Julia Christie ’20 Tapped to Chair 40th Anniversary Naval Academy Leadership Conference
The Naval Academy Leadership Conference is a 4-day event hosted annually by the United States Naval Academy. This year marked the event's 40th anniversary, and Severn alum and MIDN 1/C Julia Christie '20 served as the Conference Chair, working with her staff to put on the entire conference.
The 2024 conference ran from January 21-24, and the theme was “Learning to Lead: The Lifelong Pursuit of Service.” With this as the focus, Christie and the conference team spent the last year putting together an impressive assortment of keynote speakers and panelists, all speaking on the topic of leadership. In addition to opening remarks from senior leadership and daily keynote speeches, there were panels titled: Humility as a Small Unit Leader, Sticking to Your 'Why,' and Leading with Responsibility.
One of those invited guests was fellow Severn alum Dr.Katherine Graw Lamond '96, who delivered the USNA Class of 1938 Keynote Address - the conference's final keynote. Lamond was asked to share her experiences in leading, learning to lead, and how leadership and learning are a never-ending process. Lamond recently received Severn School's highest honor when she was named the 2023 Rolland M. Teel Distinguished Alum.
"My goal as conference chair was to create a ripple effect of learning,” said Christie. “The delegates that attend are all leaders in their own spheres, so we wanted to create an experience where they could take what they've learned and pay it forward to the people they lead, and so on...because that's what leadership is! Seeing the growth throughout the week was really rewarding for the whole staff because we knew that we accomplished that goal, and we all learned a lot throughout the process.”
This marked Christie's third year of involvement with the leadership conference. In her second year at the USNA she served as a host, and last year she was in attendance as the Public Affairs Officer. She then applied for - and was awarded - the role of Chair for 2024.
The multi-day conference hosted about 370 external delegates from a variety of military academies, ROTC programs, civilian schools, and international military academies, along with attendees from the Naval Academy. One such guest was another familiar Severn face -- Athletic Director Julian Domenech '84. Christie personally invited Domenech to attend and listen to Lamond’s keynote address on the final day.
"I feel fortunate to have coached Julia at Severn, and to see her in command of this event was no surprise,” said Domenech. “She was a leader in many ways during her time here and has continued down that path at the Naval Academy. We are all excited to see what her next challenge will be in the Navy and her next leadership role.”
Christie is in her final year at the United States Naval Academy. In May, she’ll be commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. After being commissioned, Christie will report to Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and, after completing that program, will attend flight school in Pensacola, Florida, where she will train to become a USMC pilot.