Rutgers Institute for Ethical Leadership’s director is retiring

The Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School will get a new director in the new year.

Professor Joanne B. Ciulla will succeed James Abruzzo, who is retiring after co-founding the Newark institute 13 years ago.

Abruzzo will continue working with the Cultural and Ethnic Arts Executive Leadership Program, while devoting more time to professional consulting in the nonprofit sector.

Ciulla joined IEL this year as research director and professor of leadership ethics after 25 years as a professor at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.

In Richmond, Ciulla held an endowed chair in leadership and ethics, and was one of the school’s founding faculty.

With Ciulla and Executive Director Judy Young, the IEL plans to expand its academic focus and integrate some of the cutting-edge teaching and research of RBS faculty into the IEL’s programs.

IEL will continue its programs on ethical leadership for Rutgers students and business and nonprofit leaders.

“My years at the IEL allowed me to influence nonprofit leaders and promote ethical leadership, combining my academic activities with my lifelong nonprofit executive search and consulting practices,” Abruzzo said.

Abruzzo will continue in other roles, including as the global head of Nonprofit Practice at DHR International, recruiting senior executives to nonprofit organizations, as well as providing compensation consulting and employment contract negotiations to a diverse group of nonprofit organizations and executives through Abruzzo Associates.

He also will continue board service with the Saul Steinberg Foundation and the American Friends of Netherlands Dance Theater.

Since its founding, the IEL has educated thousands of students and leaders in business, government and the nonprofit sectors.

Abruzzo helped strengthen the nonprofit sector through work at DHR by recruiting the chief executives of places that include The Newark Museum, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Newark Public Library.

“The IEL would not exist were it not for the friendship and entrepreneurial spirit I shared with Alex Plinio, who with me created and led the institute,” Abruzzo said. “Steven Diner, the chancellor of Rutgers-Newark, invited us to plant our idea at RBS, and the IEL today continues to enjoy the support of Rutgers University-Newark Chancellor Nancy Cantor and Rutgers Business School Dean Lei Lei.”

Abruzzo said the IEL further owes its success and sustainability to the partnership with the Prudential Foundation and Prudential Financial.

Abruzzo’s work will be honored at the 2017 Steven J. Diner Ethical Leadership Award Reception on Jan. 23.