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Mission-Driven Leaders Speaker Series


The Mission-Driven Leaders Series features successful Cardinal Stritch University alumni who align their values with actions to achieve positive results for themselves, their organizations and businesses, and the society at large.


Spring 2021 Virtual Speaker Series

Mission Driven Leaders will be held virtually over Zoom. A Zoom link will be emailed to those who have registered before the date of the event. Questions?

Contact Dr. Mark Gesner at mlgesner@stritch.edu or (414) 410-4148

Chris Her-Xiong

Chris Her-Xiong

Friday, March 19 at 4 p.m.

Dr. Barbara Logan Smith

Dr. Barbara Logan Smith

Friday, April 16 at 4 p.m.

Dr. Abdulrhman Fehan

Dr. Abdulrhman Fehan

Saturday, June 26 at 9 a.m.

Cultivating Seeds of Peace through Academic Excellence & Cultural Awareness
Friday, March 19 at 4:00 p.m.

Chris Her-Xiong
Founder & Executive Director
Hmong American Peace Academy

In 1976, Chris Her-Xiong came to the United States as an 11-year old refugee with no English skills. Today, she is a Ph. D. candidate in the Doctoral Leadership Studies program at Cardinal Stritch University. She holds Administrative (Principal); Director of Instruction (K-12) and regular teaching certifications. Ms. Her-Xiong is the Founder and Executive Director of the Hmong American Peace Academy, Ltd. (HAPA) that operates a high-performing and award winning K4-12 charter school, opening in August of 2004 with over 200 students as the first Hmong Charter School in Wisconsin. To date, the Academy has attracted over 800 families with over 1,800 students. HAPA has become Milwaukee’s fastest-growing charter school. It is a college and career preparatory school that provides rigorous academics, character development, and Hmong cultural values, preparing them to excel in colleges, universities and careers. Under Ms. Her-Xiong’s leadership, HAPA has been named Wisconsin School of Recognition for the last five years by the Department of Public Instruction and the Charter School of the Year by the Milwaukee Charter School Advocates. The Academy has also earned National Bronze Medal recognitions in the US News and World Report. As the founder, she challenged and changed the face of educational equity for the underserved Hmong children in the City of Milwaukee. Ms. Her-Xiong was the first Hmong teacher and the first Hmong principal in the City of Milwaukee. Ms. Her-Xiong was a recent recipient of the Doug Jansson Leadership Award honoring inspirational leadership in the nonprofit sector by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. She was named Hmong Woman of the Year. Her-Xiong was the recipient of the Outstanding Alumna of the Year by Alverno College. Ms. Her-Xiong was featured in the Milwaukee Magazine. She was named the Milwaukee Business Journal 2016’s Woman of Influence. Her desire is to stand as a beacon of hope and inspiration; as she is always able to lead.

Among her affiliations, Ms. Her-Xiong was an appointee to the Governor-elect Evers’ Personnel Advisory Board. She was a mayoral appointee to the Milwaukee Board of Equal Rights Commission. Her-Xiong was a member of the Service Academy Selection Committee for Senator Tammy Baldwin, United States Senate. She was as a board member on the Wisconsin Historical Foundation Board of Directors. Chris serves on the State Superintendent’s Equity and Standards Review Council. Her-Xiong is a board member of the Milwaukee Public Museum. She is married and has three grown sons.

Making Peace Accessible to All
Friday, April 16 at 4 p.m.

Dr. Barbara Logan Smith
Chief of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness
Teach for America

Dr. Barbara Logan Smith has 20 years of dedicated service to building capacity and has contributed to the development of business executives, administrative leaders, educators, college students, and K-12 children across the country.

Her roots as an educator began while serving elementary students in Milwaukee Public Schools. Her tenure involved myriad of roles, including K-8 school administrator, classroom teacher, Title I teacher, technology teacher, programs implementer, and district trainer for efficacy, quality, and proficiency programs.

Dr. Logan Smith served as Vice President for the Efficacy Institute, a national non-profit agency of education reform, dedicated to the mission of proficiency for all children in academics and character. In this role, she was responsible for the strategic development of training, marketing, and client management services. During her employ with the Institute, she trained approximately 10,000 teachers, certified over 200 teacher and parent trainers, and prepared more than 3,000 students to serve change agents in their schools through the Envoy Project, an Efficacy youth leadership program. Dr. Logan Smith served as the Executive Director of Teach for America Greater Delta: Mississippi & Arkansas. Currently Dr. Logan Smith serves as Chief of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusiveness for Teach for America where she continues to fight for educational equity and excellence for all children.

Dr. Logan Smith also facilitates training seminars for rising corporate executives and diversity and inclusion initiatives. She has trained approximately 1,500 participants from Edward Jones, The Partnership of Boston, Nestle Purina, St Louis Chamber of Commerce and St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative.

After earning a M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and graduating cum laude with her B.S. degree in Education (K-8) and Psychology from Lakeland College, she earned her Ph.D. from the School of Education at Cardinal Stritch University in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service. She has also served as adjunct faculty, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in leadership, management, and business for the university.

She lives with her husband, Christopher, an executive coach with higher education and adult learning expertise and Ph.D. Candidate, in Jackson, Mississippi.

Infusing Peace Locally and Globally
SaturdayJune 26 at 9 a.m.

Dr. Abdulrhman Fehan
General Manager, Education & Training Evaluation Commission
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Dr. Abdulrhman Fehan PhD, ME-PD Dr. Abdulrhman Fehin is a seasoned executive educational consultant and trainer with numerous relevant certifications, including a PhD in Educational Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service (U.S.) and a Master’s in Education - Professional Development (U.S.). After completing this formal training with Wisconsin universities in the United States, he returned to KSA where he continues to empower and develop individuals and organizations in performance enhancement. Dr. Fehan focuses on training quality improvement through needs assessments, faculty and leadership development programs and instructional design training courses. His aims are to improve educational quality outcomes through training, leadership and executive coaching.

Register for Speakers

Speaker highlight

Roxie Hentz, Ph.D., '01, '09

November 14, 2016

Dr. Roxie Hentz, ’01, ’09, has over twenty-five years of experience in the education field, including service as a state education consultant, culturally responsive teacher leader, district-wide teacher mentor, university teacher-in-residence, adjunct professor, and classroom teacher. Currently she is the Founding Executive Director of CEOs of Tomorrow, Inc., an organization offering interdisciplinary and experiential social entrepreneurship education to educators and youth. She is also the author of It’s My Business: Inspiring Students’ Ideas for a Better Community, a fully developed curriculum resource aligned to academic and entrepreneurship education standards that arms educators with engaging social entrepreneurship lessons plans.

Browse Past Speaker Videos