Leadership Lab Instructors


Krishan Abeyatunge is a Psychotherapist, Musician and Diversity Trainer from San Francisco, California.  In addition to his private practice, Krishan facilitates trainings for both adolescents and adults around issues of diversity such as:Social Location, Systemic Racism, Privilege, Difference and Sense of Belonging.  His current focus utilizes the sociological concept of Social Location to facilitate safety, cohesion and synergistic inspiration within groups.  Krishan sings and plays guitar in both a five-piece Indie band and a solo project, the latter which he uses to further explore issues around diversity.  

Stephanie Berger has risen to the highest ranks of the public policy arena, on both the political fundraising and advocacy fronts as a veteran of three presidential campaigns; including serving as Co-Finance Director of John Kerry's 2004 Presidential Campaign. Stephanie is an expert teacher and trainer in the field of fundraising and non-profit development, with a passion for leadership and the empowerment of women. She has developed successful strategies for numerous political candidates and advocacy organizations, helped to elect public officials nationwide, and elevated public awareness of progressive issues. She offers clients comprehensive yet precise strategies for effectively increasing their financial capital and raising public awareness of their causes. She is dedicated to leaving her clients with the know-how and the permanent infrastructure required to fundraise over the long-term.

Ope Bukola is a Product Manager at Google, where she builds Google Classroom and other education tools. Previously, she was a PM at Amplify Education, founded an editech company that provided web-based Algebra course, and worked at a non-profit that built open source digital textbooks. She is passionate about using technology to improve teaching and learning. She loves introducing beginners to programming, and has taught introductory web development at high schools, and colleges for many years.

Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career and business expert, writer, speaker and co-founder of SixFigureStart®. Caroline has coached executives from Amazon, American Express, Condé Nast, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Google, McKinsey, Tesla and other leading firms. Prior to launching SixFigureStart® in 2008, Caroline spent 15 years in strategy consulting, executive search and HR. Caroline has been a repeat guest on CBS, CNN, CNBC and Fox Business and has been quoted in BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Inc, MORE, Newsweek, NPR, Real Simple, and Success Magazine. Caroline is a career columnist for Forbes.com, Money.com and Time.com and formerly wrote for CNBC, and Portfolio. She is the author of 3 books: “Jump Ship: 10 Steps To Starting A New Career” (2015, Forbes); “Six Steps To Job Search Success” (2011, Flat World Knowledge); and “How the Fierce Handle Fear: Secrets to Succeeding in Challenging Times” (2010, Two Harbors Press). Caroline is a Barnard College alumna and adjunct assistant professor at Columbia SIPA. A classically trained pianist at Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, Caroline stays active in the arts, performing stand-up comedy. 

Garance Choko is a social entrepreneur, international system builder and innovation strategist currently residing in New York City. She is the founder of Coda, a global network of grassroots problem solvers exchanging how-tos across continents. Born and raised in Paris, France, she started her career as a concert pianist at the age of 3. Later, when she moved to the United States to continue her performance studies, she pursued her passion for political theory and design practices. She has designed organizational structures, national and local health care systems, educational programs, impact evaluations and poverty relief strategies for institutions, corporations and governments in Africa, Europe, the United States and the Caribbean. She earned a Master of Public Administration from Cornell University. Garance's philosophy is rooted in challenging the notion of institutionalized expertise and its deriving power structures. She has used systems thinking and participatory design principles in her work with the US Congress, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Clinton Global Initiative, Purpose, The Lowline, Community Solutions, Nesta, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. As a speaker and educator, she has taught her unique participatory design framework at the University of Pennsylvania, Cornell University, Parsons School of Design, Brown, Yale University, and to high-level government officials.

Kira Copperman is the author of Send/Receive/Confirm and her next book, Gen-Speak®, a communication guide for the new generational mix at work, will be available this winter. She is an award winning researcher in the area of workplace communication, and a frequent keynote speaker at conferences. Kira’s clients include companies such as Viacom, The New York Times, Bloomberg and American Express

Andrea Davila works at a social entrepreneurship fund, supporting social innovators in scaling promising ideas for big, bold change. She has been teaching financial education workshops throughout New York City since 2004.

Alexandra Dickson is an entrepreneur who teaches people to negotiate. She's the founder and CEO of the negotiation training and coaching company Ask For It.  Ask For It was her side hustle unitl she got laid off and decided to devote herself to it full time. She is a contributing writer at Women@Forbes and has spoken at organizations like UN Women, Columbia Business School, and Investopedia, and coaches women and men at all stages of their careers. She serves on the Junior Board of She's The First and volunteers as the City Manager for the NYC Chapter of the Lady Project. She holds a Master's degree in media, culture and communication from New York University and is also a 200-hou certified yoga teacher.

