Faculty and Coaches
Our coaches and faculty are distinguished educators, business leaders, consultants, analysts, researchers, and authors who enrich their scholarship and teaching with practical experience. Their expertise covers disciplines from organizational behavior, gender and leadership, and women's careers to marketing, negotiations, and organizational change. All are dedicated teachers committed to teaching excellence and who take pride in mentoring their students.
They publish widely in both academic and professional journals and consult with corporate, nonprofit, and government organizations. Top media outlets, including CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Business Week regularly interview School of Business faculty and the dean on strategic business topics.
Executive Education Coaches & Faculty
Jennifer Cohen is a Leadership and Organizational coach and Consultant with 25 years in the field coaching hundreds of individuals and groups, specializing in developing leaders to excel in a context of uncertainty and quick-shifting terrain. Her coaching and training is distinguished by her applied studies in communication theories including quantum physics, ontology, neuroscience, Somatics and systems thinking.
Jennifer’s coaching experience is informed by over two decades of working with executives across industries from healthcare, pharmaceuticals, technology, and throughout many of the most prestigious professional services firms. Within the context of cutting edge Leadership Development Programs, Jennifer has brought executives from the board room into a dojo style learning environment to hone their leadership skills through in-depth training and development opportunities she both designed and lead.
Jennifer is known as a "coach’s coach" and is a coach to some of the senior coaches at The NewField Group, one of the nation’s top schools for coaching. She has worked with corporate clients including Pfizer, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Boston Consulting Group, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, and MIT’s Sloan School of Management, and Nike. She has also coached senior executives from Merck and EMC in her work at Simmons School of Business. She has a niche in coaching world-class academicians from institutions such as Simmons and Harvard Business School. She has served as the Director of Coaching Education for Mobius Executive Leadership, a global boutique-consulting firm serving Fortune 500 companies.
She is the author of the chapter, "From Surviving to Thriving" in the book Being Human at Work, edited by Richard Strozzi Heckler and is currently working on a book to be published by Parallax Press in 2018. She has a master’s degree in Applied Psychology with an emphasis on systems theory from the Antioch New England Graduate School, and she did her undergraduate work in philosophy at Oberlin and Barnard. Jennifer and her spouse are avid gardeners and co-parent their daughter, Sophia.
Eleanor Chin brings over 20 years of experience as a dynamic leader, executive coach and an Innovative thinker in her work with Fortune 1000 corporations, not-for-profits, educational institutions, and start-up ventures. Ms. Chin combines her experience and vision to coach individual and institutional clients in navigating change and creating inclusive, effective systems.
In addition, she is one of only 300 people in the world with a master’s degree in the breakthrough science of human potential called Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Grounded in evidence-based principles, she coaches executives on leveraging strategic strengths, growth mindsets, and positive communications for learning and competitive advantage.
Ms. Chin has coached diverse executive clients globally and from a broad range of industries and professions. She guides her clients to assess their strengths and leadership talents relative to the dynamic business climate, building self-awareness and self-efficacy to engage forward action toward the client’s strategic goals. In this way they can project a strong, sustainable, professional brand. She also has experience coaching and consulting with a broad spectrum of executives, entrepreneurs, industries and organizations on leadership, workplace engagement, and diversity issues.
An experienced facilitator, Ms Chin also works with world-renowned resilience experts Drs. Martin Seligman and Karen Reivich from the University of Pennsylvania, to deliver resilience training both globally and to the U.S. Army. She is also a contributing author in two books: a chapter about women’s networks and mentoring across difference in the book The Glass Ceiling in the 21st Century published by the American Psychological Association and a chapter in Resilience: How to Navigate Life’s Curves.
Ms. Chin has a BA in Sociology and Management from Simmons University and a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a certified coach and trainer.
