From the Executive Editor
Leadership is a funny thing – there are so many necessary leadership roles out there, and it seems
not nearly enough interested individuals to do them. This impacts society on a variety of levels,
from local village or community, to academic institution, to country and nation. Without
individuals stepping into important leadership roles, entire aspects of society would fail to
Fortunately, within the AIAEE, there are many great individuals who continue to step up and
take on leadership roles that make a difference in the organization. AIAEE held its annual
conference in Merida, Mexico just a few weeks ago. At this conference, there were a variety of
great research and applied presentations, professional development opportunities, and local tours.
In addition, this was the time for leadership transition within the organization – a time to honor
and respect the leaders who are taking leave, as well as for fresh individuals to step into new and
exciting leadership roles.
Recently, I have also made a leadership transition, under the auspices of the JIAEE. In January, I
moved from being Managing Editor (who handles the submission and review process) to
Executive Editor (who is responsible for the creation and publication of each issue). While I
enjoy the planning and copy-editing process, developing my first issue has definitely been a
learning experience. Leadership, in this case, has required a lot of “behind the scenes” work and
a stiff work ethic – something that many of you experience on a daily basis.
Leadership itself can be applied in a variety of contexts. Sometimes leadership is overt and
standing in the limelight; sometimes it is more service oriented and is behind the scenes.
Whatever the story, leadership plays an important role within society and ultimately should
contain three things – influence, a group/community and a shared goal. While reading through
this issue of the JIAEE, you will notice leadership being demonstrated in a variety of ways –
through the importance of extension professionals learning intercultural sensitivity skills, to
professional development for Haitian faculty to address local food security, to innovative
communication and advisory systems for communities in Nepal. Clearly, JIAEE authors,
practitioners and researchers are providing leadership through their manuscripts, practical
applications and research.
Providing leadership is also an essential role of professional organizations – especially
professional organizations that service academics and practitioners within the field. As part of
the JIAEE Editorial Board meeting that occurred at our annual conference in Mexico, it was
decided to change the type of articles accepted for publication in the journal. No longer will we
be publishing Tools of the Trade, Commentaries or Book Reviews. Instead, Feature Research
Articles (with special encouragement for Feature Articles with Methodological or
Theoretical/Conceptual foci) and Research Notes (a shorter, more succinct version of a Feature
Research Article) will be the journal’s chosen article formats. These changes haven’t been
proposed because we are bored or desire change; they have been undertaken so the journal can
remain useful and relevant in an ever-changing world. As a leader, the JIAEE needs to provide
the best journal outlet and most relevant space for reading about international ag and extension
education issues that it can – and occasionally this changes the way we need to do business.
I know that in whatever context you have taken on leadership roles in your area of the world, you
are making a difference. Read on for more leaders who are also making a difference in their own
communities. Finally, if you are looking to make a difference and engage in a professional
organization, there are always many ways to engage (and provide leadership) within the
Association of International Agricultural and Extension Education (AIAEE)!
Kristina D. Hains
Executive Editor, JIAEE