Tiffany Dufu is Chief Leadership Officer to Levo, the fastest growing network for millennial women professionals. She is also Launch Team member to Lean In and is former President of the White House Project. As a catalyst-at-large in the world of women, she was included in Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women and has been featured in The New York Times, The Seattle Times, and on NPR and Bloomberg. Tiffany is a widely sought after speaker and has presented at Fortune Magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, TEDWomen and MAKERS. Her forthcoming book, DROP THE BALL: How Women Can Achieve More by Doing Less, will be published by Flatiron/MacMillan in February 2017.  

Laura Anne Edwards is an award-winning expert on the premium content eco-system working with Tier1 mobile carriers, film & television studios and digital platforms (Activision, FX Networks, Marvel, Cadillac). She produced the first HD content on Amazon,  and Dilbert  video apps, as well as global summits for the Writer’s Guild and Academy Awards (LMS Reel). Recently, Head of Global Media & Brand Strategy for Unreasonable at Sea, and educational content strategy for XPRIZE.

Ita Ekpoudom is the Founder & CEO of Tigress Ventures, an advisory and consulting firm with a mission to engage, educate, and elevate the next generation of successful female business leaders and investors.  Previously, Ita held product management roles at TravelClick and American Express. She began her career at Goldman Sachs as an Analyst in Credit Capital Markets and a Trader of Preferred Stock. Ita holds an AB, cum laude, in Psychology, with a certificate in Finance, from Princeton University, and an MBA, with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management, from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Ita is Chair of the Women Entrepreneur Council at St. Francis College Center for Entrepreneurship and currently sits on the Princeton University Alumni Council Executive Committee where she serves as Vice Chair of the Committee on Reunions and is a member of the Ad Hoc Committee of Alumnae Initiatives. She is President of the Alumnae Association of W.O.M.E.N. in America, a professional development group aimed at advancing promising professional women.  

Galia Gichon is an independent personal financial expert with over 18 years' experience in financial services, including nearly 10 years on Wall Street and an MBA in Finance. She is the Founder of “Down to Earth Finance” which offers individual sessions and seminars to address personal financial needs and concerns and the author of My Money Matters, a boxed set of financial cards with money affirmations, instant money tips and workbooks. In addition to being a Leadership Lab instructor, Galia has spoken at Pennsylvania, Texas, and Massachusetts Governors’ Conferences for Women, and is a frequent speaker at Freelancers Union. Before starting her own company, Galia worked at Bear Stearns, Nomura Securities, and Institutional Investor.

Nancy Goldman, Ed.D, combines her experience working with entertainment industry leaders and doctoral studies in adult learning, to train and coach individuals to identify and harness their experiences into compelling narratives for job searches, in corporate boardrooms, and in classrooms. Dr. Goldman is an adjunct professor of communications at Manhattan College, trains low-income New Yorkers to work in film and television, and coaches producers and comedians to advance their careers. Her doctorate is from Teachers College at Columbia University, where she also received a Master’s Degrees in Communications and Organizational Psychology. Dr. Goldman uses storytelling and creativity to foster clarity, connection and change.

Barbara Greene is a management and strategic communications consultant with a range of clients from senior executives, to TED Talk speakers, start up entrepreneurs and other young or budding professionals. A graduate of Harvard and Columbia Law School, Barbara spent 14 years as an attorney, then an art dealer before landing in consulting. 

Heather McKee Hurwitz, Ph.D., is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Athena Center for Leadership Studies and the Department of Sociology. She studies gender and social movements in urban and global contexts. She focuses on the Occupy Wall Street movement, global feminisms, and activism using social media. Her goals are to research and change sexism and racism in social movements, culture, and women’s advancement. She teaches Women and Leadership (ACLS 3450) and seminars on Gender and Organizations and Global Activism in the Department of Sociology. Currently, she is writing an article and a book about women and leadership in Occupy. 

Sheida Jafari embodies the digital nomad, traveling over 1 million miles in the last years for Adar Partners, a Design Strategy Firm structuring campaigns in the entertainment, media, technology and travel/hospitality sectors.  Jafari credits her practice of Design Thinking and honing of Innovation Processes for a diverse and vital career.  She has provided strategic guidance to Fortune 500 CEOs. designed lifestyle guides for digital agencies, curated immersive spaces, and designed experiences geared towards cultivating self-management and discovery. An external, practical systems builder, Jafari strategizes for companies and initiatives that value joy, human dignity and curiosity.

