Valerie is a Co-Director of Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Program at the Institute for Transformational Leadership, is an ICF- 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. She transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career as a lawyer-lobbyist, to human-scale, equity-centered work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy, compassionate, and authentic connections.
Blending the professional and spiritual, Valerie holds a Juris Doctorate, Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts degrees. She is an ordained Dharma Teacher in the Plum Village tradition founded by Thich Nhat Hanh, a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and a certified Kundalini yoga teacher.
She has written extensively on well-being and healing through mindfulness and her multi-disciplinary training spans mindfulness, leadership, somatics, and psychology.
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 co-authored with Kirsten Olson (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.
She leads an annual transformational pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain, to celebrate the power of sacred places.