Corresponding Author

Tiffany Danko


When facing opportunities, effective leaders trod a path that effectively incorporates ethical and empathetic leadership considerations and characteristics to drive change. The actions and impacts of two very different women facing challenges as change moments each tie back to Kouzes and Posner’s traits of exemplary leaders such as model the way and inspire a shared vision (Kouzes & Posner, 2017). Rear Admiral Meredith Austin, United States Coast Guard (retired), and Patricia (Trish) Foster, Executive Director Emeritus of Bentley University’s Center for Women in Business have led transformative changes. Admiral Austin was crucial in coordinating the early-pandemic smooth return of the Grand Princess cruise ship to the United States, as well as bringing together disparate agencies with competing priorities working to manage the wind-down of cruise ship operations and the repatriation of thousands of cruise ship employees to nations around the globe. Seeing opportunities for improvement, Foster was the architect, developer, and implementor of initiatives that inculcated diverse, equitable, and inclusive behaviors into the internal and external operations at Bentley University. While their work was very different, they each acted upon unique pivot points of opportunity, applying empathy and action to create a lasting impact for their communities while setting an example for long-term change.