Dr. Ann Marie Klotz is the Dean for Campus Life and Chief Student Affairs Officer on the Manhattan campus of the New York Institute of Technology. She spent 14 years working in Housing and Residence Life in higher education. She recently earned her doctorate from DePaul University where she studied the career trajectories and leadership styles of ten female university presidents.  She is the current National Co-Chair for the Women in Student Affairs (WISA) Knowledge Community for NASPA and is the recent recipient of the 2014 ACPA Standing Committee for Women Research and Scholarship Award.  Learn more at www.annmarieklotz.com

Carson Linforth Bowley is a designer, creative director, and artist specializing in rapid prototyping for innovation. He serves as Master Designer at Factory, a boutique innovation agency in San Francisco, where he has supported executive teams from dozens of clients including Nike, GE and Cisco to synthesize and manifest their emergent product visions. Carson also leads rapid prototyping workshops in the developing world, applying human-centered design to humanitarian challenges in partnership with IDEO.org and the MIT Media Lab. He lives in a redwood grove outside of San Francisco and loves travel, music and Nature.

Monica McCarthy is the co-founder of the Philosophy and Cocktail event series, which started in Brooklyn, New York in December of 2015, with plans for world domination as part of the Philosophy and Cocktails book tour. The common thread of Monica’s careers is what she dubs "meaningful dialogues", beginning with her life as an actress on stage and in television and film (working with actresses including Kate Winslet, Laura Linney, Alicia Silverstone, and Anna Gunn), which took her to Europe and Japan before bringing her back home to Broadway.

Holley Murchison is the Founder, Principal Consultant & Strategist at Oratory Glory, a communication consultancy collaborating across education, food, music and tech. With a background in instruction, (radio) hosting and youth engagement, she loves tapping into her INFJ-ness to create memorable learning experiences.

Michaela Murphy is a writer, communications consultant and entrepreneur. An expert in how to effectively engage and connect with an audience, she has more than 25 years of experience helping individuals and organizations launch new ideas, forge new markets, and communicate their messages through dynamic and interactive engagement, with clients including Microsoft, Yale University, Estee Lauder and a host of private individuals. As a storyteller she has been featured on NPR, The Moth Radio Hour, TEDx, and at the White House. As an entrepreneur, she has co-founded several startup including, most recently, eProvStudio, a creative and collaborative business platform promoting multigenerational entrepreneurship through education, research, advocacy & public policy, and access to capital.

Cora Neumann, For nearly 20 years, Cora has collaborated with local and national leaders in over 40 countries on strategies and programs to improve the lives of women and families. Cora is founder of the Global First Ladies Alliance, and served as a senior advisor under Secretary Clinton at the U.S. Department of State. She has worked for RAND Corporation, the Bush Institute, Care.com, the Clinton Global Initiative, the World Health Organization, and United Nations. Cora holds a doctorate in international development from the University of Oxford UK, and an MPH in global public health from Columbia University. She sits on numerous advisory committees, including the Institute for Global Engagement, Asian University for Women, WIE Africa, the Millennial Trains Project and Advanced Development for Africa.

Nathalie Molina Niño is the CEO at Brava Investments. She is entirely focused on outcomes, and is committed to delivering returns to investors while making a catalytic impact on women in the world. A technologist and coder by training, Nathalie is a consummate entrepreneur, and a storyteller at heart. Prior to launching Brava, as interim CEO of SELF MADE, Nathalie led the launch of SELF MADE, the company, mobile app, learning platform and NY Times Best Selling book by Telemundo's former Entertainment president, Nely Galán. In 2015, Nathalie stepped in as interim Chief Revenue Officer of PowerToFly, a startup aimed at closing the gender gap in tech. In 2012, while on sabbatical at Columbia University, Molina Niño co-founded Entrepreneurs@Athena at the Athena Center for Leadership studies of Barnard College, with the mission of leveling the playing field for women entrepreneurs. Nathalie launched her first tech startup at the age of 20. 

Tolu Olubunmi is an internationally recognized social entrepreneur recognized by the World Economic Forum as one of 15 Women Changing the World in 2015. She is a founding board member of the United We Dream Network and co-founder of Welcome.us and Immigrant Heritage Month. She serves on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Migration and leads an innovative initiative advancing access to and use of a cross-border remote workforce in addressing current and future labor shortages.

Nalini Saxena, is founder of Elicit Consulting, an integrated consulting collective specializing in strategy and executive coaching. Her industry experience includes financial services, law firms, K-12 public education, healthcare, consumer products, consumer and business services, and retail., offering workshops, analyst and management trainings, executive education, and one-on-one executive coaching to professionals across these industries.  Nalini earned her BA in Neuroscience & Behavior from Barnard, her MBA in Strategy, Leadership & Ethics, and Brand Marketing from Duke University and has received accredited training in coaching from Harvard Medical School and Leading Brains.

