What constitutes leadership? When one is designated a "leader," what are the particular obligations of leadership? How are these responsibilities expressed in ethical terms? Does ethical leadership imply social responsibility? Is leadership different age to age?
In Chautauqua Institution's annual Applied Ethics exploration, speakers examine leadership from the points of view of business and politics, education and sports, from those who make headlines and from those who lead by following.
The longtime mayor of Charleston, S.C., Joseph Riley is widely considered one of the most visionary and highly effective governmental leaders in America. First elected mayor in December 1975, he is serving an unprecedented ninth term.
Under Riley's leadership, Charleston has increased its commitment to racial harmony and progress, achieved a substantial decrease in crime, experienced a remarkable revitalization of its historic downtown business district, built the beautiful Waterfront Park, developed nationally acclaimed affordable housing and experienced unprecedented growth in size and population. Riley has led a city government with an impressive record of innovation in public safety, housing, arts and culture, children's issues, the creation of parks and other public spaces, and economic revitalization and development. Charleston is recognized as one of the most livable and progressive cities in the United States.
Riley served as president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 1986-87 and currently serves on its executive committee. Nationally acclaimed for his leadership, vision and impressive list of accomplishments, Riley has received numerous awards and commendations, including the first President's Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors in 2000 and the South Carolina Governor's Award in the Humanities in 2005. He has also won several awards for exemplary contributions to urban development and design.
Born in Charleston, Riley attended The Citadel and the University of South Carolina School of Law. He served in the South Carolina House of Representatives for six years before becoming Charleston's mayor.