Virginia's coaching is about increasing performance and effectiveness through a rigorous process of mindset and behavior work. In her work with clients, she carefully examines everyday actions and reactions, while supporting a deeper inquiry into underlying beliefs, narratives, contexts, thoughts, challenges and aspirations. Through this lens, her coaching puts equal emphasis on the two polarities of "being" and "doing." It focuses holistically on increasing self-awareness, changing mindsets, and frameworks for action, with an intention of fostering sustainable behavioral shifts. After working with Virginia, her clients lead from a place of purpose and vision, instead of from a place of reactivity. They transform into leaders who have the capacity to respond to the quickly changing business landscape with a grounded sense of their leadership. Virginia's approach is informed by theories ranging from neuroscience, reflective practices, emotional intelligence, various leadership philosophies, psychology, and somatics.
Over a 25-year career as an HR executive, Virginia R. Dean has worked with C-suite executives and entrepreneurs in rapidly growing companies in life sciences, professional services, high technology, and non-profit organizations such as Obsidian Therapeutics, The Broad Institute, BeiGene, TESARO, Ariad Pharmaceuticals, The Bridgespan Group, and Macromedia (now Adobe). Virginia has created engagement-centered cultures in rapidly growing organizations, launching programs to support the evolution and performance of leaders and their employees. Her work has focused on creating sustainable cultures and leadership through high growth and rapid change.
In addition to an MBA from Simmons University's School of Business, Virginia is a Certified Professional Coach with New Ventures West (ICF certified). She has completed Georgetown University's Team Coaching program, is certified in the Leadership Versatility Index (LVI) assessment tool, The Hogan Personality Suite of assessments, has studied and worked with Internal Family Systems theory and has studied at the Strozzi Institute on Somatic Coaching. Virginia has a deep, personal mindfulness practice and teaches methods and techniques to her clients. She is in the process of becoming a certified meditation teacher.
"A tree with strong roots can withstand the most violent of storms, but the tree with no roots can it grow roots as the storm approaches on the horizon." – Dali Lama
Simmons Affiliate Faculty
Carol Frohlinger is the President of Negotiating Women, Inc., an advisory firm committed to helping organizations to advance talented women into leadership positions. Coauthor of Her Place at the Table: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success, Carol has designed, developed and delivered a variety of highly customized negotiation and leadership programs for executive women.
Using social science research about the systemic factors that impact female leaders as the context, Carol’s approach emphasizes practical skills that equip women to position themselves to best advantage. Among the topics she focuses on are leadership, communication, personal branding, strategic networking and, of course, negotiation. Her recent research focused on the systemic issues that women in professional services firms must negotiate to succeed, particularly those related to business development. The white paper, "Business Development in the 'New Normal'", summarizing the findings was published by Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute and included recommendations for actions professional services firms can take to improve results for both men and women.
On the organizational change side of the gender parity challenge, Carol consults with senior leaders, designs diagnostic surveys, conducts focus groups with women at all levels and advises firms about how to launch and support women’s initiatives that deliver a solid return on investment.
Carol is an affiliated faculty member at the Simmons School of Management and serves as the Practitioner in Residence at the Women, Leadership and Equality Program at the University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law. Formerly, Carol served on the faculty of the University of California, Hastings College of the Law Leadership Academy for Women and taught at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her advice has been featured by The Today Show, CBS MoneyWatch, NPR, and the New York Times, among other mainstream media. Carol is delighted that she will, once again, be a speaker at the Simmons Leadership Conference in April 2020.
Selected by then Senator Hillary Clinton to lecture on the issue of pay equity for women, Carol served on a panel with the Senator to address the causes and implications of the gender gap in pay. Carol served on the Women in the Legal Profession Committee of the New York City Bar Association and co-chaired its Business and Leadership sub-committee. She co-authored "What You Need to Know About Negotiating Compensation", a publication of the American Bar Association's Presidential Task Force on Gender Equity and served on the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on the Future of the Legal Profession. Carol also volunteered with The Thirty Percent Coalition, an organization with a mission to increase the number of women on the boards of America's publicly held companies. She has been honored by The International Alliance for Women with its “World of Difference Award” and was named to the Top 50 Most Influential Women List by the Irish Voice.
