Dr. Gloria J. Burgess is a leadership consultant, executive coach, speaker, author, educator, and mentor. She also designs unique, innovative learning experiences, including Music for Transformation™, which is designed to inspire and equip leaders to reimagine their organizations, institutions, communities, and nations to achieve new heights of inclusion, innovation, and excellence. Her work is positioned at the nexus of leadership formation, spiritual formation, social and racial equity, and the arts. In her practice and work with clients, she draws on her expertise in theatre, music, poetry, dance, visual art, and design. Her focus is singular: individual and collective transformation.
A former business and human services executive, Dr. Burgess has served as interim college president; lead faculty; program lead; and visiting faculty at University of Washington’s (UW) Executive Leadership Program; UW’s Non-Profit Executive Leadership Institute; University of Southern California’s Executive Leadership Program; Seattle University’s Transformational Leadership Program; and numerous Executive Leadership Institutes designed for diverse corporate clients. She also leads leadership forums, seminars, and workshops on Sanctuary for Servant-leaders, UbuntuLeadership, and Transformational Leadership in spiritual, health care, educational, corporate, arts, government, civic, IT, and financial contexts.
A dynamic, sought-after speaker, Gloria has presented keynotes and forums in over 30 countries on six continents in diverse contexts, including Paraguay’s Office of the President, South African Embassy, Kenyan Parliament, Sankofa Leaders of Color Institute in Ghana, Boeing, Microsoft, AT&T, Starbucks, Women’s International Network, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, IEDC’ – Bled School of Management, Fetzer Institute, and Center for Courage & Renewal. She weaves insightful commentary with personal engagement, integrating the arts into her presentations to foster courage, creativity, healing, hope, perseverance, possibility, and renewal—qualities we all yearn for and need.
Born in rural Mississippi, Gloria came of age during the turbulent Civil Rights era. Not unlike South Africa’s Apartheid system, the bigotry and cruelty she experienced made her better. “Growing up in the dehumanizing, horrific conditions in the US formed me into the leader I am today. Integrating moral, spiritual, and social justice into my work is not an option. It is an imperative—to inspire and equip leaders to serve in our interconnected, global community.”