One of the biggest challenges facing leaders is the need to position organizations and people for success while striking a healthy balance in meeting all needs.   Over the years Joan has worked with SfN on numerous senior leadership coaching engagements, working on strengths and opportunities with excellent tangible outcome that has helped us add another dimension to leadership and allowing us to effectively address challenges.  Joan has an innate capability to listen and I think her own leadership background really helps her relate, understand, and effectively guide her coachees to discover solutions without over-directing.  Her approach is structured, practical, and she brings a unique perspective that allows her to ask intelligent and thought-provoking questions, create awareness, and facilitate personal growth and professional development.

Petra Carrington, SHRM-SCB, Director of Human Resources & Talent Management, Society for Neuroscience

It was my great pleasure working with Joan for 6 months. Joan was an extremely effective coach to work with.  She was thoughtful, focused, and helped me consider diverse perspectives. She has such an effective approach, helping me to consider how to handle differences in opinion and guiding me to resolutions that were appropriate and productive. Thanks to her coaching, I have improved markedly in my confidence dealing with conflicts and working with people with different opinions. Thanks, Joan!

Federal Agency Scientist

Joan is a thoughtful, perceptive, and extraordinarily effective coach. She has a strong sense of priorities, a keen ability to ask probing questions, and a steady hand in guiding conversations to productive resolution. I have had the pleasure of being coached by Joan over the course of many months, and she has helped me navigate complex situations involving leadership of my group. I look forward to continuing to consult with her and would recommend her with highest marks.

Diana Finzi, MPH, Ph.D., Director, Basic Sciences Program, Division of AIDS, NIAID, National Institutes of Health
Joan is an excellent professional executive coach.  She is well prepared and provides value-added insight and recommendations while engaging in a dialog to expand the conversation to related topics of interest.  She was able to assist me in my new position and agency and provided actionable advice.

Angel Santa, Chief Information Officer and Chief Privacy Officer, National Transportation Safety Board

I have tried a couple of professional coaches over the years and each one felt like a visit from the company shrink. Tackling the stress from an expanded leadership role and my natural tendency to avoid conflict was no small challenge for either of us. Joan quickly earned my respect, becoming a trusted coach. She has a straightforward approach and ability to focus on the core of a problem by cutting out the noise. Joan’s guidance and counsel provided me a strong foundation from which to address the challenges of executive leadership.

Chad Stark, Executive Director, Foundation, The Optical Society


Over the last three years Joan has facilitated a number of interactive group workshops to provide our managers with practical tools in communication, emotional intelligence, conflict resolution, and other relevant topics.  I worked closely with her to identify goals and design curricula and I am very pleased by her uncanny ability to transform concepts into actionable content.  Workshops are ongoing and highly sought after – participants report that they are inspired and find great value in Joan’s workshops as she provides relevant tools, context, and resources.

I highly recommend Joan to any organization seeking to improve leadership competencies at every level.

Petra Carrington, SHRM-SCB, Director of Human Resources & Talent Management, Society for Neuroscience


We engaged Joan Goldberg to execute an extremely important and delicate task: conduct an organizational evaluation to analyze staffing, effectiveness, innovation and efficiency. Joan designed a methodology that would answer board questions, report staff activities, as well as evaluate board and staff effectiveness in the face of declining membership numbers and stagnant revenue. It was crystal clear to all involved that this evaluation would be extremely important for the organization. Joan’s thorough and straightforward report presented a fair assessment of strengths and weaknesses of both staff and board. Opportunities and challenges were stated clearly and, most critical to the organization, Joan provided a list of recommendations based on her analysis and considerable professional knowledge. Thanks to her work, we all have a deeper understanding of the organization in its current environment, of how board and staff contribute to accomplishing the mission, and of the hard work and future opportunities.

