Mindfulness is the capacity to have compassion for ourselves as leaders and to carry that compassion into the world for others. ~ Valerie Brown & Kirsten Olson
Valerie Brown transformed her high-pressure, high-stakes twenty-year career as a lawyer-lobbyist, representing educational institutions and nonprofits, to human-scale work with diverse leaders and teams to foster trustworthy, compassionate, and authentic connections.
She holds a Juris Doctorate, she’s an accredited leadership coach at the Professional Certified Coach level (PCC), international retreat leader, writer, and Chief Mindfulness Officer and Professional Pilgrim of Lead Smart Coaching, specializing in the application and integration of mindfulness and leadership, and she is a Co-Director of Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership in Washington, D.C.
Kirsten Olson works with leaders engaged in transformational change, sector-shift, and the new demands of leadership in the learning sector, nationally and internationally. She is an ICF-certified leadership coach and an adjunct instructor at Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership. She holds a doctorate from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, where she focused on the systemic demands of large scale educational improvement, and is the author of The Mindful School Leader (Corwin, 2014), Wounded By School (Teachers College Press, 2009) and Schools As Colonizers (Verlag, 2008).
Also a retreat leader focused on mindfulness for leaders, self-compassion, and permissioning in leadership and social action, Kirsten was a founding board member of the Institute for Democratic Education in America (IDEA), a national not-for-profit organizing educational leaders, teachers, students, and parents around a vision for education founded in greater equity, social justice, compassion and passionate learning.