Norwich University to Host Inaugural Leadership Conference in April

By Saraa Kami, NU Director of Communications

The Norwich University Center for Leadership announced today that it will hold its inaugural leadership conference. The conference, scheduled to take place April 10-11, 2023, will be held on the Norwich campus in Northfield, Vt. .

Norwich University Campus Scenic Map


The leadership conference, which was designed to take place annually, will bring current and future leaders together to develop solutions to recent leadership challenges, introduce new leadership strategies, and encourage collaborations across different industries and academia. This year's conference theme is Championing Change and Transformation. Speakers for this year’s conference will include Damon Young, Gillian Ward, Oakland McColloch, Mark D. Young, and Marene N. Allison.

Registration for this year's leadership conference is $100 and has been extended through April 6 at 12 p.m. Norwich alumni are also encouraged to attend the conference and can use promo code NUALUM to receive a discount. To view the conference agenda or to register, visit

Dr. M. Pelin Kohn, Founding Director of the Norwich Center for Leadership, believes that evolving into an effective leader requires intellectual agility. This year’s leadership conference was created to provide leaders with these skills and more.

“In our world, everything changes so fast, and leadership becomes more complex. Our jobs as scholars, experts, and academics in leadership require us to be one of those who make things more clear, visible, and visionary for current and future leaders,” remarked Kohn.

A special Todd Lecture Series keynote address, “The Road Less Traveled,” will conclude the first day of the conference. The keynote address will be given by Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer, Johnson & Johnson, Marene N. Allison, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 pm on Monday, April 10, 2023, in Mack Hall Auditorium. This Todd Lecture Series keynote address is free and open to the public.

This year’s keynote speaker is the embodiment of leadership and therefore the perfect selection to lead this inaugural event. Allison holds the distinction of being in the first female cohort at West Point Military Academy in West Point, NY.

After graduation, Allison took on a role at the FBI that had her bringing down some of the largest drug rings on the East Coast. Eventually, she moved on to the private sector to head up security for A&P Foods. Her most recent role was as the Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer for Johnson & Johnson.

Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Allison served as the Chief Security Officer and Vice President for Medco, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the United States. She was responsible for all aspects of the company's security, regulatory and compliance including, physical and logical security, executive protection as well as HIPAA, Payment Card Industry, Medicare and prescription fraud and IT controls.

Allison officially retired from her position at Johnson & Johnson on January 30, 2023, but her dedication to her country and others is still as strong as ever. She has been awarded numerous titles, including being inducted into the CSO Hall of Fame in 2022. She's held a seat on numerous boards of directors, including West Point Women, where she also is a founding member, H-ISAC (Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center) and ASIS International. Marene was part of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services as well as on the Overseas Security Advisory Committee and was a member of Johnson & Johnson's Corporate Compliance Committee.

Following Norwich's mission and vision, which emphasizes honest and ethical leadership, the Norwich University Annual Leadership Conference will provide a space to discuss, brainstorm, and share new leadership visions, explore leadership strategies, and practice innovative leadership skills. Our goal is to build transformative leaders armed with the tools to effectively grow themselves, their industry, and their communities.

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About the Todd Lecture Series 
The Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of the late Norwich President Emeritus W. Russell Todd ’50 and his late wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to Norwich University and the Northfield community. The series is funded by a generous donation from Ellen and John Drew, the Todd’s daughter and son-in-law, and the Drew Foundation. The series aspires to serve not only the Norwich University campus community but also residents of Central Vermont and beyond.

About Norwich University 
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in baccalaureate and graduate degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

Media contact:

Saraa Kami 
Director of Communications 
Marcus Popiolek 
VP Marketing and Communications + 
AVP Enrollment Services, College of Graduate and Continuing Studies

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