Women Leadership Program (NAHE and Michigan State University)

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Call for Application

Developing Female Leadership in Higher Education

Program Description

In collaboration with the National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) and with funding from the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, Michigan State University (MSU) is offering a professional development and exchange program for 25 senior women leaders in higher education across Pakistan. The goal of this exchange program is to support the advancement of Pakistani women leaders in higher education by improving gender equity and enhancing women's decision-making skills. Through this hybrid virtual and in-person program, a network of Pakistani women leaders will receive training, access to resources, and development opportunities to improve their promotion potential. The program aims to help women leaders secure senior leadership positions such as vice chancellor, pro-vice-chancellor, rector, or pro-rector. Participants will also receive mentorship and the opportunity to network with women leaders at U.S. universities throughout the duration of the program.


The selected participants will take part in the following activities:

  • Virtual program on leadership during spring and summer 2022.
  • Two-week intensive in-person program in the US in summer or fall 2022 to include:

(1) workshops at MSU on leadership, organizational change, strategic planning and decision making, mentoring, sexual discrimination, gendered analysis of education and change, and resilience;

(2) shadowing MSU senior administrators;

(3) visits to selected academic institutions in Michigan and Chicago. These visits include meetings with administrators and HEI administration offices such as the ombudsman and diversity and inclusion officers;

(4) meeting with mentors;

(5) team building exercise;

(6) examination of theories and practice in the U.S. and Pakistani context, and implications for each participant's setting and work.

  • Virtual programming through remote workshops, discussion boards, and sharing of action plans in fall 2022 and spring 2023. Workshops will build on the experience in the U.S., providing more case examples, discussions of leadership styles and challenges, and opportunities to engage in skill building and strategic planning.
  • Remote engagement with US mentors in fall 2022 and 2023.
  • Participate in a three-day, in-person Pakistan Higher Education Women Leaders' Summit in fall 2023 in Islamabad, which includes a two-day workshop with the MSU team as well as local experts and consultants that allows for consolidating learning, sharing action plan project progress, reflecting on challenges and professional growth, and developing skills in mentoring women leaders, followed by a one-day conference designed to offer a professional forum for the participants and also for a diverse audience of male leaders from the participants' own universities, stakeholders from NAHE, the Higher Education Commission, foundations and other organizations.
  • During the 1-day conference, participate in and present action plan projects as a reflection of the program.
  • Participation in a mentoring program with MSU to support aspiring Pakistani women leaders in 2023.

The two-week program in the U.S. will tentatively take place August 21 – September 3, 2022 (subject to change due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Final program dates will be determined in accordance with U.S. Embassy Islamabad and MSU travel policies.)

All expenses are paid for by the program, including international and domestic travel to the U.S. and Islamabad, health insurance while on travel to U.S., lodging, per diem, and U.S. visa fee. Personal expenses including international phone calls are not covered by the program.  

Who Should Apply

Senior female academic and administrative leaders (e.g., provost, vice president, pro-rector, pro-vice-chancellor, dean, chair etc.) working at a HEC recognized higher education institution in Pakistan.

Criteria for Selection


  • Currently working as a senior leader in the Pakistan's higher education sector with the potential to be promoted to decision-making positions (such as Vice Chancellor, Rector, President or HEC senior positions)
  • Have a PhD or a Master's degree from an HEC recognized university
  • A minimum 10 years of leadership experience at a HEC recognized higher education institution or work as a C-level executive in a large public or private sector organization
  • Demonstrated research and publication accomplishments
  • Demonstrated capability for attracting grants or other financial resources from national and international agencies, and managing grants and finance
  • Demonstrated experience in promoting and managing organizational change, decision making, faculty development and mentorship
  • Demonstrated influence of leadership in organizational change, decision making, faculty development and mentorship
  • Aspire to compete for senior leadership positions (such as Vice Chancellor, Rector, President etc.) in three to five
  • Advanced level English fluency


  • A minimum of 10 years teaching and conducting research at a HEC recognized higher education institution
  • International experience such as working in an international institution for teaching, research or management at a relatively senior position 

Application Materials

Please submit the following documents via email to vipp@msu.edu

  • CV (must contain your full name, job title, organization, and contact information)
  • A cover letter (maximum three pages) that briefly states
  1. why you are interested in applying for this leadership development and exchange program;
  2. how your experience matches the criteria

3) what you would like to achieve by participating in the program; and

4) an action plan to address a specific professional problem

  • A copy of last three HEC attested degrees

Further Material Requirement

If selected, please submit

  • two letters of recommendation  
  • a letter of support from your employer endorsing your participation in the program


Application Deadline: January 31, 2022 (5pm Pakistan Standard Time)

Interview Dates: March 1 – March 25, 2022

Announcement of Selected Participants (subject to change): April 1, 2022


Contact Information

For more information about the program, please contact:

Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP)
Michigan State University