About Heather Berthoud

With 25 years in organization effectiveness, Heather Berthoud is a thoughtful and trusted partner to organizational and community leaders. She combines a passion for social justice with a focused practical results-orientation that improves leaders' and organizations' ability to accomplish their social change goals, learn, and enjoy. Clients and colleagues describe her as insightful, fun, straightforward, challenging and supportive.

Heather's commitment to her clients' success means that she co-creates lasting change for leaders and organizations. To work with her is to think anew about challenges and to create solutions that endure. Because she listens intently and brings coherence to seemingly unrelated matters leaders articulate their full aspirations. As a result, clients become clearer about their current situation and goals. She provides exceptional value by identifying the essence of issues and then providing models and perspectives that clients can apply themselves. She brings lightness and depth to often challenging situations.

Her clients include Advocates for Youth, American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Center for Community Change, the Interfaith Alliance, Miriam's House, NARAL Prochoice America, and Save Darfur Coalition. In addition to her consulting practice, she is faculty for the American University Masters in Organization Development and a Professional Associate at the Gestalt International Study Center.

Prior to her consulting practice, she was responsible for organization development and curriculum design and delivery for the nationwide network of National Abortion Rights Action League (now NARAL Prochoice America). She also directed a grassroots mobilization program for Citizen Action. More recently, she has led several development programs including Leading Nonprofit Organizations for the Gestalt International Study Center, the Practitioners Program with the Center for Human Systems, and numerous workshops on planning, diversity, and leadership.

She has authored several publications on diversity, planning, training and consulting. Hermost recent publication, coauthored with a client, is "Diversity initiative in a social change organization: A case study" in the December 2010 issue of the TAMARA JOURNAL for Critical Organization Inquiry. She is a member of NTL Institute, the Organization Development Network, and the Gestalt International Study Center and serves onthe board of the A.K. Rice Institue for the Study of Social Systems.

Heather is a life-long learner whose education includes

  • Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania,
  • Master of Science in Organization Development from American University
  • Certification to administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI),
  • Nearly 20 years as a student and instructor in martial arts and 8 years studying yoga.
  • Lessons learned while hiking and biking.

Client Testimonial

  • Bread for the World

    Heather has been an invaluable resource for Bread for the World as we have wrestled with organizational change.  Over the last several years, she's worked with us on separate occasions to address various opportunities and challenges.  She led our management team through a process of organizational assessment and transformation.  She helped us deal with issues of diversity in the work place.  She provided one-on-one coaching for some of the managers to help them work through difficult issues.  She designed and facilitated a consultation with a group of our organizational partners to develop a common policy agenda.  We keep engaging her because each time we do, we become a better organization!

    Heather's background and experience made it easy for her to understand the issues we were dealing with and ask the kinds of questions that helped us move forward.  Her great facilitation skills and personal creativity encouraged our management team to talk with each other in new ways and envision fresh options for action. She combines a sense of humor and personal engagement with keen intellectual and conceptual clarity.  She is focused and flexible, adept and adaptable.  She doesn't come with cookie cutter packages of solutions.  She comes with an open mind, a listening ear, and a willingness to engage, encourage and challenge.

    Rev. James L. McDonald
    Vice President for Policy and Program
    Bread for the World