Alexis Sclamberg is a personal growth writer, speaker and the co-founder of Borrowed Wisdom, a company that offers online programs to inspire and empower individuals to manifest a life they love. A former lawyer, Alexis has been called the “manifestation master of her generation” and is known for taking the woo-woo out of the law of attraction and breaking down complex scientific facts into simple tools for manifestation. She is at work on her first book, Love Magnet, and is the co-creator and host of the Borrowed Wisdom interview series. Alexis contributes personal essays to publications including Cosmopolitan, Forbes, and The Huffington Post, and has been featured on the radio, including NPR. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Christine Valenza Shin '84 is Associate Director for Alumnae Counseling and Education at Barnard Career Development. Christine counsels alumnae (and occasionally current students) at all stages of their careers as well as presenting webinars and in-person workshops to support their ongoing professional development. Christine was formerly the Associate Director of the Athena Leadership Lab at Barnard, and before that the Program Director of Barnard's Financial Fluency Program for alumnae. Earlier in her career she was a teacher and teacher educator. A 1984 graduate of Barnard, she majored in history and minored in education.

Jane Shure, PhD, LCSW & Beth Weinstock, PhD, principals of The Resilience Group, have been promoting growth and change in individuals, groups and organizations for over thirty-five years. They are highly skilled in helping people harness strengths, activate motivation, expand perception and fortify relationships. Beth and Jane work with diverse client systems including universities, corporations, non-profits, law firms and a myriad of healthcare and educational institutions. They are on faculty of the Kripalu Center in Stockbridge, MA, write for the Huffington Post, and have authored books and articles.

Jeanne M. Sullivan is a long-time venture capital investor and the Co-Founder of StarVest Partners, a NYC-based Fund and also a fierce advocate for women entrepreneurs; serving as an Athena Distinguished Fellow at Barnard, funding high-growth women-founded companies on the Board of Trustees of Astia, and promoting STEM for girls and women through board membership at the NY Hall of Science.
Jacquette M. Timmons is a financial behaviorist. She helps people identify the underlying behaviors and beliefs that keep them from reaching their financial goals. As Founder of Sterling Investments Management, she coaches, teaches, speaks and writes on creative solutions to common financial problems for everyone from the middle class to the 1%. She holds an MBA in finance from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business and a BS in marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Jacquette M. Timmons is a financial behaviorist. She helps people identify the underlying behaviors and beliefs that keep them from reaching their financial goals. As Founder of Sterling Investments Management, she coaches, teaches, speaks and writes on creative solutions to common financial problems for everyone from the middle class to the 1%. She holds an MBA in finance from Fordham University’s Graduate School of Business and a BS in marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Erin Vilardi is the Founder and Director of VoteRunLead, a national organization leveraging technology and training to accelerate the number of women in civic and political leadership. She first launched VRL as Vice President of Program and Communications at The White House Project, establishing the largest national political training program readying women for public office and civic life, training over 15,000 women. She has served as a Leadership Development Consultant for a range of clients, including the Yahoo! Business and Human Rights division and Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she co-developed the Athena CORE10©.

Marie C. Wilson founded and served as President of The White House Project, an organization with a vision of women’s leadership in business, media, and politics, and is a past president and honorary “founding mother” of the Ms. Foundation for Women, where she co-created Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day©. Wilson became the first woman elected to the Des Moines City Council as a member at-large, served as an official government delegate to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China in 1995, and in 2000, in conjunction with Mattel, brought the world President Barbie. Wilson has authored the critically acclaimed book Closing the Leadership Gap: Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World and co-authoredMother Daughter Revolution.  She has been profiled in the New York Times “Public Lives” column, has appeared on The Today Show, CNN, National Public Radio among others for her expertise.

Jovian Zayne is a certified leadership and professional development coach with nearly a decade of experience in change management, global diversity leadership development, and organizational transition planning and design. She leads the OnPurpose Movement®, a firm committed to helping organizations and individuals to "live and work on purpose,”through targeted coaching, public speaking and facilitation experiences. Jovian is a recognized Thought Leader in the professional development and diversity-training field, and has a client list across sectors that includes: Google, Columbia University, Harvard University, The Clinton Foundation, The Aspen Institute, Janelle Monáe's Wondaland Records, and Teach For America. She has digital publication features including The Huffington Post, Levo League, Essence Magazine, Black Enterprise, and The Root.