Carol holds a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. Formerly of New York City, she now lives in Athens, GA with her husband and is the proud parent of an adult daughter and son. She negotiates with each of them often!
Deputy Director, Institute for Resource and Security Studies
Dr Paula Gutlove is a speaker, teacher, trainer, and international consultant on negotiation, leadership, and conflict management.
She is Deputy Director of the Institute for Resource and Security Studies (IRSS), is an Associate of the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School, and was the founding board chair of the International Alliance for Peacebuilding. She works with a wide range of academic, business, government, and non-government organizations.
Dr Gutlove’s speaking, teaching, and training work is done through plenary addresses, lectures, workshops, and executive-education sessions in a range of settings including conferences, universities, government agencies, corporations, and non-profit organizations. Dr Gutlove has been teaching negotiation and leadership at Simmons University since 2005, and is guest faculty in a range of additional academic settings including – in the Boston area – Harvard Medical School, Hult International Business School, and Bentley University Center for Women and Business.
Her consulting work includes policy analysis and the development, administration, and implementation of programs. This work has been done for organizations including the World Health Organization, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the US Institute of Peace, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
At IRSS, Dr Gutlove directs the Institute’s international program on conflict management, which advises and supports government and non-government organizations regarding negotiation, leadership, human security, and conflict management. Within that program, Dr Gutlove founded and directs the international, award-winning project, Health Bridges for Peace. This project links health care with the prevention and resolution of inter-communal conflict, using a common interest in public health as an opportunity to bring people together for negotiation training, collaborative action, dialogue, and community reconciliation. Much of this work has been done in war-afflicted areas including the Balkans, the North Caucasus, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
Dr Gutlove was trained in social science (BS Psychology, Cornell University) and dental medicine (DMD, Boston University), and was a resident in oral surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. She has held two post-doctoral fellowships in negotiation and conflict management – at the Bunting Institute at Harvard University, and at the Peace Research Center at the Australian National University.
Cheryl Harris, M.Div., is a seasoned consultant, executive coach, manager and workshop facilitator with more than 25 years of business experience in diverse environments. Cheryl works with public, private, non-profit, churches and faith based organizations that express a need for systemic, enduring change.
She models a holistic approach to consulting that enables clients to rethink societal constructs and become more aware of decisions that may be based on unconscious bias. Cheryl consults from her unique experiences in change management, cultural assessments, theology, diversity initiatives, and board level consulting.
The fusion of Cheryl's multiple areas of expertise provides her clients with a rich, fully integrated consulting experience. She is an ordained minister and president of Cheryl Harris & Associates, Inc. Cheryl is also a certified life coach and conflict mediator.
She holds a BA in English Literature from Emmanuel College and a Master of Divinity Degree from Boston University, School of Theology. Cheryl has held the following leadership roles: Managing Partner of Ibis Consulting Group, Inc.; Director of Human Resources at Executive Perspectives in Boston, MA; Director of Operations, Director of Customer Service and Human Resources Manager at Delta Dental Plan of MA.
Sue is Principal of The Personal Brand Company which she founded in 1994. She is a leadership development expert, award-winning executive coach, and professional speaker. Her expertise in personal brand management is built upon her success as a marketing and public relations professional working inside organizations in healthcare, financial services and state government.
Ms. Hodgkinson is the creator of the proprietary Leadership Brand Management™ and Personal Brand Management™ methodologies, which she has applied in the coaching and workshop settings with hundreds of professionals throughout the U.S. who know they must strategically manage their own professional learning, leadership development and personal brand to succeed—for their company and themselves.Clients include professionals at all levels in organizations, including women and people of color, who have significantly increased their impact, confidence and mobility through this work.
