Dr. Nancy Wallis

Dr. Nancy Wallis has a lifelong history of interweaving academic pursuits and the practice of leadership in organizational settings. She has concentrated her consulting, executive coaching and teaching on the practice of leadership in complex and challenging organizational settings in healthcare and other service industries. She has designed leadership development and organizational theory courses in several business schools, has supervised doctoral dissertations contributing to the leadership literature, and currently is a professor at Pitzer College, Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, and Danube University in Krems, Austria.

Her particular interests in leadership development and collaborative developmental action inquiry as a way for understanding and harnessing individual, group, and organizational levels of action underpin her approach with students and management consulting clients. A central research interest is linking individual and senior leadership team development to improving organizational performance. Her article on Individualized Leadership was nominated for best paper in the Leadership Quarterly in 2011 and she just completed a chapter titled “Unlocking the Secrets of Personal and Systemic Power: The Power Lab and Action Inquiry in the Classroom” in the 2015 Sage 3rd edition of the Handbook of Action Research. Nancy is author of the upcoming book The Leadership Seven: Transformations and their Shadows.

Nancy has served in numerous executive roles with leading healthcare insurance companies where she had administrative responsibility for $1 billion in medical expense including premium billing and collections, medical claims, and risk management. Other past affiliations include PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG Peat Marwick where she led cross-cultural teams in accomplishing critical organizational improvement and change initiatives. Nancy is recognized for her work with senior executives and their teams to improve their efficacy in leading change and organizational learning in alignment with organizational goals and desired outcomes. Current executive coaching clients include medical doctors committed to enhancing their leadership presence, influence and impact with their staffs and colleagues. Client list includes Glidewell Laboratories, Experian, Allergan, Covidien, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, Blue Shield of California, HP, Conagra Foods, Makar Properties, Trizecahn, and MedImmune.

With a career as a scholar-practitioner, Dr. Wallis is committed to the study and practice of leadership that improves the quality of human lives, in multicultural contexts, in which personal and collective transformation are engaged, and where organizational goals are aligned with increasing social and economic justice. Selected as a founding Action Inquiry Associate, Nancy is an authorized and highly skilled user of adult development theory and the Global Leadership Profile, blending this approach into her teaching and consulting in the US and EU. She has co-facilitated the Action Inquiry and GLP Certification Workshop with Bill Torbert and Elaine Barker. Using the GLP and her engaging presence, Nancy helps leaders understand and reframe their organizational challenges as opportunities to generate simultaneous personal, team, and organizational transformation. She is a member of the Academy of Management where she is Chair of the Management Consulting Divisionʼs Doctoral Consortium. She is faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership and a member of the Academy of International Business and presents regularly at the annual conferences associated with these organizations and at industry and client meetings throughout the US and Europe.

Dr. Wallis holds a doctorate degree in Human and Organizational Systems with a focus on organizational leadership development. She earned her M.S.P.H. and M.B.A. degrees from U.C.L.A., and her B.S. in Biochemistry from UC Davis. She is currently pursuing her Master of Divinity in a joint program between Bloy House, the Episcopal Theological Seminary at Claremont, and Claremont School of Theology.