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Leah Weiss, PhD, MSW

Culture Design Expert

Leah Weiss, PhD, MSW, is a teacher, researcher, and meditation expert at Stanford University specializing in the application of mindfulness and compassion in secular contexts. Her perennially waitlisted course at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, Leading with Mindfulness and Compassion, is breaking new ground in an MBA program already famous for innovation. Her other courses at Stanford include Compassion and the World Religions and A Philosophical and Experimental Introduction to Buddhism. In 2015, she was given the role of Women in Management Facilitator at Stanford business school. As Principal Teacher and Trainer for Stanford’s Compassion Cultivation Training program, founded by the Dalai Lama, Leah developed the curriculum to train more teachers to meet a growing interest in compassion as it applies to people’s work, family, community, and selves. Her first book, Heart At Work, forthcoming with HarperCollins, will be released in early 2018.

Leah has taught and consulted in many different settings in addition to Stanford Business School, including Harvard-affiliated hospitals, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford Bing Institute, Google headquarters, the Young Presidents’ Organization, LinkedIn, the Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley, Wisdom 2.0, Esalen Institute, Omega Institute, Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where she teaches mindfulness and compassion to help veterans cope with post-traumatic stress, and to help VA staff around the Bay Area cope with the stress of their jobs helping veterans.

At HopeLab, a Drucker award-winning research and development nonprofit based in Silicon Valley founded by Pam Omidiyar, Leah previously directed the contemplative education initiative. She now consults for the Omidyar Group’s 21st Century Leadership Initiative as well as the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED) at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

The first non-Christian to earn a doctorate in Religious Education at Boston College, where she also received her master’s in Clinical Social Work, Leah began her academic career at Stanford University, where she received her BA.

Concurrent with her graduate work, Leah completed the traditional Tibetan Buddhist teacher-training curriculum in the context of four silent, cloistered one-hundred-day meditation retreats, one six-month retreat, and dozens of weeklong retreats. She is a board member of the Journal of Interreligious Dialogue, writer for the Harvard Business Review and Psychology Today. Leah lives in Palo Alto with her husband and three children.