Sara Thompson

Dr. Sara Thompson brings a distinctive blend of academic and theoretical experience to the Silicon Valley classroom.  That, combined with her professional focus as a leadership consultant in coaching her clients to develop their leadership skills and potential, makes her an excellent fit for the Silicon Valley Program (SVP). Students in SVP are working full time and value coursework that has practical implications for understanding workplace dynamics, team performance, and leadership.  The applicable concepts and frameworks for guiding one’s personal and professional development that she brings to SVP courses are immediately useful to them.  Students emerge with actionable steps towards developing their leadership capabilities. 

Within the Silicon Valley Program, Dr. Thompson co-teaches Leadership, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (LEAD 150) with Professor Ron Riggio.  In addition, she serves as a faculty member for the internship course (INT 30) providing curricular and co-curricular expertise to support students’ learning in their pre-professional internship.

Outside the Silicon Valley Program, Dr. Thompson is an executive coach and leadership consultant to individuals and teams in corporate (e.g., Google), higher education (e.g., University of Illinois), law (e.g., Paul Hastings), and entrepreneurship fields ranging from serving the public sector to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultants to creative and interior design.  Her clients include top companies as well as entrepreneurs who are addressing ever-changing complexities in today’s workplace - developing leaders and leadership skills in a remote work environment, building high performance teams who understand how to embrace diversity and inclusion, continuing to act with integrity, and navigating the positive and negative aspects of hybrid work environments.  She works with clients as their trusted advisor, facilitator, team-builder, change agent and paradigm shifter as they chart a new course and redefine what it means to be a leader in today’s world.

Dr. Thompson co-edited with Rebecca Reichard, “Leader Developmental Readiness: Pursuit of Leadership Excellence” (2016).