A portrait of Jana Lithgow

Jana Lithgow has always been interested in leadership. From her 12-year involvement with 4-H as a child in Illinois to her work with undergraduate students at Fisher today, Lithgow has continued to focus her efforts on cultivating the leaders of tomorrow.

That passion recently earned Lithgow the distinction of being named one of the Aspen Institute’s Inaugural Aspen Index Impact Fellows.

“Throughout my life, investments in me from educators and leaders have always been critical to my education, my career development and my community engagement,” said Lithgow, executive director of the Undergraduate Programs Office at Fisher. “It’s important to me to invest in the next generation of future leaders, and the Aspen Institute gives me the opportunity to do so.”

Lithgow is one of 90 community stakeholders, including college presidents, senior leaders, educators and youth from across the United States, selected for the program. Together, they’ll work to advance greater access to and quality of the future of youth leadership development through creation, enhancement and testing of learning designs.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as an Aspen Institute Fellow, and I’m thrilled to represent Fisher and The Ohio State University in this role,” Lithgow said.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just and equitable society.

As a Fellow, she will aid in the development, optimization and beta-testing of the Aspen Index, a digital tool measuring core leadership capacities to accelerate personal and professional growth, and co-create the supporting learning architecture to ensure its success.

“During graduate school at Loyola University Chicago, I was a part of the ongoing Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership research team whose leadership study is the foundation of the Aspen Index,” Lithgow said. “I am excited about the opportunity to continue this important work.”

As an Impact Fellow, she will also help advance opportunities for youth to cultivate their talents and address growing political, social and scientific issues. The Fellowship’s goal is to increase national youth exposure to high-quality leadership programs above 50% during the next five years.

“The most exciting thing about this work is the impact it will have on youth leadership development,” she said. “The Aspen Index, which is grounded in more than two decades of research and is backed by Aspen Institute’s 70-year history of values-based leadership development, will improve access to leadership programs, as well as the quality of existing programs for young adults.”

“These improvements will make meaningful differences in people’s lives.”

The most exciting thing about this work is the impact it will have on youth leadership development.

Jana LithgowExecutive Director,
Undergraduate Programs
Aspen Index Impact Fellow