Susan Hodgkinson's work has most recently been featured in media outlets including: The New York Times, The Detroit Free Press, The Boston Globe, Fox News, Chronicle. She holds her MBA from Simmons School of Business.She is a frequent presenter at national conferences, and has written articles for Employee Benefits News, The Merger & Acquisitions Advisor, Profiles in Diversity and Women's Business Journal. She is the author of The Leader's Edge: Using Personal Branding to Drive Performance and Profit (iuniverse, 2005).
She is a nationally ranked triathlete and lives with her family in Massachusetts.
Kira Hower has been an executive coach focusing on women's leadership since 2002. After receiving her M.Ed. at Harvard Graduate School of Education she began working as a consultant and curriculum designer at Linkage, Inc., a leadership development and consulting firm. She quickly became central to the development of the Women in Leadership practice area. While at Linkage,Inc., Kira helped to create and facilitate Influencing for Impact and Risk Taking & Decision Making, as well as other skill building workshops geared specifically for women leaders. She was also a presenter at the Women's Leadership Conference in San Francisco. In addition, she was contributing author to Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, with her chapter entitled Influencing for Impact.
After leaving Linkage, Inc. in 2003, she became a Senior Partner and Executive Coach at Shambaugh Leadership Group in D.C. Kira has extensive experience working with women in the corporate world, both in U.S. and abroad, who are grappling with profound workplace and leadership challenges. She speaks Spanish and Italian and has lived in both Barcelona, Spain and Florence, Italy.
Kira is a Certified Ontological Coach. She obtained her Coaching and Organizational Learning Certification from the ICF accredited Newfield Network program in 2004. She also taught Cross Cultural Communications at Berlitz International and the Harvard Business School, where she redesigned the curriculum for the pre-MBA program for international students.
In addition to having a passion for coaching women and traveling, Kira teaches Nia, a mind/body movement practice. She holds a Black Belt in Nia and incorporates mind/body tools, strategies and awareness into her coaching practice.
Kira lives in Cambridge, MA with her husband Bob and two pre-teen daughters.
Anna is an executive coach and facilitator who partners with professionals who want to maximize their influence as effective mentors and leaders. Her expertise resides at the intersection of leadership development, innovation, and cultural competence. In this capacity, she helps clients navigate leadership and management challenges through the exploration and understanding of individual and organizational mindsets, biases, and assumptions.
In 2002, Anna started her own Learning and Development organization to leverage 20 years of professional experience in corporate America in the Financial Services, Health Care, and Technology industries. Her current portfolio of clients include organizations from higher education to health care and technology such as: Dell Technologies, the Center for Women & Enterprise, PNC, Freddie Mac, Discover, Kaiser Permanente, Grant Thornton, Google, Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Babson College, Boston University, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Anna currently sits on the Diversity Board of Big Sister of Greater Boston, a non-profit that fosters positive mentoring relationships that support girls’ healthy development. She also volunteers as a mentor to first generation college students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
She holds a Master's degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education with a focus on adult and leadership development. She received a Master's degree in Business Administration from Babson College and a Bachelor’s of Science from the Stern School of Business at New York University.
Anna is bilingual in Spanish and enjoys writing about leadership, empowerment and the challenges and opportunities of changing demographics. In 2006, Anna’s editorial commentary on immigration and education was awarded national recognition at the First National Ethnic Media Awards in Washington D.C.
Anna lives west of Boston, MA with her husband, Peter, and their son.
Kathy E. Kram is the R.C. Shipley Professor in Management, Emerita, at Boston University. Her primary interests are in the areas of leadership development, relational learning, mentoring, coaching and developmental networks, and change processes in organizations. In addition to her book, Mentoring at Work, she has published in a wide range of journals including Organizational Dynamics, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Harvard Business Review, Business Horizons, Qualitative Sociology, Mentoring International, Journal of Management Development, Journal of Management Education, Journal of Management Inquiry, Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, Career Development International, and Psychology of Women Quarterly. She is co-editor of The Handbook of Mentoring at Work: Theory, Research and Practice with Dr. Belle Rose Ragins, and co-author of Strategic Relationships at Work: Creating your circle of mentors, sponsors and peers for success in business and life with Dr. Wendy Murphy.
