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Ethics, leadership and crisis management: Powerhouse BELIEF Week keynote conversation planned

March 3, 2021

Internationally renowned aviation attorney Kenneth Quinn (FINA 82) will serve as the keynote presenter for the NIUCollege of Business BELIEF Week spring 2021. Quinn is currently principal at International Aviation Law PLLC, which specializes in aviation, aerospace, transportation and unmanned aircraft systems. He has been instrumental in shaping the regulations on aviation and flight safety and has counseled aviation leaders before, during and after crises: including building internal cultures that manage risk and developing relationships with key players.  

During the March 10 BELIEF Week keynote, Quinn will moderate a webcast panel conversation with two United States admirals: United States Navy Admiral Cutler Dawson, former CEO of Navy Federal Credit Union; and United States Coast Guard Admiral Sandy Stosz, former superintendent of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Their conversation will focus on ethics, leadership and crisis management. This Zoom webcast runs from 5 to 6 p.m. CST Wednesday, March 10 and can be joined at go.niu.edu/BeliefWeekKeynote.  

Admiral Dawson and Admiral Stosz are three-star admirals with highly distinguished careers. Each are well-respected published authors on the topic of leadership. 

Admiral Dawson served 34 years in the United States Navy and 14 years as president and CEO of Navy Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in the world. His most recent published book is “From the Sea to the C Suite: Lessons Learned from the Bridge to the Corner Office.”  

Admiral Stosz recently retired from the Coast Guard, after serving as deputy commandant for Mission Support. Previously, she served as Superintendent of the US Coast Guard Academy and is the first woman to lead a United States service academy.   

“We are grateful that this esteemed panel is joining us to share ethical lessons based on their decades of service to our country,” says Balaji Rajagopalan, dean, NIU College of Business. “We know their insights will be incredibly valuable to our students and we sincerely appreciate their supporting our educational mission in this way.” 

Since its founding in the early 2000sBELIEF Week has served as the main event, among a series throughout the year, by which the college celebrates and promotes ethical decision making in industry and in the curriculum. This year’s keynote conversation brings three remarkable individuals together with wide-ranging experience across several areas  military, community service, political to professional. 

“Keynote presenter Kenneth Quinn embodies what it means to be a Huskie. He dives in, rising from modest beginnings to ultimately reach the pinnacle of success in his field,” says Neil Doughty, director of the BELIEF program. “We are grateful to Mr. Quinn for joining us to share his extensive expertise and for bringing in Admirals Dawson and Stosz for what is certain to be an amazing keynote conversation.”   

As an alumnus, Quinn was the last in a long line of successful siblings to attend NIU. The Quinn family relationship with the university produced one journalist, two special education teachers, two tech industry executives and an internationally recognized aviation attorney.  

Throughout his academic tenure and continuing into his life’s work, Quinn has actively shaped the communities to which he commits himself.   

As a student, Quinn took on several extracurricular service activities. He taught ministry classes at Newman Catholic Student Center near NIU’s DeKalb campus to help others on their faith journey. He served as senator and then treasurer in the NIU Student Association, helping found the Student Committee on Financial Aid, and serving on NIU’s athletic and judicial boards. He testified before Congress on behalf of the U.S. Student Association, advocating for improvement of the student aid system. He helped develop a program whereby students could opt to pay a small fee that would go toward increasing need-based aid at the university. He also worked for congressional and presidential campaigns.   

After graduating in 1985 with honors from the DePaul University College of Law, he joined the George H. Bush Administration, first as senior advisor to the president-elect, then as counsel to the Transportation Secretary (1989-91), and finally as chief counsel of the Federal Aviation Administration from 1991-93. He was also a member of the governing committee of the Flight Safety Foundation. He served as president of the International Aviation Club of Washington, D.C. in 2015, having served on its board since 2008. In 2015, he served as a delegate to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) High Level Safety Conference. In 2014, he was appointed as an arbitrator to the Experts Committee of the Shanghai International Aviation Court. He was the firstever facilitator for the ICAO Council Retreat, held a position on the Governing Committee of the ABA Forum on Air and Space law, including chair from 1996-98 and its editor-in-chief from 1997-2010. Finally, he was named a fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 2006.   

In all his many roles, Quinn has helped C-level executives develop plans to make the first hours and days after a global crisis less disastrous.  

BELIEF is the ethics education program at the NIU College of Business. Its goals are to help students identify when they might be in an ethically compromised situation and give them a decision-making framework to help them determine how to address that situation professionally and ethically. BELIEF promotes ethics education throughout the College of Business course curricula.   

Along with this keynote panel conversation, BELIEF Week also provides an earlier, separate panel discussion with experts in the finance field. Their Zoom webcast on Ethics in Investing runs from 5 to 6 p.m. CST Tuesday, March 9 and can be joined atgo.niu.edu/BeliefWeekPanel.