Chief Instigator

Debbie Cohen

Debbie is a change agent whose richly diverse journey has led her from preschool teacher to executive leader in Global Fortune 100 companies. Her published case study was recognized by Berkeley-Haas in 2013 as providing the most important contribution to management education in the preceding year. The breadth of her industry experience is diverse as well. She has held leadership roles in tech, entertainment, media, advertising and in the nonprofit world. Not surprisingly, Debbie is sought after for her creativity and thought leadership in complex, evolving systems.

Debbie believes that systemic change cannot happen without individual change, and that individual change requires a responsive environment to nurture the effort. This both/and approach to management is at the core of her leadership development style. If there’s an elephant in the room, you can count on Debbie to put it squarely in the middle of the table, with warmth and humor, so that everyone can take part in the conversation. She then facilitates change at the point of greatest need and least resistance, honoring the capacity for change in individuals and organizations. As additional need is demonstrated, more support is offered. Transformation happens in phases based on the readiness to learn, assimilate and grow.

Debbie has held executive Human Resource positions for First Look, the Mozilla Corporation, Razorfish and Time Warner. Prior to Time Warner, Debbie was the Senior Strategist for Bright Horizons Family Solutions, where she was known as a leader in human-capital management, dependent care and work/life balance. Debbie is committed to balancing the needs and interests of individuals with those of the broader organization to unleash the power of possibility in the midst of complexity.

Executive and Team Coaching – Industry Experience

Technology (Mozilla Corporation)

Media and Entertainment (Time Warner & First Look Media)

Advertising (Razorfish)

University (Stanford)

Public Sector (Department of the Interior)

Early Childhood Education (Bright Horizons)

Start-up (First Look LLC)