Moving From Operational Management to Leadership: What I wish I knew before the move

Concurrent Session 8

Brief Abstract

Moving from operational management to leadership role seems to be a natural career path. In this session, we will explore:

  • What are the key attributes of today’s strategic leaders?
  • What are the strategic leadership models to follow? /li>
  • How can one prepare for the move?
  • How to develop persuasive and communication skills? ​

The panelists will also share how they developed a strategic leader’s approach for their own work environment.


Sponsored By


Dr. Bodie is the Associate Director for Regulatory Science Programs at San Diego State University. Regulatory Science offers a fully online Master’s Degree in Regulatory Affairs and two Advanced Certificate Programs. Prior to working at SDSU, she was the Manager of Research and Development at the San Diego Workforce Partnership, and a Research Analyst in the Strategic Development Department at Scripps Institutions of Medicine and Science. She has over twenty years of leadership experience in strategic planning, organizational development, and program management, complemented by a varied background and training in change management, and continuous quality improvement. Lorah earned her doctoral degree from the University of San Diego/San Diego State University - Joint Doctoral Program in Education with an emphasis in educational technology. She has a BA in Psychology, a BS in Information Science, and a MS in Counseling. Her research centers around the social presence construct, more specifically instructor immediacy behaviors as they relate to learning outcomes.
Lisa Dowdy is the Assistant Director for the fully-online Regulatory Science Programs at San Diego State University. Before joining SDSU, she was the IT manager for Washington University's Center for Clinical Studies, and worked on developing a new online master's program for physicians involved in clinical studies. Earlier in her career, she was a consultant for medical device companies for almost 10 years, developing database applications for clinical trials, and she held project management roles in various medical technology companies. Lisa earned her MBA from UC Irvine, and where she also received a BS in Information & Computer Science.
Maria Fieth, M.A.2, RTC Maria currently serves as program manager responsible for communications and community building for CSU-MERLOT SkillsCommons. During the last 26 years, Maria has worked with businesses and PK-20 educators providing guidance for refining and sustaining healthy learning and working environments and building partnerships and community among stakeholders. Maria's background in federally funded project management provides a strong backdrop for national level accountability and performance. Her work has received honors for building exemplary educational settings and community partnerships from Kevin Jennings of the U.S. Department of Education and Auburn University among others. Maria holds a dual Master's degree in English and in Education, a Master's degree in Psychodynamics and certifications in Reality Therapy and from the National Institute for School Leadership. She has numerous certifications as national trainer for organizations such as Ruby Payne's Poverty Framework, Olweus Bullying Prevention, Discovery Communication Model, and Crucial Conversations. She and her husband, Andy, have three grown sons, a lovely daughter in-law, and one beautiful grandbaby.