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Amy Diaz selected for AASCU’s 2024 Millennium Leadership Initiative

Premier leadership program designed to diversify and enrich higher education leaders

Jun 11, 2024

A woman in a pink shirt smiling in front of a decorated wall. Indiana University Northwest Chief of Staff, Amy Diaz.Indiana University Northwest Chief of Staff Amy Diaz has been selected to participate in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) 2024 Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI), a rigorous leadership development program designed to prepare higher education leaders from traditionally underserved communities with the skills, philosophical overview and network to advance to the highest ranks of postsecondary education.

Diaz will be joined by 29 other senior-level higher education professionals from around the country who will participate in the yearlong program.

Through its rich network of faculty, alumni and other key campus leaders, MLI connects aspiring presidents and chancellors to the expertise, experiences and resources required to thrive. Participants will receive a realistic look at what the role of a campus leader warrants to navigate the current and future higher education landscape.

“It is a great honor to be selected to participate in the 2024 MLI cohort,” Diaz said. “Through AASCU’s rich network of higher ed professionals, I will have a tremendous professional opportunity to enhance my leadership expertise in a way that will provide meaningful and impactful ways for our entire campus to collaboratively serve the students and community of this region.”

Diaz joined IU Northwest in 2020 as a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet and executive leadership team. Among her various roles in supporting the Chancellor, she has also served as co-chair on the campus’s Hispanic-Serving Institute Committee, the IU Northwest Strategic Planning Committee and Indiana University’s Regional Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) Staff Task Force.

MLI’s impact & success

This year’s MLI participants will be the initiative’s 25th cohort as AASCU celebrates the program’s 25th anniversary.

In celebration of MLI’s 25th anniversary and with a vision to elevate the program, AASCU has appointed MLI co-founder Charlie Nelms as President in Residence. In this role, Nelms will offer his visionary guidance, play a pivotal role in coaching the cohort, facilitate high-level discussions and share insights from his distinguished career.

Since MLI’s inception in 1999, nearly 750 individuals have completed the program, with 163 going on to become university presidents or chancellors and 43 serving multiple presidencies or chancellorships.

Counted among its success stories are two IU Northwest leaders: Chancellor Ken Iwama (2014 MLI graduate) and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Vicki Román-Lagunas (2023 MLI graduate).

“Amy is truly deserving of this opportunity, and I am grateful MLI saw in her the leadership and level of excellence she brings to the Northwest campus on a daily basis,” Iwama said. “This program offers an invaluable opportunity for individuals, including myself, who have historically not advanced to the role of president or chancellor.

“The impact of this program is significant as it builds a strong pipeline of academic leadership that reflects the increased diversity of students enrolled in higher education institutions — first generation, low-income and students from historically under-represented backgrounds.”

Programming for the 2024 cohort begins this month in Washington, D.C. Members of the 2024 cohort can be viewed here.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of 350 public colleges, universities and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise.

Read more: IU’s longstanding connection to MLI

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