Gary Sanders

Gary Sanders

Leadership Fellow

Garry Sanders is a Leadership Fellow with the SAIL Institute and an executive coach serving both individual leaders and teams in all industries, with a focus in higher education. He is Principal of AssistLeadership, LLC, a leadership coaching and consulting firm, and sees his mission as a coach as being a ladder–a steady presence to help clients as they discover their strengths and courage, and to serve them as they transform themselves and their organizations.

He was trained as an executive coach at Georgetown University, and is certified by the International Coaching Federation. Garry is a Leadership Coach for the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership, a collaboration between Georgetown University and Arizona State University, and he coaches higher education leaders across the country.

He is a product of the State University of New York, having received his baccalaureate from the University at Buffalo and his Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University at Albany. He is a certified practitioner of The Leadership Circle Profile™ Certification for Individual Leaders and Teams, a 360 degree assessment tool. He is a trained facilitator of the Professional Strengths, Values and Story Survey™ designed to help people understand what is most meaningful and motivating to them in their work lives and how to leverage these strengths for the good of their institutions and teams.

Garry served as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of The Research Foundation for SUNY, and began his career as a United States Presidential Management Fellow. He has served as a faculty member for the National Council of University Research Administrators’ Executive Leadership Program and focused training for NCURA on leadership style and influence.

Susan Phillips

Susan Phillips

Leadership Fellow

Susan D. Phillips is a Leadership Fellow with the SAIL Institute. She is a professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology as well as the Department of Educational Administration and Policy Studies at the University at Albany. In addition to joining the faculty in 1979, she has also served terms as the Director of the Psychological Services Center, the Director of Doctoral Training for Counseling Psychology, the Chair of the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, Dean of the School of Education, the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships (a position that included service as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Downstate Health Sciences Center). Active in promoting excellence in academic programs and professional practice, she chairs the National Advisory Council for Institutional Quality and Integrity, developing recommendations to the United States Secretary of Education on matters of higher education institutional accreditation and quality assurance. Previously, she led the American Psychological Association Committee on Accreditation – one of the largest accrediting agencies in the nation

Leanne Wirkkula

Leanne Wirkkula

Leadership Fellow

Leanne Wirkkula is also a Leadership Fellow with the SAIL Institute. She is an accomplished academic strategist and educational leader, Wirkkula holds more than 20 years’ experience encompassing executive leadership, academic programming, policy and project management, and marketing. Wirkkula holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development – Higher Education; a Master’s in Educational Policy and Administration – Higher Education; and a Bachelor’s
degree in Journalism, all from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Leanne Wirkkula, Ph.D., was appointed Vice President for Planning, Policy and Compliance of the University at Albany, State University of New York, in September 2016.