Professor, Georgetown University
Maya Bernstein has facilitated inspiring and impactful leadership initiatives in nonprofit and educational settings for over 15 years.
She believes in the power of individuals and groups adapt, and to creatively respond to challenges and opportunities they face in their work. She draws on her expertise in Adaptive Leadership, Design Thinking, improv tools, and story-telling to create unique environments in which participants become willing to take risks, and experiment with new ways of thinking and behaving. She is the founding co-director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership’s Certificate in Facilitation, where she co-designed the curriculum and is on faculty. Maya’s area of passion and expertise is the intersection of tradition and innovation; she strives to facilitate systemic adaptation and individual transformation. Her current clients include the Wexner Foundation, for whom she facilitates intensive leadership seminars for graduate students, nonprofit professionals, and lay leaders; the Global Leadership Institute of the Jewish Agency, a six-month global leadership training program for nonprofit professionals; UJA-NY, where she is assisting in the creation of an Innovation Lab; and Yeshivat Maharat, the only orthodox Jewish rabbinical school for women in the world. Maya is the founding co-director of UpStart, an incubator that supports innovation in nonprofit settings. In her decade of work at UpStart, she helped build the organization from inception to a now-thriving national nonprofit organization; she offered content design for nascent nonprofits, and built the organization’s consulting branch, working with established institutions to train them to use best practices from the innovation sector and adapt accordingly. Maya publishes widely, online and in print, on the topic of innovation and change. She has lived and worked in Israel, Belarus, China, and Germany. She graduated Phi Betta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude from Columbia College and has a Master’s Degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Maya is a 2012 recipient of the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize. After a decade in Silicon Valley, Maya and her family have recently relocated to the Big Apple.