March 27, 2017

Margarita Rozenfeld (’10) is the CEO of Incite International, an award-winning leadership and organizational development company providing consulting, strategic planning, facilitation and training services to clients such as Pew Charitable Trusts, Melwood, Quality Trust, Washington Humane Society, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Federal Transit Administration, and the World Bank.

Margarita is the host of Leadership Insights Podcast, an interview-style show featuring stories and strategies of inspiring leaders. She is a frequent speaker on topics of leadership, culture, employee engagement and organizational development. Her expertise has been featured on the Fox Morning Show, Washington Business Journal, Washington Post, and several books on entrepreneurship and organizational effectiveness.  She is also the founder of YES!Circle, a networking, advisory and educational organization for entrepreneurs. Margarita co-facilitates the Youth Leadership Greater Washington Program and is a recent Leadership Center for Excellence 40 Under 40 Honoree.

Margarita holds degrees from James Madison University in International Affairs and Spanish and an executive certificate in Organization Development and Change Leadership from Georgetown University.  She lives in Arlington, VA and travels all over the globe at every possible opportunity. 

Q&A with Margarita Rozenfeld
How did you first become involved with LGW’s Signature Program?
MR: For years friends and clients had urged me to apply and I’m so grateful they did. LGW was by far one of the best investments I’ve made in my business.

What made it such a great investment for you?
MR: LGW has been extraordinarily enriching for me, both professionally and personally.  It excels at selecting visionary individuals who care about their organizations, people and culture.  The LGW network understands the value of my work so it’s been a privilege to be hired by so many and to interview some remarkable members for my podcast.  It’s also been extremely rewarding to work on LGW committees, be exposed to new community engagement opportunities and now to facilitate the Youth Leadership Greater Washington Program.

Can you describe a special LGW Moment from your experience with the organization and its members?
MR: I’ll never forget how one mind-trust friend donated the use of her beach house to my parents when they were having a tough year and then supported me – along with other classmates - when I chaired a fundraiser.  I’ll stop here but there are countless examples of friendship, generosity and kindness that LGW has enabled for so many of us.

Will you share your unique perspective as a professional facilitator and Co-Leader of the Youth Leadership Greater Washington Program?
MR: The Youth Leaders are amazing – bright, curious and super engaged.  We’re just getting started but I already feel privileged to know them.  As with anything new, some activities are easy, natural and fun; others feel vulnerable and uncomfortable as they stretch, grow and develop new skills. 

Certainly, my professional clientele has more experience, maturity and wisdom, but in many ways humans react in human ways no matter their age. Exuberance, confidence and resistance all show up at different times for different learners so it’s important to meet them where they are and provide the right tools and support along the way. 

Fortunately, at YLGW I have an amazing Co-Leader in Fred Walls and the LGW staff are wonderful!

Who is the change agent you most admire for their leadership? 
MR: I remember this was also the question asked the first day my LGW class met.  The answer is still my mom.  She had the courage to leave behind everything she had ever known and immigrate to the U.S. without money, connections or language to give her 12-year-old (me) a better life.  Words cannot adequately express my gratitude and admiration.

Tell us something most people might not know about you.
MR: I try to put myself in new and uncomfortable situations with relative frequency.  If I’m going to encourage clients to do it, I better walk my own talk, right?  I think most people know I love to travel to far-away, lesser-developed countries.  What they may not know is that I made myself learn to ride a bicycle just a few years ago.  I grew up in the former Soviet Union where not many kids had bikes so I never learned.  It was terrifying as an adult so I was really proud of myself for doing it (and surviving!)