About Us

2019-2020 Cohort



The Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) program is a prestigious year-long program designed to prepare Ohio State undergraduate students to foster global citizenship and to enhance their strengths in various cultural contexts in order to become successful leaders in the global community.

The overall goal of GLI is to develop friendship, leadership skills, networking opportunities, and a better understanding of the similarities and differences between cultures. GLI hopes to achieve this goal through a globalized campus, cultural awareness, and a focus on career professionalism.


  • Unmatched networking opportunities with various guest speakers such as university administrators and professional leaders.
  • Develop strong leadership, team-building, communication, and project management skills through real world projects.
  • Receive advice on future career goals and self-branding for future success through professional connections.
  • Participate in weekly meetings/workshops, events, and small group activities to establish life-long friendships.
  • Receive a certificate upon completion of the program at the Awards/Initiation Banquet at the end of Spring semester.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of different cultural ideas with peers of different backgrounds in preparation for careers in a global context.


  1. Weekly Guest Speakers/Workshops
  2. Monthly Networking Dinners
  3. Real World Projects
  4. Monthly Social Events
  5. Fall Retreat
  6. End-of-the-Year Recognition Banquet


During their undergraduate years at The Ohio State University, founders Vickie Chen (Communication, 2013) and Lanzi Li (City and Regional Planning, 2013) realized that there was a gap between the international and domestic student populations. International students try to make friends with domestic students but are not sure how to go about doing so, and domestic students do not always understand international students. This sparked the two to create the idea of GLI, a cohort under the Office of International Affairs to help break the barriers. The two worked closely with Global Engagement Program Manager Megan Lawther in 2012 to develop, propose, and advocate for such a proposition which saw fruition in the following inaugural year.

“GLI was formed so there can be student leaders who have the knowledge, leadership skills, and resources on campus to encourage more people to become involved with these international relationships.”


Megan Lawther

Megan Lawther is the Program Manager for the Global Engagement at the Office of International Affairs. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and obtained her Master’s degree in African American and African Studies from The Ohio State University. She has a wealth of experience overseas as her travels include countries like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Israel, Ireland and has also lived in France. She is definitely the backbone of this program.

The First GLI Cohort (2013-2014)