By Alana Henry and Tomoyo Tanno, 2017 Global Ties U.S. Emerging Leaders and Interns at Global Ties Alabama
Congratulations on your selection as Global Ties U.S. Board Chair! Can you outline some of your priorities and vision for your time as Chair? Challenges and opportunities?
Shipe: My vision as Board Chair is to amplify Global Ties U.S.’ vision of “a peaceful, prosperous world where individuals build enduring relationships through international exchange” and join with President Jennifer Clinton and her team in implementing a shared leadership model in or-der to successfully implement the mission of Global Ties US. One of my priorities would be to have Global Ties U.S. network, outreach and engage with our international alumni. I would also like to enhance our advocacy efforts that will increase and broaden relationships with elected officials at the local, state and national levels to “organize for action”. My operational priority would be to strengthen the diplomacy toolkit and increase diversification of revenue streams in order to benefit Community-Based Members (CBMs). One of the major challenges I will be faced with is responding to federal budget cuts, which are a threat to our country’s national se-curity and diplomacy strategy, a tradition of a Welcoming America and shelter for those fleeing violence and persecution. As Chair, I will have the opportunity to engage more millennials, young professionals and national coalitions in organizing for action in spite of the challenges to funding peace, prosperity and dignity.
How did serving on the Board prepare you for the role of Chair?
Shipe: Serving on the Board resulted in enhanced visibility, which led to being selected as the 2014 National Meeting Chair. That role allowed me to work with an amazing planning commit-tee comprised of talented members of the Global Ties U.S. team, CBMs, the Department of State, and NPAs. Board membership strengthened my understanding of the strategic direction of Global Ties U.S. and our stakeholders. Chairing the Membership Committee in 2015-2016 allowed me to gain insights into the challenges of our diverse network as well as the unintended consequences of change that impact us all.
What are some of the leadership principles you employ to guide Global Ties Alabama?
Shipe: I subscribe to values leadership. I see the core values of Global Ties U.S. serving as the foundation of our stakeholder interactions and our decision making. I will also strive to employ the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership”—model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart.
How have you seen the organization evolve and change over the years? What are you most proud of?
Shipe: Continuous learning has been a foundational principle of Global Ties U.S. and previously NCIV. I’ve watched with pride the legacy of regional meetings and the regional Diplomacy Begins Here Summit model, which will pilot Learning Labs in 2017. I’m most proud of the CBM voices and the receptivity of the current Global Ties U.S. team to create a hybrid in order to achieve optimal engagement of all stakeholders. I’m also very proud of the Global Ties U.S. team and their outreach efforts throughout the Network. Site visits and increased webinars focused on current issues both nationally and globally will increase the responsiveness of our DC colleagues and increase mutual understanding throughout the network.
In March, we celebrated both Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day. As a senior female leader, what advice do you have for younger women professionals starting out in their careers?
Shipe: I grew up in a globally-minded home driven by strong Christian and cultural values which continue to guide me today. Since I was 13 years old, I was mentored by female profes-sionals who provided significant models of success. While in corporate America, I had male mentors who exposed me to the intricacies of the “good ole’ network”. The combination of each led me to become an ethicist for two Fortune 50 companies, and a values-based leader.
If you could look back, what was most effective in getting you where you are today?
Shipe: First, having sincere and caring mentors who advised me on my career journey. Next would be my ability to remain agile since change is a constant. I also pride myself in being a woman of integrity and a servant leader. Being a servant leader means that it is my duty to serve the least of us and to ensure that lives and organizations are better and better each day. Being a servant leader and a woman of integrity is my recommended model for aspiring female professionals.
What would you change?
Shipe: I don’t think I would change anything in my career since I have been blessed throughout my life. I remain committed and optimistic.
Alana and Tomoyo, as Mrs. Shipe’s interns, describe her as a mentor.
Alana: Mrs. Shipe has been a wonderful mentor to me. She has inspired me to become a successful leader by coaching me in ways to improve my professionalism. She also demonstrates genuineness and unconditional positive regard. If there is an opportunity to enhance my career, Mrs. Shipe is sure to inform me about it, and offer great advice. One example of this was nominating me as a Global Ties U.S. 2017 Emerging Leaders. This—and other opportunities that she has provided me—shows me that she both supports and cares about my future career endeavors. She truly exudes all five of the characteristics of an exemplary leader, and I am truly grateful to be one of her interns.
Tomoyo: Mrs. Shipe has been a great mentor to me, and supportive through my internship experience at Global Ties Alabama. She has given me diverse opportunities. She nominated me for the Emerging Leaders program and introduced me to wonderful connections in Washington, DC. She has always supported me in Huntsville — helping me secure my housing and introducing me to invaluable community resources and events so that I could be fully immersed in the Huntsville community. Mrs. Shipe embraces different cultures, and always tries to understand me beyond cultural borders. Without her, my internship would not be as positive and productive. I am greatly thankful for her leadership and mentorship.