Gael O’Brien is an executive coach, consultant, speaker, and leadership columnist. She was selected as a 2016 Top Thought Leader in Trust by Trust Across America.

She works with leaders who, with their teams, are defining what success means in their organization, transforming obstacles into breakthroughs.


Gael is passionate about helping leaders establish leadership that means something. The values that shape her work on behalf of clients are curiosity, creativity, excellence, transparency, respect and integrity.


Gael was recruited to Mitsubishi Motor Manufacturing of America to help lead a model workplace initiative after the company was sued by the EEOC. She led a values process with 4,000 employees that accelerated the culture shift. She was promoted to vice president at Mitsubishi Motors North America responsible for communications, government relations, and corporate responsibility.She also served as President of Mitsubishi Motors U.S.A. Foundation.

She was director of marketing for a Price Waterhouse office (now PwC) — involved in helping guide a culture change. She also served as chief of staff for an Ohio Senate leader and assistant editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education where she wrote a weekly column and covered five beats.

As a consultant and executive coach, Gael has worked with leaders in manufacturing, health care, higher education, ethics centers, international companies and organizations, start ups, professional service firms, and state and national associations. She is a Senior Fellow Social Innovation, Lewis Institute, Babson College and a research fellow at the  Hoffman Center for Business Ethics at Bentley University.


She helps clients in the areas that respond to where they most want breakthroughs, including:

  • Leadership development
  • The Leadership Circle Culture Assessment
  • Aligning purpose, values, behaviors to increase employee engagement, business success or recover from ethical missteps
  • Building trust & reputation with stakeholders
  • Strategic thinking, planning & positioning
  • Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability
  • Philanthropy — setting up charitable giving programs, evaluating and leveraging impact


Gael originated The Ethics Coach column for Entrepreneur Magazine. She is also a columnist for Business Ethics magazine, publisher of The Week in Ethics, and co-author with Deepak Chopra and others of Stepping Stones to Success. She writes about leadership, culture, values and purpose, avoiding/mitigating crises, sustainability, and building trust and reputation.


Gael speaks at international and national conferences, professional meetings, university symposiums, and community organizations about a variety of leadership topics. She has taught undergraduate business ethics and gives workshops for CPE credit in ethics.

Relevant credentials:

  • Board Certified Coach (BCC) in Executive/Corporate/Business/ Leadership.
  • Certified in administering The Leadership Circle Profile (360) and The Leadership Culture Survey.
  • TEDx Speech coach: TEDxNatick, 2015 – 2016, 2016 – 2017
  • Award winning communicator; accredited by PRSA (APR)
  • Advanced Communicator Silver Toastmaster; 40 hours Improv training
  • Service: non-profit and professional organization boards, including economic development, United Way Campaign Cabinet, co-chair $2 M stewardship and capital campaign, and university advisory boards for certifications
  • Skidmore College (BA); College of William and Mary (MA); McCallum Graduate School of Business, Bentley University (graduate certificate in Business Ethics)