Valerie Brown is an author, Buddhist-Quaker Dharma teacher, facilitator, and executive coach specializing in leadership development and mindfulness practices with a focus on diversity, social equity, and inclusion. A former lawyer and lobbyist, Valerie transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career into serving leaders and nonprofits to create trustworthy, authentic, and compassionate workspaces.
An award-winning author, her forthcoming book is Hope Leans Forward: Braving Your Way toward Simplicity, Awakening, and Peace (Broadleaf, 2022), as well as The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel, The Mindful School Leader: Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School (with Kirsten Olson, PhD), and Cultivating Happiness, Resilience, and Well-Being through Meditation, Mindfulness, and Movement: A Guide for Educators (contributor).
She is an ordained Buddhist Dharma teacher in the lineage of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village tradition and facilitates national and international gatherings and retreats for nonprofits and corporations and leads an annual pilgrimage to El Camino de Santiago, Spain to celebrate the power of sacred places. She is a certified Kundalini yoga teacher (500 hours), engaging leaders to embody somatic wisdom and creativity.
An accredited leadership coach, she is the Founder and Chief Mindfulness Officer of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, supporting leaders to apply and integrate leadership and mindfulness for greater resilience, clarity, and compassion, and is a co-director of Georgetown’s Institute for Transformational Leadership. Valerie completed her training with the Center for Courage & Renewal and Parker J. Palmer in 2009, and she is a long-time teacher at Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat and study center.
Valerie’s unique and extensive training blends social justice, evidenced-based mindfulness practices, leadership development, and spiritual growth. She holds a Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law, and Master of Arts from Miami University (Ohio).
Of Afro-Cuban descent, Valerie is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and lives and tends a lively perennial home garden in New Hope, PA.
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