Kathy Andersen has helped leaders, organizations, and communities transform visions into realities to create impact and positive change for almost 20 years. Kathy holds a master’s degree from Harvard Kennedy School with a focus on international development and leadership. Kathy is a Master-Class trained consultant in Adaptive Leadership from Harvard Kennedy School. Kathy's award-winning book, Change Your Shoes, Live Your Greatest Life, shows how anyone can overcome difficult circumstances to achieve their dreams.
Kathy’s leadership experience spans both the private and public sectors. In the private sector, Kathy has worked with international organizations across various industry sectors, including financial services, automotive, and fast moving consumer goods. Kathy has experience in leadership development, workforce development, new company formation, new product development, mergers and acquisitions, joint venture development, general management, corporate strategy, marketing, branding, and change management.
In the public sector, Kathy has worked with government and non-profit organizations and leaders in the United States, Haiti, India, Venezuela, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic to address issues of poverty, health, education, economic development, at-risk youth, and disabilities. Previously, as the founding executive director of the Global Institute for Community Health and Development at the University of Miami, Kathy worked with Professor Jeffrey Sachs and his team at the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the World Bank, the United Nations, and the government of Haiti to bring the Millennium Villages development model to Haiti.
Kathy’s clients have included multi-billion dollar public and private corporations, educational institutions, Major League Baseball players, country governments, private philanthropists, and international non-profit organizations. Kathy is currently collaborating with Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook, and Sheryl’s Lean In foundation to facilitate empowerment programs for underserved populations including young girls escaping sex trafficking, and unemployed communities. Kathy is also currently managing a Clinton Global Initiative America Commitment to Action to train and transition under-served youth and young adults into entry level jobs.
A spirited speaker and workshop host, Kathy has spoken at numerous conferences, and held various workshops and retreats throughout the United States and internationally.
In 2008, Kathy was invited as a visiting scholar to the Central University of Tibetan Studies in India and presented a seminar series on global leadership and development. In 2007, Kathy presented a seminar on universities as agents of global benefit at the World Universities Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2006, Kathy’s paper, The Impact Domain, highlighting a new business model for simultaneously creating company growth and national growth, was presented at the United Nations-sponsored conference on Business as an Agent of World Benefit at Case Western University in the United States.
Kathy's five-time award-winning book, Change Your Shoes, Live Your Greatest Life, tells the story of her transformation after she changed her corporate high heels to hiking boots to journey the world at the age of thirty. Despite Kathy's career success, and having abundance around her, she was haunted by a childhood of sexual abuse by her father that left her empty and lacking meaning. Kathy's journey of more than ten years took her to places within and beyond through which Kathy experienced the power we each have to rise beyond the worst that happens to us and discover a higher power, passion and purpose. Kathy's journey led her to the work she does now—helping others to connect with their passion and purpose, and turning visions into realities.
In 2015, Kathy published her second book, Change Your Shoes, 365 Life Resolutions. In 2015, Kathy co-authored The Soul of Success with Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul® series) and other experts in the field of personal and business success. The Soul of Success was released in September, 2015, and became a bestseller on its first day of publication. In Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant’s Option B: Overcoming Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy, (2017), Kathy’s story is shared to help others step into their “Option B”.
Kathy appears on national media in the United States, speaking on topics including leadership, life fulfillment, inspiration, and well-being. Kathy is also a contributor to the Huffington Post.
In addition to Kathy’s master’s degree at the Harvard Kennedy School, Kathy studied at Harvard Business School, and has also undertaken several executive programs at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School on management, leadership, and non-profit governance.