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Spotlight! Leila Makdisi (Leadership Institute Edition)


Name: Leila Makdisi

Preferred Pronouns: she/her

Job title: Education Coordinator, Student Experiences

Organization: Museum of Science and Industry Chicago

Time in current role: 6 years

College/School: Bard College (BA) and University of Chicago (MA)

Area of study/expertise: physics/history of science (by school) informal science & science communication (by career)

What do you like most about working in the nonprofit sector? The joy of museum work and the mission of nonprofits

What drew you to the Leadership Institute? The opportunity to deepen my knowledge of leadership and its skills with like minded colleagues. Particularly in a program built for and by other Chicago nonprofits.


Favorite vacation you've ever been on? Years ago I had the pleasure of spending a summer abroad in Lebanon. I stayed in the dorms of the American University of Beirut, visited family, traveled the country and tried to get a better grasp of the Arabic language. My vocab and grammar didn't improve much, but I had an incredible time.


You're happiest when ____. I'm at the beach with a new book and a bag of potato chips.


How would you describe your job to a child? I work with kids at the museum almost every day. To them, I explain, I'm here to help YOU do the science. To my nieces, and fellow nerds, I say I aspire to be Ms. Frizzle. A friend from home used to describe my job as throwing magnets at things and seeing what sticks.


Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. When I was 16 I decided I wanted a tattoo. But, those are expensive, I was too young, and I wasn't about to get my parents' permission. So I learned to do it myself with a sewing needle, thread and india ink. No regrets, folks!


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