Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

'Leading in your Setting' to be explored at RCSI Lessons in Leadership Lecture Series

22 January 2014

Inspiring leadership from individuals who are not in formal positions of authority is one of the areas that will be explored this evening at a lecture by Professor Hilary Sanfey, Professor of Surgery and Vice Chair of Educational Affairs SIU University, Illinois, USA as part of the RCSI Institute of Leadership Lessons in Leadership Lecture Series. This is the first lecture of the Series in 2014 which will be delivered to approximately 100 health professionals at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin. 

Speaking ahead of the lecture Professor Hilary Sanfey said: ‘Leadership is a process whereby one individual influences another to achieve common goals. Therefore everyone has the potential to lead even if their position is quite low in the hierarchy and/ or they are not in a position of authority.’ 

Pictured (l-r) are Prof. Cathal Kelly, CEO, RCSI; Dr. Mary Collins, Senior Executive Development Specialist, Institute of Leadership, RCSI; Prof. Hilary Sanfey, Professor of Surgery and Vice Chair of Educational Affairs SIU University, Illinois, USA; Mr. Dermot O'Flynn, Director Professional Development, RCSI Institute of Leadership; Sibéal Carolan Programme Director & Lecturer, Institute of Leadership, RCSI; and Professor Patrick Broe, President, RCSI.

‘Effective contemporary leaders are transformational and are measured more by what they inspire others to accomplish than by what they do themselves,’ she concluded

Professor Hilary Sanfey addresses the audience.

Professor Sanfey will present one classification of leadership styles, as well as some examples of situations in which their use is effective or ineffective and suggest a number of approaches to bring about change when change is difficult. 


Pictured (l-r) are  Aidan Healy, RCSI; Dr. Brian Hillery, UCD; Patricia Fitzpatrick, RCSI and Suzanne Miller, RCSI

Professor Ciaran O’Boyle, Director of the RCSI Institute of Leadership said 'The Lessons in Leadership’ lecture series continues to explore why leadership is so important and to empower those working in the health sector to develop appropriate leadership competencies. We are delighted Professor Sanfey could join us this evening to share her insights on leadership that are relevant to both the clinical setting and contemporary workplaces in general.'

Pictured (l-r) are Professor Arnie Hill, Professor of Surgery and Dean of the School of Medicine, RCSI; Professor Hilary Sanfey;  and Professor Patrick Broe, President, RCSI.

Hilary Sanfey is Specialist Advisor in Postgraduate Surgical Training & Education in the Department of Surgical Affairs in RCSI, currently on leave from her position as Professor of Surgery and Vice Chair for Surgical Education in the Department of Surgery at Southern Illinois University. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, she underwent surgical training at RCSI followed by three years as a research fellow at Johns Hopkins University. She worked as a Consultant transplant surgeon at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and University of Virginia. Professor Sanfey is a past president of the Association of Women Surgeons (AWS), a former member of the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors, past chair of the American College of Surgeons Women in Surgeons Committee and is the current President of the International Society of Surgery US Chapter.

The RCSI Institute of Leadership is Ireland's only third level institution dedicated exclusively to developing the leadership and management capacity of health professionals. While the Institute is a fully academic institution, it maintains close connections with the world of healthcare delivery and its programmes are characterised by flexibility, speed of response, customer service and a blended learning approach that allows our students to learn while continuing to work.  The Institute has campuses in Dublin, Bahrain & Dubai and it also deliver programmes in Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Sub-Saharan Africa. 

The Lessons in Leadership Lecture Series is free of charge but registration is essential in order to guarantee a place.  For further information and to register visit: or you can join the conversation online, on the night, on Twitter at #RCSILeadership .

2013/2014 Programme

6pm, 22nd January  2014 

Professor Hilary Sanfey, Professor of Surgery and Vice Chair of Educational Affairs SIU University, Illinois, USA.

‘Leading in your Setting’


6pm, 12th February 2014 

Mr Brendan Noonan, Vice President Learning & Development, Emirates Airline, Dubai , UAE

‘Leadership Lessons from a Global Airline Company’


6pm, 14th May 2014

Mr Jimmy Sheehan, Galway Clinic

‘The Leadership Challenge in the Private Healthcare Sector’


Founded in 1784, RCSI’s mission is to develop healthcare leaders who make a difference worldwide. RCSI is a not-for-profit health sciences organisation which focuses on education and research to drive positive change in all areas of human health worldwide.  RCSI is headquartered in Dublin and is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland.