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Gayle Karen Young

Gayle Karen Young

San Francisco, CA, USA

Gayle believes the world needs more leaders who are “able for” what lies ahead, who have developed the capacity to meet the complexity of global challenges. Working in the field of leadership for the past two decades, it has become abundantly clear to her that there are the visible, tangible, practical, and pragmatic aspects of leadership that need to be executed on a day-by-day basis, and then there is the work of caring for the the spaces between people, of seeing complexity and interdependencies, of understanding relationships and power and all the ephemeral things that still excise tremendous influence on the day-to-day behaviors of people. Thus it is the invisible work of leadership, the work of showing up, setting culture, and creating spaces for others to thrive that is the focus of her work. She believes in meeting people and systems wherever they are, and then developing people to work with the full range of who they are to meet the full complexity of the organizational system and operating ecosystem, working with the intangible but critically necessary human substructures to move a strategy forward.

Gayle Karen Young is a cultural architect and a catalyst for human and organizational development. She comes from a rich organizational consulting background with both corporate and nonprofit clients. She was in process of becoming a Zen monk when she became an executive instead, taking on the role of Chief Culture and Talent Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation (CHRO for Wikipedia and its sister free-knowledge projects) until early 2015 when she joined Cultivating Leadership. From high-level strategic thinking to practical implementation, her skills include leadership development, change management, facilitation, training, strategic communications, speaking, team building, and personal and organizational transformation.

Gayle holds a Masters degree in Organizational Psychology.

Gayle is passionate about global women’s issues and supporting women in leadership. She is also very much a geek that loves attending Comic-Con and reading science fiction, which inspires a passion for technology and its leverage for societal change. She is keenly interested in the intersection of technology and human rights and supports futurist humanitarian causes. She lives in both San Francisco, California, and Whidbey Island, Washington.

Gayle is one of those rare individuals who combine solid craftsmanship in their work with a broad horizon, excellent strategic thinking and deep empathetic connection. She is hands-down one of the best executives I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Her insights, drive and passion, combined with pragmatism and a "getting stuff done" attitude are truly outstanding. Plus she's just fun to work with!

VP SU Labs, Singularity University