Coach Spotlight

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Top 4 Strengths

  • Quick-study
  • Compassionate
  • Global perspective
  • Good listener



For the past 20 years Sandra has offered consulting in organizational change and executive leadership coaching globally. She draws on her experience in the arts and sciences to design and deliver programs for individuals, teams, and organizational development and change.  She has worked in tech, the life sciences and healthcare sectors, finance and banking, government agencies, including national security agencies, and not-for-profit organizations. She believes in an individual’s capacity to expand their awareness and to learn to thrive amid the challenges that life presents.   To accelerate the development of her clients and support more effective action on their part, she brings to the table an array of evidence-based tools and approaches, including adult stage development (vertical development); the dynamic of polarities; complexity science; and, the importance of sense-making.  She has found that building trust, strengthening patterns of collaboration, as well as creating an environment of psychological trust (where all participants are able to express dissenting opinions in a constructive way, without fear of reprisal) are essential to innovation and sustained success in organizations.  She works with clients to navigate, more effectively and with greater ease, their team and organizational context to realize their leadership and performance goals and objectives.  

Always a key issue in her work, in the past few years Sandra has come to focus more of her work on Diversity and Inclusion.  For example, she recently collaborated with the leadership of a healthcare analytics firm to assess their organizational culture, leadership culture, and policies and practices as it related to Diversity and Inclusion.  After an analysis, she presented the findings and made recommendations for specific measures to address deficiencies.  She has also offered workshops designed to build awareness of patterns of behavior and their impact, with the objective of building capacity for inclusive and more effective conversation in organizations.  


  • expand their awareness of their own patterns of thinking and acting, the dynamics of their team, the behavior patterns of their organizations, and the interrelationships of these factors within the larger environment via probing questions, deep listening, and by employing frameworks and methods that capture the complexity of their environment
  • support the client in making sense of their world with clarity, leading to more confidence, sounder judgment, and more effective action
  • utilize the frameworks and methods of polarities (paradox) to identify key tensions impacting them individually and in their interactions with others to more readily recognize personal preferences and ways of thinking that might be limiting to their effectiveness as leaders
  • identify and adopt perspectives and actions that move beyond their comfort zone to become effective in a broader range of situations and challenges
  • leverage the polarity of Candor & Diplomacy in Strategic, Challenging, and Inclusive Conversation to recognize conversation as a building block of influence and action and to explore how to become more effective in communicating their ideas and perspectives to achieve the outcomes they seek, with greater ease in conversation and during dialogue in meetings
  • learn to give feedback more confidently and effectively, taking into consideration what we know from neuroscience, including tendencies for defensiveness and to default to established patterns as well as our need for psychological safety
  • build greater understanding and awareness of the capacities, attitudes, and behaviors of effective leadership in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world and to cultivate these perspectives and behaviors
  • increase their team effectiveness by building trust, capacity for constructive dissent, collaboration, a commitment to accountability, and adopting a strategic perspective.   


  • Executive Coaching & Team Coaching
  • Workshops on “Leadership in Complexity” to foster a better understanding of the requirements of leaders in a VUCA world 
  • Consulting to catalyze organizational sense-making, storytelling, interpretation of data, and dialogue, encouraging action to nudge teams and organizations toward higher levels of resilience
  • Using a distributed ethnography method, SenseMaker, to crowd source stories as a means to gather rich data about organizations and culture and use this data to define effective action toward desirable outcomes.  
  • DEI initiatives including data collection, interpretation, dialogue regarding results, and discussion and commitment to specific actions 

Education and Certifications

  • B.A. Music; Study Abroad in Madrid, Spain
  • Master’s in International Management and Latin-American Studies
  • Ph.D., Business Administration with a focus on Leadership and Organizational Culture and Change

Certified as:

  • Executive Coach (ICF – PCC Level) 
  • Polarity Master
  • PACT ™ Consultant 
  • Licensed and certified to score and debrief Maturity Assessment Profile (MAP)
  • Certifications to debrief MBTI & FIRO-B
  • Certified to debrief Leadership Circle 360 and Leadership Circle Culture Assessment
  • Certified to debrief EQ-i 2.0 
  • Certified in Center for Creative Leadership’s suite of assessments
  • Certified and licensed to debrief Enneagram

Experience with Clients

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Avalere Health
  • Cornell University
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • International Monetary Fund
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Kate Spade
  • Kellogg Foundation
  • Library of Congress
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Marken, a UPS Company
  • McCormick & Company
  • Merck & Co.
  • National Football League
  • Nike
  • Primary Care Development Corportion
  • Salesforce
  • Santander Consumer USA
  • Sentara Healthcare
  • Target
  • T Rowe Price
  • Union of Concerned Scientists
  • United Nations Federal Credit Union
  • US agencies:  DISA, DOE, HHS, SEC, FRB, NLRB, NGA, MDA, US Army, US Marshals Service 
  • World Bank

Case Study


THE NEED:  A leader, woman of color, transitioning to CEO role for large public hospital with academic affiliation, serving a diverse population in a major metropolitan area.  CEO recognized the importance of developing trust and greater capacity for collaboration among her C-suite members.  She also needed to establish legitimacy among all stakeholder groups and, overall, increase cohesion and greater capacity for strategic thinking among her leaders.  Hospital staff was buffeted by the intense challenges of several waves of COVID, thus needed care and attention and institutional support for their wellness.  She also needed to address governance issues that quickly surfaced when she assumed the position of CEO.  Although she recognized and affirmed many strengths of the hospital and its staff, she saw that some patterns of the leadership and organizational culture needed to shift in a more positive direction.  

RESULT:  In coaching conversations, Sandra affirmed the CEO’s strengths, while helping her maintain her equilibrium and health through several challenging situations.  Sandra provided support for sound judgement around staffing changes and structuring development opportunities as needed, by asking probing questions, encouraging reflection about different perspectives, values, and consideration of outcomes and possible unintended consequences.  In terms of the CEO’s role as a change agent, Sandra encouraged this very talented CEO to consider the many interrelated factors as she designed effective actions.  It was Sandra’s pleasure to help her grow at an accelerated pace, expanding and modifying her behavior to meet the requirements of success at this new level of responsibility.  This CEO continues to thrive in this complex and very challenging environment in leading the staff to realize the vision and values of the hospital.  Sandra helped her build capacity in her senior team with the co-design of a goal-setting process and facilitating select conversations with her C-suite.  The client initiated strategic planning, so critical for the growth and future of the institution.  This leader maintained her high energy, positive disposition, and resolve to serve the hospital and its community in an exemplary fashion.

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