Husky Leadership Initiative

September 15, 2014

2014 U Lead We Lead: Cultivating Leadership Speakers Announced


U Lead We Lead: Cultivating Leadership event graphic


The Husky Leadership Initiative is proud to present its annual kick-off event U Lead We Lead: Cultivating Leadership. On October 29, students and other members of the University community will dig into stories from local luminaries who will each share their story and perspective on leadership and call you to action.

Wednesday, October 29 6-8:00 p.m. HUB Ballroom

Register HERE

Thank you to our sponsors: 


Starbucks is committed to providing students with pathways to opportunity through employment, training and education and is honored to support student leadership development through U Lead We Lead. Through this support, Starbucks helps activate the Husky Leadership Initiative’s mission to cultivate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes they need to be effective change agents who apply their knowledge in service to the world.

2014 U Lead We Lead: Cultivating Leadership Speaker Line-up


SLopez_2012_squ2x2_300dpiSara Lopez
Coach’s Coach, Inclusive Educator

Sara Lopez is co-director for the Center for Leadership in Athletics and program director for the Intercollegiate Athletic Leadership (IAL) M.Ed. at the University of Washington. As a senior lecturer, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses exploring the intersection of athletics and education. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 2012, with a research focus on the professional preparation and continuing education of intercollegiate athletics coaches. Dr. Lopez has been at the UW since 2000, working initially with the DO-IT program (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking and Technology) as a program manager where she implemented outreach programs supporting the inclusion of students with disabilities in their transitions from high school and success in higher education academics.

After rowing as a student-athlete at Pacific Lutheran University, Dr. Lopez entered coaching and continued for over 25 years with various junior, collegiate and masters programs. Currently, she coaches Conibear Rowing Club, a competitive masters women’s team in Seattle. Dr. Lopez previously worked for USRowing as a regional coordinator and then as director of rowing services. Following two years in Atlanta as the assistant competition manager for rowing at the 1996 Olympic Games, Dr. Lopez returned to Seattle and worked to expand teams and competition events as a region director with Washington Special Olympics.

Ben Danielson photoBenjamin Danielson
Local Hero, Doctor

Benjamin Danielson is the medical director and Sinegal Endowed Chair at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, a community clinic in Seattle’s Central District with an enduring tradition of growing wellness through quality healthcare with dignity, community engagement, honoring culture and sustaining trust.

Dr. Danielson was in the foster care system as a young child and spent most of his childhood in a low income neighborhood of Washington D.C., and finished high school in rural Montana. He was raised by an amazing single mom who instilled in him an appreciation for the value of education and a desire to be a contributing member of the community. In college Dr. Danielson decided being a doctor was a good melding of scientific and human service interests. His numerous professional activities include: attending pediatrician at Harborview Medical Center, community pediatrician in a new clinic in West Seattle, directing a teen clinic at Cleveland High School, running a community pediatric sports medicine clinic, and attending physician stints at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He continues to regularly attend on the inpatient service at Seattle Children’s Hospital, working primarily with the most medically-complex hospitalized children.

Dr. Danielson also continues to participate in community advocacy and health promotion. He serves on the state’s health benefit exchange, the state’s commission on African American health affairs, King County’s board of health, various boards of philanthropic organizations, and community groups dedicated to health issues.

Dr. Danielson believes that an opportunity to serve an individual or a community is a cherished privilege. He also ascribes to the truism that health is more than healthcare and that any healthcare provider who strives to improve health must be active beyond the realm of their medical practice.

Ginny photoGinny Gilder
Olympic Medalist, Wavemaker

Ginny Gilder has started several business and nonprofit ventures, whose founding dreams range from the practical to the transformational. In the early 1990s Ms. Gilder established Washington Works, dedicated to improving the earning capacity of women on public assistance. Ten years later, she launched a boutique investment advisory and co-launched a family foundation, The Starfish Group, with a mission to champion individuals who face steeper odds in creating a sustainable life for themselves.

Combining her love of business with her passion for sports and deep belief in its power to transform lives, Ms. Gilder helped create Force 10 Hoops in 2008 with fellow civic leaders to purchase the WNBA’s Seattle Storm. As a company that believes women should enjoy access to competitive opportunities at every level, the Storm showcases the power of women as inspirational athletes and leaders. Ms. Gilder now spearheads Force 10’s newest business venture to create one of the best affordable, community-based, multi-sport training facilities in the world for a broad cohort of the population.

Prior to her career as an entrepreneur, Ms. Gilder earned four varsity letters as a rower at Yale University and was an All-Ivy Champion three times. She helped usher in the post-Title IX era at Yale by participating in the now-famous Women’s Crew Strip-in to protest the lack of equal facilities. Ms. Gilder represented the United States on four national rowing teams, including two Olympic teams. She holds a pair of international medals, including a bronze from the 1983 World Championships in the single and a silver as the stroke of the women’s quadruples sculls in the 1984 Los Angles Olympics.

Ms. Gilder has since helped launch community rowing programs and received an NCAA Silver Anniversary Award for community service in 2004. The mother of three children, stepmother of two, and grandmother of one, Ms. Gilder lives with her wife, Lynn, and their two poodles in Seattle, Washington. Course Correction, A Story of Rowing and Resilience in the Wake of Title IX is her first book, available in April 2015.

Roy P Diaz 2014Roy Diaz
Startup Advocate, Science Champion

Roy Díaz is the associate vice-president-patent attorney for L’Oréal R & I USA. He started his career as a patent attorney in one of the top patent law firms in the U.S., Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner. He then joined Intellectual Ventures where he built and developed patent portfolios mainly in the fields of medical devices, wearable technology, information and communication technology, optics and advanced materials. More recently, in 2012, he co-founded Díaz|Cook an IP law firm providing clients counseling on the procurement, enforcement, management, and monetization of intellectual property rights and assets.

After earning his B.S. in chemical engineering at the University of Washington, he enrolled in graduate school where he studied the fast and slow internal dynamics of 13C-labeled deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) oligomers in solution. Dr. Díaz eventually earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry (biophysics), as well as a J.D. from the University of Washington.

Dr. Díaz was raised and lived in various places including Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington D.C., and now calls the Pacific Northwest home. He currently serves as a trustee for Seattle Children’s Hospital Board of Trustees, as a member of the Seattle Children’s Research Institute Advisory Board, and as President of the University of Washington Alumni Association.

Dr. Díaz was the recipient of the 2012 Latina/o Bar Association of Washington Model of Excellence Award and the 2011 University of Washington’s MAP Distinguished Alumnus Award.