Leadership Niagara, Executive Director
Molly Anderson was appointed executive director of Leadership Niagara in 2009 and took on the transformation of the longest running community leadership organization in New York State, as well as the rebranding and deployment of a new mission, vision, core values, and strategies. Under her leadership, the organization doubled in size and offers graduate-level and nationally award winning leadership and organizational development, coaching and mentoring, and an experience known by LN alumni today as “one year that will change your life.” She brought a regional and binational focus to the program which now graduates 140 class members and works with over 150 volunteers annually from Western New York and Ontario, Canada.
Prior to joining Leadership Niagara, Molly served on the executive team for former County Executive Chris Collins and was director of communications for Senator Michael Ranzenhofer’s successful State Senate Campaign in 2008. As executive director of Kids Voting New York, she organized the largest volunteer effort in Niagara and Erie Counties with more than 15,000 volunteers while achieving the highest student voter turnout in the nation.
Molly has been actively engaged in the WNY community for more than twenty five years. Early in her career she served as a past board member of Junior Achievement, a charter board member of Buffalo’s first charter school King Urban Life Center, a trustee at Mount St. Joseph Academy, a member of the Buffalo Financial Plan Commission II, a board member of Partners with Russia, a board of associates member at Hauptmann Woodward, a past board member of Buffalo Junior Chamber of Commerce, executive committee for Shea’s Performing Arts Rising Stars, and as a charter member of Buffalo Sunrise Rotary Club. She served two years as an AmeriCorps*VISTA (national service program) to fight poverty and improve literacy. She was honored for her community service by Business First and Buffalo Public Schools with the Pathfinder Award for blazing a trail between business and education.
Currently, Molly serves on the board of directors of Community Missions, Inc., a homeless shelter in Niagara Falls. She was appointed to the University at Buffalo’s Center for Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness Advisory Council, the local advisory council for the Attorney General’s CharityStrong program, Western New York’s Leadership Coalition, and Niagara Community College’s Leadership Initiative Team. Molly took part in the Civic Leader Tour with the 914th Air Reserve Wing to Dobbins Air Force Base, which resulted in the formation of the Niagara Commanders program with Niagara Military Affairs Council. She was honored to be Principal for a Day at 79th Street Elementary in Niagara Falls.
Molly attended the University of Buffalo and Houghton College and studied communication and management. She was recently awarded the Michael Brundidge Community Service Award by the Main Street Business & Professional Association in Niagara Falls and the Association of Leadership Professionals “Excellence in Innovation” award.