About Dr. Kathleen Allen

Dr. Kathleen Allen is President of her own consulting firm, Kathleen Allen and Associates. She has been working in organizations for over 22 years and consulting with organizations and leaders for over 18 years. Her new book Leading from the Roots is now available for digital download.

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Dr. Kathleen Allen
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Meet Dr. Kathleen Allen

In her consulting practice, she specializes in leadership coaching and organizational change in non-profit organizations, foundations, small to mid-sized businesses, community development, higher educational institutions, and collaborative networks.

Dr. Allen has written and presented widely on topics related to leadership, human development, and organizational development. Dr. Allen is a skilled facilitator of organizational change and organizational development. The earmarks of her work are the creation of shared ownership of the results of a change project, long-term sustainable change for the organization, and increased capacity for the staff members and leaders in those organizations.

Dr. Allen has co-authored (with Dr. Cynthia Cherrey) Systemic Leadership: Enriching the Meaning of Our Work, has written many articles, and contributed to a variety of books including The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the Twenty-first Century (Pearson, 2012) and Innovation in Environmental Leadership: Critical Perspectives (Redekop, Gallagher, & Satterwhite Eds., 2018).

More recently, Dr. Allen has written Leading from the Roots: Nature Inspired Leadership Lessons for Today’s World. This book firmly anchors leadership in the soil of nature. It’s a foundational leadership framework that challenges our 20th century views that leadership concepts can be universally applied to all contexts.

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Consulting Work

For the past 40 years, she has consulted with a variety of Foundations in leadership and innovation including W. K. Kellogg Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Sierra Health Foundation, the Blandin Foundation, Sherwood, and others. She has served on the Board of the Leadership Learning Community and has been a Senior Fellow at the Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland. Previously she was the Vice President of Student Development at the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota. She has a Doctorate in Leadership from the University of San Diego, CA.

Examples of consulting work include:

  • Coaching executives who are instigating cultural change in their organizations.
  • Coaching teams, groups of executives, and executive committees of boards of directors who are interested in improving services, strengthening their organization, strengthening their board of directors
  • Cultural change initiatives that increase innovation within organizations
  • Facilitating collaborative enterprises between non-profit organizations and public/private partnerships
  • Full-scale organizational change targeted in shifting the leadership culture from hierarchical leadership to shared or distributive leadership
  • Facilitating mergers and acquisitions focused on the integration of different organizational cultures.
  • Developing a mentoring / staff development programs for employees of a firm
  • Consulting with senior leadership teams to improve their learning and leadership capacity
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Speaking Opportunities

Dr. Allen has written and presented widely on topics related to leadership, human development, and organizational development. Dr. Allen is a skilled facilitator of organizational change and organizational development. The earmarks of her work are the creation of shared ownership of the results of a change project, long-term sustainable change for the organization, and increased capacity for the staff members and leaders in those organizations.

Contact us to have Kathleen Allen speak at your next event.

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Dr. Kathleen Allen’s Publications

(a partial list)

Dr. Allen’s most recent contribution titled “Innovation in Environmental Leadership: Critical Perspectives” will be published in March 2018. You can view the book cover here or pre-order it on Amazon.

Allen, K.E. (2018). Critical Internal Shifts for Sustainable Leadership. In Redekop, B. Rigling Gallagher, D. Satterwhite, R. Innovations in Environmental Leadership: A Critical Perspective. Routledge Press: New York.

Allen, K.E. (2012). Dancing on a Slippery Floor: Transforming systems, transforming leadership.  In C.S. Pearson (Ed.) The Transforming Leader: New approaches to leadership for the twenty-first century. (pp. 64-74) Berrett-Kohler: San Francisco.

Allen, K. E. & Mease, W. (2002). Optimizing energy and its role in leadership. In L. Matusak, & C. Cherrey (Eds.), Building Leadership Bridges.  (pp. 137-148) Published by the Center for Creative Leadership and International Leadership Association

Allen, K. E. & Kellom, G. (2002). In V. Miller & M. M. Ryan (Eds.) Learning to connect: Spirituality and leadership – making the connection, In Transforming campus life: Reflections on spirituality and religious pluralism. (pp. 161-172). Published by Peter Lang Press.

Allen, K. E. & Kellom, G. (2001). The role of spirituality in student affairs and staff development.  In M.A. Jablonski (Ed.) The implications of student spirituality for student affairs practice, New Directions for Student Service #95, (pp. 47-56). Jossey-Bass. San Francisco.

Allen, K. E. & Cherrey, C. (2001) Seeing and leading organic systems.  World Business Academy Perspectives, 6, (5). 1-8.

Allen, K. E. & Cherrey, C. (2000) Systemic Leadership: Enriching the Meaning of Our Work. University Press of America: Washington D.C.

Astin, A. W., Astin H.S., Allen, K. E., Burkhardt, J. C., Cress, C. M., Flores, R.A., Jones, P., Lucas, N. J., Pribush, B.L., Reckmeyer, W. C., Smith, B.P., Zimmerman-Oster, K. A. (2000) Leadership Reconsidered: Engaging Higher Education in Social Change.  Battle Creek, MI: W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Allen, K. E. et.al., (1998).  Leadership in the 21st century.  In G. R. Hickman (Ed.). Leading Organizations: Perspectives for a new era. (pp. 572-580). Thousand Oaks: CA Sage Publications.

Allen, K. E., Cherrey, C. (1994).  Shifting paradigms and practices in student affairs. In J. Fried (Ed.), Different voices: Gender and perspectives in student services administration (pp. 1-11)

Washington, DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

Allen, K. E. et. al. (1987). Future Perfect: A Guide for Professional Development and Competence   Columbia: SC: National Association of Campus Activities.

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