Dr. Kram regularly consults with organizations to create developmental cultures and practices that foster effective mentoring and coaching for individuals at every career stage. She also regularly coaches men and women who aspire to be more effective leaders. Her primary purpose in this work is to help her clients develop self-awareness, social and emotional competencies, and new habits of mind that enable more effective responses to the complexities of today’s global and face paced environment. She is a principal in Innovative Communities in the Workplace (www.icwconsulting.com), and regularly collaborates with Dr. Ilene Wasserman, founder of this firm, on a variety of issues related to mentoring, coaching, developmental networks, and developmental cultures.
She is a founding member of the Center for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations (CREIO). During 2000-2001, she served as a visiting scholar at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) during which time she completed a study of executive coaching and its role in developing emotional competence in leaders. She served as a member of the Center’s Board of Governors from 2002-2009. Currently, she is completing a book on Peer Coaching at Work: Principles and Practices with Drs. Polly Parker, Douglas (Tim) Hall, and Ilene Wasserman. She is collaborating with five colleagues on a large study of the Transition in to Retirement led by Prof. Teresa Amabile at the Harvard Business School. She and her husband, Peter Yeager, enjoy hiking, traveling, and listening to their musician son, Jason, perform in a variety of venues.
MBA, Harvard Business School
Strategy/strategic thinking, marketing and networking
Professor LaRoche is an organizational leadership consultant, facilitator and executive coach. She is a co-founder of Seven Stones Leadership Group with Jennifer Cohen. She brings respect, clarity, truth and love to all of her work. Gina leverages 25 years of experience in delivering executive programs that have challenged leaders, teams and entrepreneurs to accelerate results using vision, strategy and accountability. Her current interest is working with leaders to develop mindfulness and presence for themselves and bringing these practices into organizations. She has spoken at Wisdom 2.0 Business and at the Mindful Leadership Summit and was nominated by Sharon Salzberg into the Community Dharma Leaders Program at Spirit Rock, an insight meditation center. She will graduate from the two-year program in April of 2017. She is also a writer and collage artist, and the co-author of The Seven Laws of Enough(Parallax Press -forthcoming) and author of Living in Sufficiency: A daily journey(2009) and Unstuck: Make the Shift (2011).
Gina is currently a visiting faculty member at Simmons School of Business where she teaches and coaches in its executive education programs. As a faculty member, Gina has worked with Merck, Pfizer, Verizon, EMC and the Boston Chamber of Commerce teaching mentoring, strategic networking and gender and leadership, while coaching participants on their 360 feedback. Gina has built a niche in working with Colleges and Universities. Her most recent work includes Berklee College, Housatonic Community College, UNLV Law School, Northeastern University and Yale University.
In 2001, Gina founded INSPIRITAS Corporation, a consulting and training firm advancing the practice of leadership, with her husband, Alan Price. Working with a broad range of industries, her clients included Credit Suisse, EMC, Miller Brewing, Harvard University, American Student Assistance and Stamford Hospital. Prior to INSPIRITAS, Gina acquired 15 years of experience in sales, marketing and training at high-tech and emerging growth companies. She served as director of marketing for Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) where she managed product marketing for the e-Business group. She was also a product-marketing manager at Vicorp Interactive Systems. Gina started her career as a sales professional at IBM in Waltham, MA where she received numerous excellence awards.
Gina holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BSBA from Georgetown University. When not at work she spends time with her New Haven sitting group, being with her neighbors and enjoying time with her spouse, two sons and dog.
M.A., Lesley University
Personal Brand Management
Alesia Latson has been studying and practicing the art and science of leadership and organizational development for over 17 years. She has held management and organizational development roles in large financial services organizations, healthcare, and government. Through expert facilitation and personal coaching, Ms. Latson has worked with hundreds of leaders at all levels to expand their management and leadership effectiveness, by supporting them in creating work relationships and environments that enhance employee development and the achievement of business goals.
