The Institute brings together preeminent thinkers and senior practitioners in human capital and leadership development to explore the mechanisms for powerful growth in the critical capabilities required for leaders to thrive in our contemporary context. The Institute provides a multifaceted platform for executives to push themselves through catalytic experiences with the ongoing support of a diverse community of other committed leaders.

Executive Director

David Peterson Ph.D.

As Director of Google’s Center of Expertise on Leadership Development, David is responsible for innovative, high-impact approaches to develop Google leaders to meet current and emerging challenges. In addition, he coaches senior leaders, leads strategy for Google’s executive coaching programs, and supports other leadership and organization development initiatives, including leading a team on agile organization design for Google’s future needs.

Before joining Google in 2011, David served as leader of world-wide coaching services for PDI Ninth House (now Korn Ferry). In addition to coaching top leaders at Salesforce, Sandisk, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Target, Wal-Mart, Shell, Genentech, American Express, Mayo Clinic, Harvard, and Stanford University, he provided consultation and thought leadership on how to design and manage organizational coaching programs, how to develop high potential leaders and critical talent, and how to accelerate learning and leadership development at all levels.

David has published dozens of articles and chapters on coaching, is co-author of Development FIRST:  Strategies for Self-Development and Leader as Coach, with over a million copies in print, and co-editor of the Handbook of the Psychology of Coaching and Mentoring. He earned his PhD in Counseling and Industrial/Organizational Psychology at the University of Minnesota. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society of Consulting Psychology, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), and the Harvard Institute of Coaching. His awards include the RHR International Award for Excellence in Consultation (Society of Consulting Psychology), the Outstanding Achievement Award (California Psychological Association), and the Vision of Excellence Award (Harvard Institute of Coaching). Vikki Brock’s history of coaching (2008, 2012) names David as one of the primary influencers in the field, both for his early influence on the emergence of executive coaching and for continuing to shape the field “on the cutting edge of the profession, doing and saying surprising and thought-provoking things.”

David lives in San Francisco with his wife, Alexis Shoemate, and two adorable Tibetan Terriers named Pinot and Cab.

Executive Board

Dan Fisher Ph.D.

Dan is a consulting psychologist and co-founder of the Institute for Contemporary Leadership (ICL). He is also Managing Partner at Contemporary Leadership Advisors (CLA), where he serves as trusted advisor to C-Suite executives, boards, and investors. Dan has extensive experience assessing executives for both selection and development. In addition, he works with senior leadership teams to optimize team performance and align companies around vision, mission, and strategy. Prior to co-founding ICL and CLA, Dan was a founding member of AlixPartners’ Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness practice, where he served on the Senior Leadership Team and led the team development practice, and was co-founder and Managing Partner at Fisher Rock Consulting.

Dan completed postdoctoral studies and was a faculty member at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of California, San Diego. In addition to being a past board president of the Metropolitan New York Association for Applied Psychology, Dan is an active member in the American Psychological Association’s Society of Consulting Psychology and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He is a frequent speaker at professional conferences.

Dan lives in Maplewood, NJ with his wife, Rachel, their two sons, Nate and Adam, and their beagle, Buddy.

Beth Gullette Ph.D.

Beth is a consulting psychologist and co-founder of the Institute for Contemporary Leadership (ICL). She is also Managing Partner at Contemporary Leadership Advisors (CLA), where she serves as a trusted adviser to senior executives, boards and investors and a thought leader on issues of individual and organizational change, culture, leadership development, executive selection assessment and cultivating high performance teams. Prior to co-founding ICL and CLA, Beth was a founding member of AlixPartners’ Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness group, where she served on the Senior Leadership Team and led the executive assessment practice. Previously, Beth served as Coaching Practice Leader and Senior Faculty Member at The Center for Creative Leadership, as the Senior Director of Learning & Development for a healthcare consulting firm, and in research and clinical positions at Duke Medical Center.

Beth holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Clinical Psychology from Duke University. She is a member of the Society of Consulting Psychology (SCP), American Psychological Association, and International Society for Coaching Psychology. An active writer and presenter, Beth is co-editor of the CCL Handbook of Coaching in Organizations and author of two chapters in that volume, Team Coaching and Coaching in Context: The Individual in Relation to Organizational Culture.

Beth lives in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband, Brian, their daughter, Rebecca-Jane, and their two dogs, Steven and Finnegan, just around the corner from their young adult son, Lincoln.

Stephen Garcia Ph.D.

Steve is co-founder of the Institute for Contemporary Leadership (ICL) and Managing Partner at Contemporary Leadership Advisors (CLA), where he works with clients at the intersection of technology and organizational effectiveness. Prior to co-founding ICL and CLA, he served on the Senior Leadership Team in AlixPartners Leadership and Organizational Effectiveness practice and was the Partner in charge of Human Capital Consulting at Philosophy IB. At Philosophy IB, Steve built the firm’s first predictive people analytics applications, one of which, SYNAPP, was accepted into DreamIt Venture’s selective Accelerator Program. Previously, Steve was Head of Product Marketing for Nortel Networks’ digital switching, optical Ethernet, and voice-over-IP portfolios and worked on Capitol Hill for the U.S. Congress’ Office of Technology Assessment. Steve holds an M.B.A. from The University of Virginia and an Ed.D. in Adult Learning from N.C. State University where his research focused on how organizational networks affect learning, change and innovation. Steve is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters and a frequent presenter at professional conferences.

Steve lives in Millburn, NJ with his wife, Haley, their two teenagers, Ben and Sophie, their two dogs, Atticus and Lucy, and assorted other animals.

Advisory Board

Marshall Goldsmith Ph.D.

Dr. Marshall Goldsmith was recognized as the #1 Leadership Thinker in the World and the top 5 Management Thinker in 2015, as well as one of the top ten Most-Influential Business Thinkers in the World and the top-ranked executive coach at the 2013 biennial Thinkers50 ceremony in London.

Dr. Goldsmith is the author or editor of 35 books, which have sold over two million copies, been translated into 30 languages and become bestsellers in 12 countries. His newest book is Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts—Becoming the Person You Want to Be, on sale May 2015 from Crown Business. He has written two New York Times bestsellers, MOJO and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There – a Wall Street Journal #1 business book and winner of the Harold Longman Award for Business Book of the Year.


Mark Thompson

Founding patron of the Richard Branson Entrepreneurship Centres, JFKUniv Entrepreneurship Inst. and one of 6 judges for Sir Richard’s Global Entrepreneurship Competition. Forbes listed Mark as a Venture Investor w the ‘Midas’ Touch. Adv to the Stanford Realtime Venture Design Lab, and visiting scholar & graduate of Stanford. Member of TED, World Business Forum, World Economic Forum and Summit Pioneers. Bestselling coauthor of Admired: 21 Ways to Double Your Value; Now Build a Great Business; Success Built to Last with Jerry Porras.

Mark is an expert on executive leadership, business strategy, and innovation who has spent over 25 years leading teams and building companies from the ground up. He delivers actionable, valuable and practical advice for leaders at all levels of an organization.