Holly Diaz, Ph.D. is a 2019 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.

Dr. Diaz at her Dissertation Defense.

L-R: Dr. Tony Lingham, Committee Member, Dr. Elizabeth Holloway, Committee Chair, Dr. Karen Stout, Committee Member (not pictured).

Dissertation Committee

  • Elizabeth Holloway, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Tony Lingham, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Karen Stout, Ph.D., Committee Member

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Publication Date



The country of Mongolia has an ancient culture with a 28-year-old democracy that emerged out of communism. Over the course of several centuries, the Mongolian people have adapted to severe climates and brutal occupations but have managed to preserve cultural practices and the Mongolian way of life. Women leaders have made significant historical and contemporary contributions in Mongolia, from holding important leadership positions as heirs of Chinggis Khan, to ensuring the future of the country by sending their children abroad for graduate education. The impact of their leadership is evident with high percentages of women in leadership positions across several sectors of business, politics, social services and health care. This form of modern nomadism is providing Mongolia with a global perspective that is contributing to the development of their democratic infrastructure. Through individual and group interviews, this indigenous narrative study with an emergent, thematic analysis, found that Mongolian women persevered through challenging conditions, motivated by their dedication to Mongolian people, the future of their country and centuries of indigenous ways of being that promote adaptability in extreme circumstances. This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, Ohiolink ETD Center,


Holly Diaz, Ph.D.

ORCID Scholar ID #: 0000-0001-9344-2729

Holly Diaz is a scholar practitioner who works at Western Washington University as an Assistant Director for Residence Life and an NTT Faculty for the Karen W. Morse Leadership Institute. A former victim advocate and therapist, Holly is interested in the experiences of others, through their own world view and narratives. More specifically, her interests lie in the experiences of women and the concepts of resilience and thriving. Most of her research had been centered on the experiences of women in higher education, but it was through teaching a study abroad course in Mongolia, exploring the experiences of Mongolian women leaders, that she became curious about the persistence of these inspiring individuals. Now that her Ph.D. is finished, Holly can re-engage with hobbies she has had to put aside for the past 10 years such as reading, collecting music, hiking, travel and playing games with her husband, Abel, and daughter, Ruby. A life-long learner, she is also looking forward to what is next!