News & Events

Kate Bauer Appointed as New Executive Director of Leadership Columbus

New Executive Director Building on Foundation of 50 Years


(Columbus, OH) – Leadership Columbus is thrilled to welcome Kate Bauer as the new Executive Director, coinciding with the organization’s 50th anniversary. After an extensive and rigorous search process, Bauer has been chosen to lead the esteemed organization into its next era of growth and impact.

Bauer’s appointment comes at a pivotal time as Leadership Columbus celebrates five decades of developing, connecting, and inspiring diverse leaders to serve as catalysts for a vibrant community. Her deep-rooted passion for leadership development, extensive experience in philanthropic initiatives, and dedication to the Columbus community make her the perfect fit for this role. In fact, she herself is a graduate of the Leadership Columbus Signature Program, class of 2017.

“I am excited to tap into the past, present, and future of our city through the amazing people of our community,” said Bauer. “Leadership Columbus has built a truly impactful program, and I look forward to taking it to new heights.” Bauer’s journey in leadership development began early in her career, and she has since combined this expertise with her philanthropic work. Kate is known for her passion for connecting with people and building meaningful partnerships. Her vision for Leadership Columbus is to continue equipping leaders with the tools, resources, and networks they need to become community stewards and make a significant impact in the community. “I firmly believe that people are the fabric of this city,” Bauer emphasized. “It’s important to me that we elevate leaders now and in the future that represent our diverse community. The success of any city, organization or program is because of its people.”

Leadership Columbus is renowned for its comprehensive leadership development programs, which include professional development, 360-degree reviews, and extensive networking opportunities. Bauer aims to ensure that these programs continue to attract and develop exceptional candidates, positioning Leadership Columbus as the premier leadership program in the region.

“We are thrilled to have Kate leading our organization into the future,” said Kelly Clifford Riehl, Board President for Leadership Columbus. “I have had the distinct pleasure of getting to know Kate in her previous roles in the community, and I have the utmost confidence in her ability to connect with people and inspire future leaders.” Reflecting on what drew her to the role, Bauer shared, “There is a real opportunity to leave a mark through this organization. I am excited to build on something great, create new strategies, and consistently grow with each new class of leaders.”

Bauer’s personal commitment to building talent and her belief in the power of collaboration and community align perfectly with the mission of Leadership Columbus.

Outside of her professional life, Bauer is a devoted mother to two boys, and an active member of the community. She is also a board member of the Wexner Center for the Arts. Her personal interests include running, sewing, puzzles, and attending local events.

“As Leadership Columbus embarks on this milestone year, the organization is confident that Kate’s leadership will usher in a new chapter of innovation, inclusivity, and excellence,” said Kelly Clifford Riehl.

About Leadership Columbus
The mission of Leadership Columbus is to develop, connect, and inspire diverse leaders who serve as catalysts in building a strong and vibrant community. Leadership Columbus has a graduate network of over 3,400 influential civic leaders working to maximize the potential of our community. To see a full list of programs and further information, visit

Media Contact: Ryan Wilkins