Ms. Latson is well known for her exceptional skills as a facilitator and coach and consistently receives superior evaluations for her ability to produce extraordinary outcomes when working with business leaders. In support of the development of minority leadership, Ms. Latson contributes to The Partnership and other community and business organizations in Boston and surrounding areas.
Julie has extensive experience in a full range of human resources services and financial management. Formerly a commercial lender for JP Morgan Chase; she structured real estate, start-up and working capital loans for women, minority owned businesses and houses of worship in New York City.
Realizing that people are the key differentiator in success of a product or service offering, she transferred those skills into the HR realm, utilizing her business acumen to articulate the case for people development, and employee engagement. Her services include the design of programs and processes to support organizational objectives, workforce management, diversity and employee engagement. Her extensive skills in organizational development; climate and culture; learning and development; and executive and career coaching support the delivery of end-to-end solutions.
Holding roles of increasing responsibility in finance, organizational development, learning, and strategic human resources management, Julie has relationships with Simmons' Executive Education Programs; Gerson Lehrman Group; The Taproot Foundation; St. Vincent’s Medical Center; Columbia University; The Segal Group; Kelly Services; Pitney Bowes; Pfizer; MetLife and Chase.
She received the Program Partner of the Year award from The Workplace, Workforce Development Board, for providing job opportunities to people from the community. As a member of the St. Vincent’s Patient and Family Advisory Board and Taproot, she created new board recruitment processes; and as Co-Chair of medical center Golf Tournaments, raised thousands for St. Vincent College scholarship recipients.
Julie holds an M.S., Applied Psychology (Industrial/Organizational Concentration); B.S., Finance/Economics and A.S., Accounting degrees from Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT. She has numerous coaching certifications, is certified in Six Sigma process improvement, and other change management methodologies. A very outdoorsy person, she enjoys physical activities, is an avid golfer, skier and scuba diver.
Kris Normandin is an experienced leadership development professional with over 25 years of experience in a variety of industries.
Most recently, Kris held the position of Director, Leadership and Organization Development at Covidien, a 42,000 global medical devices company headquartered in Mansfield, MA. In her role, she provided leadership development and organizational consulting for business divisions within the company, including: 360° feedback and coaching, competency development, organization design, team development, and change management. Kris worked closely with company leaders to develop new leadership practices including sponsorship programs to advance women and a new performance management process. She was instrumental in fueling the growth of women's networks across the globe and building an infrastructure where those networks could thrive.
Prior to joining Covidien, Kris was Curriculum Director, Executive Education at Simmons School of Busines. She worked collaboratively with faculty and the Fortune 500 clients to design leadership development programs for women in senior management roles. In addition to needs assessment and program design, Kris was responsible for the 360° feedback and coaching process.
Over her career, Kris has held related leadership development positions at Deloitte, BankBoston, and The Boston Company. She holds an M.S. in Training and Development from Lesley University and a B.A. from Denison University.
She lives in Wayland, MA with her husband, Frank, and two children, Blake and Kate.
Professor, Suffolk University Founder and Principal, Cavendish Group
Regina O’Neill is a tenured Professor at Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School in Boston, and a founder and principal in Cavendish Group, a certified woman-owned business, where she has responsibility for designing and delivering leadership development programs to a wide variety of domestic and international clients.
Her expertise is in teaching, conducting research, publishing, and consulting in the areas of leadership, negotiations and conflict management, mentoring relationships, managing corporate crises, career development, diversity, and managerial effectiveness.
She also created and holds patents for the content, methodology, and technology of a number of individual and organizational assessment tools that have been successfully implemented as part of leadership development initiatives. Regina consults with a wide range of clients for workshop presentations, keynote talks, and program development.
Dr. O’Neill earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan Business School, her MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, and her B.S. in Management from the University of Massachusetts. She worked as a CPA, and was an auditor for six years at a top international accounting firm.
