Professional Bio

prof bio photo and quoteDr. Josie Ahlquist has trained thousands of professionals and students around the globe on how to thrive online and in life. As a speaker, researcher and author on digital leadership she takes a personal approach to transforming how we view technology through the lens of empathy and empowerment that will result in stronger companies, communities, schools and future leaders.

Speaker and Consultant

As an international leadership speaker, Josie is empowering digital leaders of the 21st century – ready to take on social and mobile in all areas of their lives. She specializes in speaking to high school and college-aged students, applying her personality, humor, and storytelling in a very relatable and even entertaining way. Her presentation and facilitation style carry over as a speaker for professionals at conferences, corporate organizations, and college campuses. Josie’s consultation services include 1-1 coaching with senior executives, as well as working with an entire team/organization in a 1-2 day intensive. Dr. Ahlquist takes Digital Leadership Education global, speaking in the following countries, United States, Canada, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates.


Dr. Ahlquist backs up her content with her own grant funded and award-winning research. Her research agenda focuses on teens and young adults digital experiences, senior executives online leadership practices and digital leadership pedagogy.  Her dissertation was on college student leaders and their behaviors and experiences with social media. Utilizing a mixed methodology she sought out an understanding and definition of digital student leadership and produced six pillars of digital student leadership education. She also conducted a study on Senior Executives on College Campuses who are high users of social media, which produced a Digital Leadership Framework and Digital Decision Making Model in Higher Ed. Dr. Ahlquist maintains an active research agenda, currently undertaking three separate research projects with colleagues around the globe and holds a research associate position with Florida State University.


For the fourth year in a row, she was named to the “Top 50 Must Read Higher Education Technology Blogs” by Ed Tech Magazine. As a writer, she is a co-author of the Handbook of Student Affairs Administration textbook, writing the chapter on Computer-Mediated Communication and Social Media. She is also published in The Journal of Leadership Studies, in a thought piece called Trending Now: Digital Leadership Education using Social Media and the Social Change Model.  She is also a co-editor and author in the New Directions in Student Services volume, “Engaging the Digital Generation,” as well as co-editor and author in the recently published New Directions in Student Leadership, “Going Digital in Student Leadership.” Josie is currently writing a book with Stylus Publishing, set to release summer 2018 on Digital Leadership in Higher Education.

College Educator

She is very attuned to the landscape of higher education and is passionate about developing the leadership capacity of college students, as well as administrators. She brings over a decade of experience in the field of higher education in areas such as student activities, campus recreation, student unions, marketing, residence life, judicial affairs, student leadership and new student orientation.  Dr. Ahlquist has served as adjunct faculty at Azusa Pacific University, Loyola Marymount University, Loyola University Chicago and New England College. Currently, she is an adjunct faculty member with Florida State University teaching undergraduate and master level courses.


Josie received her EdD from California Lutheran University doctoral program, studying higher education leadership. She is an alumna of Northern Arizona University with a Masters degree in Counseling and holds undergraduate degrees from South Dakota State University, where she double-majored in Sociology and Human Development and Family Studies.

Click here for a PDF version of Josie’s full CV:

Dr. Ahlquist CV