Susan Skjei | 720-320-7860

Director, Authentic Leadership Center


PhD, Fielding Graduate University in Human and Organizational Systems
MS, American University in Human Resource Development

Authentic Leadership Center Public Programs, offered at

Susan Skjei (last name pronounced “shay”) is the Director of the Authentic Leadership Center at Naropa University. The Center combines the network of practitioners and teachers from the acclaimed Authentic Leadership in Action (ALIA) Institute, formerly based in Nova Scotia, Canada, with Naropa's successful Authentic Leadership program. The purpose of the Center is to inspire, educate and empower current and next generation leaders to act as agents of positive organizational and social change.  Utilizing the disciplines of mindfulness, organizational learning, expressive arts, neuroscience, and complexity science the ALC’s transformative learning methodfosters deep insight and increased leadership capacity for positive impact in organizations and society.

Susan has consulted with leaders, executive teams and boards of nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government agencies for over 25 years. She has a unique ability to create energetic and high trust learning environments that accelerate the achievement of practical organizational results while building strong, collaborative relationships. She has provided consulting, facilitation, training and coaching in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, organizational culture, mindfulness, innovation, and change management.  

Susan has designed and led large-scale change initiatives for such diverse client groups as Hewlett-Packard, Phipps Construction, The Colorado Air National Guard, StorageTek, Fraser Health Authority in Vancouver, the Mental Health Center of Boulder County, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Nestle Corporation, and Habitat for Humanity. These change initiatives have included the development of core values and purpose, leadership competencies and mindfulness, strategic planning, process improvement, teamwork, innovation, and organization design.  Many of her recent projects have included a “green” or sustainability focus with groups such as LOHAS, Naturally Boulder, ReSource, and the Lean and Green Division of the Association of Manufacturing Excellence (AME). 

In her last corporate position, Susan was a Vice-President and Chief Learning Officer for StorageTek, a $2.4B provider of electronic storage solutions. She was responsible for developing the learning and change management strategy for the corporation and implementing it across 40 countries and 8,500 employees worldwide. She also implemented a virtual corporate university to provide education and training to employees, customers and partners of StorageTek throughout the world. Prior to that she was a Training and Development manager at Hewlett-Packard in Colorado Springs. 

Susan is an experienced executive coach, and has worked closely with CEOs, executives and managers to help them articulate their personal and professional goals and to implement these goals effectively within their own organizations. She specializes in coaching executive teams and has designed and facilitated numerous leadership and board retreats. Susan is certified as a professional coach (PCC) through the International Coaching Federation and is an active member and presenter at Associated Consultants International, the Academy of Management, and the International Leadership Association.

Susan has a PhD from Fielding Graduate University in Human and Organization Systems and a Master of Science degree from American University/NTL in Human Resource Development. Her research utilizes phenomenology, hermeneutics and action research to inquire into various aspects of the leadership experience. She is the founder and director of the Authentic Leadership Program at Naropa University,, a founding member of the ALIA Institute and a senior associate with the Presencing Institute She has designed and facilitated leadership workshops, programs and conferences for thousands of participants in the United States, Canada and Europe. Susan is also an Acharya (senior teacher) in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. 


Skjei, S. (2012). Leading with authenticity and presence. In K. Goldman Schuyler (Ed.), Inner peace and global vision.  Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Skjei, S. (2014). Leaders lived experience of authentic moments. In K. Goldman Schuyler (Ed.), Leading with spirit, presence and authenticity. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.