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02-08-22 Radical Transformational Leadership: What does this imply? Guest Hosts Kirsten Gallo and Sudarshan Rodriguez

Leadership—RTL style with Guest Dr. Jana Newman

We tend to think that leadership is reserved for people with particular titles or positions. We think that change only happens when it comes down from senior leaders in an organization. As we deepen our RTL practice, we recognize the importance of leadership at every level. This approach emerges as grassroots efforts, which leverage the influence that everyone has—the contribution each of us has to make—regardless of position in an organization. That said, senior managers do hold unique responsibility for establishing and upholding cultural norms. If a senior leader adopts an authoritarian style of leadership and does not ask for or consider input from their team, co-creation will not be possible. Success will be limited. In this conversation, we explore the role of senior leaders in creating the culture of an organization and the practices we can use to increase our effectiveness. We begin with a cornerstone of RTL practice, the embodiment of values—upholding dignity, equity and fairness, having compassion for ourselves and others.

Dr Jana Newman is a scientist, educator and life-long learner. Currently, she is learning how to improve her sourdough baking skills!  She embodies a deep sense of connection and caring for the earth and its inhabitants, striving to leave the world a better place than she found it.

She has studied, volunteered and worked in the field of conservation for most of her life. Jana began her professional career as a high school science teacher before returning to school to earn a doctorate from the University of Connecticut. She recently retired from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, where, as the National Inventory and Monitoring Manager, she worked with a team of dedicated scientists to manage and conserve our natural resources for the benefit of current and future generations. Prior to that, she had the privilege to support the conservation and restoration of the Everglades while working as a researcher for the State of Florida.


Kirsten Gallo served as the head of the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Division. She held a variety of positions in the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service conducting natural resource monitoring and stewardship of public lands. She holds a doctorate degree in Ecology and has dedicated her career to conserving natural resources and demonstrating interdependence between humans and our environment. She began applying RTL tools and techniques in 2009 and created platforms for leadership in five federal government agencies and NGOs. Kirsten is now working to make RTL a global movement as she works in the fields of the environment, leadership, and finance. Specifically, she’s working to remove chemicals from our food systems and return to regenerative agricultural techniques to support the wellbeing of people and the planet.


Sudarshan Rodriguez is a development professional with experience in disaster management, environmental sciences, environmental economics, policy, and environmental law. He has worked with Dr. Monica Sharma as an RTL practitioner coach since 2010.

After 22 years in the development sector with a variety of organizations, including the United Nations, grassroots organizations, policy think tanks, civil society and academia, he dove into the adventure of setting up the next generation development consultancy and social purpose enterprise called “RTLWorks”. Before founding RTLWorks, he was the Programme Director at Mahatma Gandhi Academy of Human Development, heading a center of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai located in Nagaland, India focusing on Livelihoods and Social Entrepreneurship. He also delivers and implements Radical Transformational Leaderships ‘learning-in-action programs’ for business and non-profit organizations on different aspects of leadership development for sustainable change.

Learn more about Dr. Monica here:

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