Skip to main content
Kara PenfieldKara Penfield

Executive Coach and Leadership Facilitator


PHONE: 305-804-1595




Kara’s work as an executive coach and leadership program facilitator is informed by a career in leadership spanning over 25 years. During this time, she has practiced, studied, and influenced the growth of the practice of leadership in various ways including leading large, dynamic teams; leading high-stakes, university-wide initiatives; and serving as the executive coach to hundreds of leaders. Her professional experience spans private and public higher education, fortune 100 companies, K-12 public education, and community mental health. As a coach and leadership development facilitator, she has worked extensively with senior leadership in public and private institutions of higher education across the nation.

She has served as a coach to individuals at all levels of leadership – from those newly promoted to leaders in the C-Suite. Kara is Co Founder and Institute Director of Spiro Coaching Institute, the home of the Academy of Academic Medical Center Coaching, an organization dedicated to creating meaningful social change through high-impact coaching programs. Kara serves as an Executive Coach for the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) and previously served as the organization’s Coaching Talent Leader for the eastern region of North America. In that role, she recruited, trained, and lead a global cadre of hundreds of executive coaches. In concert with serving as a coach, Kara designs and delivers programs to teach leaders and organizations to accelerate their impact through the development and application of coaching skills.

Kara possesses a unique ability to tailor coaching and leadership development to the needs of leaders of private and public colleges, universities, and Academic Medical Centers, founded in her years of experience working in higher education administration. At the University of Miami, she served as the university-wide Director of Academic Assessment where she worked closely with the institution’s executive leadership team, deans, and department chairs to lead the development and implementation of the university’s academic program evaluation process. Kara supported similar institutional effectiveness processes at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Wake Forest University.

Kara received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Florida. She is a certified coach through the International Coach Federation and is a master trainer for Spiro Coaching Institute’s Core Skills for Coaching program, Paradigm’s Workplace Big Five Profile, and CCL’s Better Conversations Every Day.