goals of local government, the skills needed for effective leadership practices and ways to apply these leadership skills, based on his 12 years of teaching and research.
“I believed my work there advances USC’s goals in addressing today’s most critical social challenges — certainly, governance and democracy are among the most pressing issues internationally,” Callahan noted.
“At SPPD, we not only look to work with existing leaders, but also to teach, train and educate future leaders,” he added. “Through my engagement in the Global Perspective Program, I was able to work with their current officials and help give them tools for a curriculum design to develop their future leaders.”
After the lecture, Callahan was interviewed by Istanbul newspaper reporters and answered questions on a broad range of topics including his belief that leaders need to develop core values such as courage, integrity, honesty and justice, and that these leadership skills can be learned.