Diane Kagen Trust '77MA Professor for Leadership Development; Professor of Practice; Faculty Affiliate, Center for Gender in Organizations
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Katsuko Sugiyama is an independent Bilingual (J/E) Facilitator and Leadership Coach specialized in global leadership competence development, global business communication, and linguistic (Japanese and English) and cultural business facilitation. Katsuko's dynamic bilingual and bi-cultural facilitation helps bring clear mutual understanding across cultures to attain client's desired results in either face-to-face or virtual meetings.
Katsuko brings over 25 years of experience in international business both in Japan and the U.S. She has worked as an internal business partner, external consultant and coach in the areas of product development, operations, and project management in a wide range of industries including: Biotech/Pharma, Financial Services, Information Technology, Management Consulting, and Education.
Katsuko is committed to helping clients developing their intercultural competence and enhancing their effectiveness as global leaders via in-person and online coaching and workshops. She uses relevant frameworks to bring knowledge into competence using day-to-day practices to enable us to discern the best way forward in the face of change and uncertainty.
Katsuko holds a Master's of Arts in Intercultural Relations from Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts with a specialization in training and consulting, and her Bachelor's of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Kobe College (Kobe Jogakuin), Japan.
Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Katsuko has resided in Boston Massachusetts since 1992. She enjoys playing tennis, practicing tai chi and Svaroopa yoga.
Samantha Tan is a consultant and coach in leadership, culture and change. She is passionate about intergenerational and intercultural dialogue and helps leaders tap into emerging voices to inform and shape organizations of the future. In addition to her coaching practice, Samantha designs and facilitates local, national and international workshops and gatherings.
Samantha has worked with a broad range of clients including Nokia Corporation, McGraw Hill Financial, Visa Inc, Merck, the Federal Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Dalai Lama Peace Centre, the Kellogg Foundation, and the Harvard Business School Club. She has spoken at numerous events including the International Leadership Association gathering, the OD Learning Network conference, Pegasus Systems Thinking Conference and the Linkage Summits on Women and Leading Diversity.
Samantha is a Global Steward of the World Café and a chapter contributor to The World Cafe: Shaping the Future Through Conversations That Matter (Berrett-Koehler 2005) where she wrote about creating a culture of learning and care in her home country, Singapore. Her first career was in strategy and policy development with the Singapore government where she worked on national reform projects in the manpower, arts and education sectors.
Samantha has a BA in Philosophy from Bristol University in the UK, and a Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Samantha currently lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and son.
Assistant Professor; Faculty Affiliate, Center for Gender in Organizations
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Senior Director, Executive Education and Corporate Outreach
Simmons School of Business
Elisa van Dam brings a wealth of experience in corporate education to the role of Senior Director of the School of Business's Executive Education program. With her team and the School of Business faculty, she is responsible for producing high impact women's leadership development programs. Her focus is on working with clients and the faculty to assess the needs of organizations and to build customized programs that will develop women leaders and ultimately improve gender equity.
Ms. van Dam is currently serving as part of the executive team responsible for the School of Business. She is responsible for corporate outreach for the school, including working with the school’s Business Advisory Council and the School of Business Alumni Association. She is the co-founder and serves as the chair of the Simmons Women's Initiative Forum, a networking group for people who are responsible for women's networks and employee resource groups.
Prior to joining Simmons, Ms. van Dam was the Director of the Information Technology Programs at the Boston University Corporate Education Center for 2.5 years. In this role, she oversaw design, marketing, sales, and operations for their IT training business, featuring open enrollment and custom education programs, as well as certificate programs. She also has extensive experience in the corporate conference arena. Most recently, she was the Vice President, Content and Learning for a global corporate event management company.
Ms. van Dam is a member of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network Advisory Board and a co-chair of the Boston Chapter of 2020 Women on Boards. She is an IPEC Certified Professional Coach, and holds an ICF (International Coach Federation), ACC certification. She is also a Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach. She earned her BA in International Relations at Brown and received her MBA with Honors from Boston University.