Kalissa Hendrickson is the Director of the Executive Leadership Seminars department at the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan organization that drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action. Her passion for the humanities and belief in their essential role in society is expressed in a career at the intersection of education, leadership, and professional development. At the Institute Kalissa oversees a portfolio of seminar programs and internal initiatives, supports program and curriculum design, and moderates leadership seminars. Each year she directs the delivery of over 30 seminars, including the premier Aspen Executive Seminar on Leadership, Values, and the Good Society. In addition to daily operational and financial oversight of the department, she helms external and corporate partnership development.
Prior to joining the Institute Kalissa taught literature and composition at Arizona State University (ASU) where she earned her Ph.D. in English literature with a specialty in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century drama. Her work on British identity formation via the inclusion of foreign commodities in performance has been published in Restoration & Eighteenth-Century Theatre Research and presented at conferences including the Shakespeare Association of America and American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies annual conference. While at ASU she co-founded and served as co-president of the Graduate Women’s Association, an award-winning organization dedicated to providing women and minority graduate students advanced professionalization resources and opportunities.
A former aspiring symphony musician, she earned her bachelor’s degree in music performance from Northwestern University. Born and raised in the Seattle, WA, she currently resides in the Washington D.C. with her husband and dog.