“Life is an endless unfolding, and if we wish it to be, an endless process of self-discovery, an endless and unpredictable dialogue between our own potentialities and the life situations in which we find ourselves.”

John Gardner

Coaching Services

I practice competency-based coaching, relying on research-based guides/frameworks and recent 360 feedback to guide my clients in meeting their career goals. The coaching process is one of mutual discovery. We learn together through an examination of current work situations and results, looking for what might be learned or improved, where skills can be built, or where skills are overused and blocking further development.


It has been an extraordinary gift having Barbara as a coach, in countless ways. She has given me immeasurable help in understanding where and how to apply my strengths, including where skills are overused or underdeveloped. Tapping into her wide range of knowledge and experience has equipped me with ready frameworks to approach any scenario I might encounter in my work. She’s been generous not only with insights, but also in helping me build a network of fellow travelers to broaden and deepen my thinking. Most of all, though, she always, always helps me tap into the meaning in my work, ensuring that I’m grounded in the impact I’m hoping to have in the world.

— coaching client

When it comes to Barbara’s talents as a coach and thought partner, it’s hard to know where to begin (or end), but I’ll try. Barbara managed me for several years, but she was so much more than a boss. She was a deeply empathetic mentor who helped me solve thorny problems, shined a light on my strengths, and empowered me to lean into them. She had the courage to give and receive candid feedback, make tough decisions, and refine her approach when presented with new information. She was a steadfast ally in helping me identify and achieve my professional goals. Barbara is perennially curious about the world, organizations working to make the world a better place, and most of all—the people doing that work. Anyone lucky enough to work with Barbara will benefit from her boundless curiosity, optimism, strategic insights, and deep well of experience.

— former employee

Every coaching session I have with Barbara leads to light. A gnarly challenge is illuminated in a new way where I feel more equipped to grapple with it; an idea that has been tucked away suddenly sees the light of day and bursts into life; I see a path before me and my leadership that I hadn’t seen before. I consistently leave our sessions feeling enlightened and ready to create a new reality.



— coaching client


Barbara has 40 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and philanthropy as an executive, consultant, coach, grantmaker and foundation leader. Most recently she was Director of Effectiveness for the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, which sunset at the end of 2020. While at the Foundation, she led development of a suite of tools and resources on nonprofit and foundation effectiveness and resiliency.
Barbara served as Vice President for Client Services at the Monitor Institute (prior to Monitor’s acquisition by Deloitte) where she focused on strategy and scenario planning. Other positions included COO for the salesforce.com foundation; Vice President at the Skoll Foundation; and Director of Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. While at the Packard Foundation, Barbara co-founded GEO – Grantmakers for Effective Organizations and chaired its Board for two terms.
Barbara is a certified executive coach as well as a widely acknowledged expert in organizational effectiveness. She is a trained scenarist, an expert at process design and facilitation, and a trained arbitrator/mediator. She was previously an attorney specializing in nonprofit and art law.
Barbara was twice selected by The Nonprofit Times for its annual list of the 50 most powerful and influential people in the nonprofit sector. She is a cum laude graduate of Wagner College where she earned departmental honors in Art. Barbara subsequently earned a J. D. degree from Brooklyn Law School and, while attending law school, served as associate editor of the journal “Art & the Law” published by Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts in New York.
Barbara is currently offering executive coaching and advising on strategy and scenario planning projects on a limited basis
2013 – 2020 The S. D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation. Director, Effectiveness
2011 – 2013 The salesforce.com Foundation. Chief Operating Officer
2006 – 2010 Monitor Institute. Vice President, Client Services
2004 – 2005 The Skoll Foundation, Vice President, Programs
2003 – 2004 Independent Consultant
1996 – 2002 The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Director, Organizational Effectiveness and Philanthropy
1994 – 1995 Independent Consultant and Interim Executive Director, Bay Area Discovery Museum
1987 – 1993 Harder+Kibbe, Research and Consulting, Founder and Principal
1978 – 1981 Bay Area Lawyers for the Arts, Executive Director