The Mosher Center for Moral and Ethical Leadership, established by a gift from the Mosher Foundation, is part of Westmont’s new Global Leadership Center. Ed Birch, president and CEO of the Mosher Foundation, and his wife, Sue Birch, education program specialist with the foundation, helped develop the Mosher Center, which offers national conversations on the critical need for moral and ethical leadership, regional executive education and undergraduate leadership development.
“Ed and Sue have given so much to Westmont and to the local community, and we appreciate their vision for the Mosher Center,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “Their impressive backgrounds in education, business and the non-profit world make them eminently qualified to promote the moral and ethical leadership our country so desperately needs. For two years, the Mosher Center has invited acclaimed leaders and authors to Santa Barbara to discuss moral and ethical leadership, and these events have begun meaningful conversations.”
Ed’s 40-year career in management includes 18 years as vice chancellor at UCSB and eight as executive vice president at Westmont, where he made significant contributions in financial viability, technology, fundraising, external relations and marketing. He joined the Westmont Board of Trustees in 2003. Chairman emeritus of the former Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, he continues to serve in a senior advisory capacity with Union Bank, which purchased Santa Barbara Bank and Trust. The former head of the lower school at Laguna Blanca School, Sue also taught there for many years. Previously, she supervised student teachers at UCSB and worked as an educational instructional specialist for IBM. Both Ed and Sue have served on many local boards and received much recognition for their extensive community service. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.
“We’ve become very concerned about the lack of moral and ethical leadership in government, business and the non-profit world,” Ed says. “We seek to develop leaders who can serve as role models, and what better place to do that than Westmont? We’re excited about the combination of working with students, promoting a global perspective and training existing executives.”
“We always look for moral and ethical non-profit leaders as we find them to be the most successful,” Sue says. “The current election shows that we really need people with a good background in moral and ethical leadership. I think the neuroscience component of the new leadership center is especially important to strengthen STEAM education: science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.”
The Mosher Center sponsors a series of speakers in Santa Barbara, including Pulitzer Prize winners, who address the moral and ethical strengths and weaknesses of various American presidents and society in general.
Ed and Sue praise the leadership of President Beebe, describing him as an extraordinary person who reflects moral values, understands business, ethics and leadership, and gets things done.