Valerie transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career as a lawyer-lobbyist, representing educational institutions and nonprofits, to human-scale, equity=centered work work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy, compassionate, and authentic connections. She is an accredited leadership coach, international retreat leader, writer, and Chief Mindfulness Officer of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness and leadership, and is a Co-Director of Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership.
She holds the following degrees: Juris Doctorate, Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts.
Her books include, The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel (QuakerBridge Media, 2012) and the highly acclaimed, The Mindful School Leader: Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School (Corwin, 2014). Valerie’s extensive training includes, the Center for Courage & Renewal and Parker J. Palmer, the Institute for Transformational Leadership at Georgetown University, the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, the Center for Compassion Focused Therapy, the Ojai Foundation, the C.G. Jung Foundation for Analytical Psychology (NYC), Chestnut Hill College (PA) Certificate in Holistic Spirituality, The Leadership Circle Profile™, and Transformational Educational Leadership.
Valerie is an ordained Dharma Teacher in the Plum Village tradition founded by Thich Nhat Hanh and a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). As certified Kundalini yoga teacher, she helps leaders discover the wisdom of the body. She leads an annual transformational pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain, to celebrate the power of sacred places.