Meet the Schusterman Fellows: Liz Fisher

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Over the course of 18 months, 24 outstanding Jewish professionals will engage in a customized professional development journey as part of the Schusterman Fellowship. The Fellows come from across the U.S., Europe, Israel and Australia, and they work inside and outside of the Jewish sector. As part of this blog series, we'll be bringing you short interviews with each of the Fellows in which they'll share a bit about themselves and their vision for the future. 

Meet Liz Fisher below!

Liz Fisher is the Chief Operating Officer at Repair the World, where she is responsible for overseeing all of the organization's development, communications, finance, operations and human resources. Previously, Liz served as Managing Director at NEXT: A Division of Birthright Israel Foundation, where she led the organization in strategy, operations and talent management. Liz began her career in grassroots community development in rural Missouri. She moved into working in the Jewish community with roles at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis, UJA-Federation of New York and The Jewish Education Project. Liz's passion is supporting the role of people in organizational life. She loves working with partners, lay leaders and professional staff.

Liz has a Masters of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis with a focus in community development and management. She is a fan of Brooklyn (where she lives with her husband and two children), an amateur runner and bread baker and an avid reader of periodicals.

1. What are you most excited to gain from the Fellowship? What are you most looking forward to learning?

I'm most excited for the community of the Fellowship. To grow relationships with those I already know, and to meet and get to know the other Fellows. I am looking forward to learning from their stories, successes, struggles, risks they have taken and how their careers are evolving.

2. Who is a leader, living or dead, who you admire most and why?

In an age of perfectionism and a culture of "doing it all", I have tremendous admiration for Moses' leadership in the desert, including his humility in asking for—and accepting—help. Moses turns to his father-in-law, Jethro, for advice and consultation and learns from Jethro that he needs more help in governing the people. Similarly, Moses accepts God's appointment of Aaron to help speak for him and communicate with the people. Moses's story serves to remind me that all leaders need to understand their strengths and weaknesses and to not be scared to ask for, and receive, help.

3. What is the greatest piece of leadership advice you have received and do you use it?

A great piece of leadership advice I received was, "If something doesn't make sense to you, it probably doesn't make sense at all."  Over-complicated messages often mean that either there is in error in fact or communication. One key piece of leadership is about communicating simply and clearly and empowering those around you do so as well.

4. If you were given a surprise day off, how would you spend it?

If I had a surprise day off, I would: wake up and run with my friends, come home and have a quiet cup of coffee and breakfast alone with a book, spend the day with friends and our families in the park, have dinner at home with my family and then sit on the deck and have a drink with my husband after the kids go to sleep.

5. If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?

If I could be compensated for my work with something other than money, it would be with letters from people whose lives I have impacted, whether that be colleagues, participants in programs, people I have mentored, volunteers, etc. And, of course, dark chocolate, wine and chips and salsa.

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.