Susan Griffin, Past Executive Director, National Council for the Social Studies
It was a pleasure to work closely with Joan Goldberg on a comprehensive strategic planning initiative for the Society for Developmental Biology. SDB’s board are great people with busy academic lives who have for some years had a hard time effectively prioritizing goals and enacting them. Our planning exercise was overdue but we were unsure where to even begin. Joan did a fantastic job of helping us to gather data, consider our long term goals, and work through realigning our mission with our true priorities. She immediately understood our culture and was able to work with us to uncover our best selves! This was all made more challenging by the pandemic, but she handled the change to remote work seamlessly to keep us on track at a very difficult time. We are excited to move forward into our enactment phase, using the new tools she has established for us, and we look forward to continuing to receive Joan’s input to keep us on track as needed. Thank you Joan!
Victoria Price, Ph.D.
Society for Developmental Biology Strategic Planning Committee
Professor, Organismal Biology & Anatomy; Dean of Graduate Affairs
University of Chicago
The Reinvention Collaborative, a national consortium of research universities dedicated to innovation in undergraduate education, contracted with Joan Goldberg to benefit from her established strategic planning expertise and experience working with consortia like ours. Joan helped us shape our approach to the process, and she guided our face-to-face strategic planning retreat with a deft hand. Six months on, our consortium is making excellent progress toward fulfilling our vision for growth and development. We thank Joan for her catalyzing consultation and pleasantly productive partnership!
Steve Dandaneau, Ph.D., Executive Director, Reinvention Collaborative
I have attended many board and agency retreats which employed the services of a facilitator/coach. Recently, I was involved in a day-long strategy planning program for the American Speech and Hearing Association; Joan was the facilitator, and I left feeling like it was one of the best facilitated retreats I have experienced. Her ability to guide the group through a brain-storming and problem solving process was exemplary. She was well-prepared in many of the complex issues upon which the group focused. It was time well spent.
Glenn H. Buck, Ed.D., Board Member, Council for Clinical Certification in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, American  Speech- Language-Hearing Association
Elizabeth Forsyth Professor of Education and Human Development, School of Education, Lynchburg College
We engaged Joan in a three-step strategic planning process to refresh and update our association’s four-year old strategic plan. It was a wise investment.  Joan conducted thorough, perceptive interviews with stakeholders, planned and executed a productive one-day strategy retreat with 16 participants, and expertly drafted a comprehensive, actionable plan with objectives, timelines, and metrics.  Throughout the process she worked closely with me to ensure everything stayed on azimuth and met the association’s needs.  Joan was especially adept at facilitating meaningful discussion among willful board members, ensuring everyone’s voice was heard while staying away from rabbit holes.  I look forward to working with Joan on future efforts.
Rick Starrs, Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Veterans’ Research & Education Foundations

Joan led a strategic planning meeting for us at a critical point of transition of management and leadership for our Society. She did a thorough analysis of our current status at the time and developed an extensive, incisive work plan for us to follow in the future. It was a pleasure working with her and I appreciate her help to proceed in a very challenging environment for small societies.

William Stahl, Ph.D., Past Executive Director, The Histochemical Society
Joan’s extensive experience working with scientific societies was evident when she led a strategic planning retreat for the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) recently. In planning for the retreat, she quickly recognized the challenges facing ISAC: a diverse membership, shifting demographics, and external pressures on science and research, and she helped structure the agenda to address these. On site, she smoothly kept discussion focused and productive. Her post-retreat report was comprehensive, with a work plan that highlighted areas of consensus for immediate action, as well as those that needed additional information and discussion. Overall, we had a very effective planning session thanks in large part to Joan’s expertise in both strategic planning and in the mission and operation of scientific societies.
John Nolan, Ph.D., Past President, International Society for Advancement of Cytometry
Professor, The Scintillon Institute

Joan was the interim executive director of the International Association for the Study of Pain at the time I was President-Elect of this international multidisciplinary professional society. I was impressed by how quickly she “got up to speed” when she assumed this role. She very effectively oversaw the staff and worked closely with the society leadership to identify and address important issues during this transition period. Her contributions included helping to prepare for and conduct an international Council meeting shortly after she came on board; continuing the strategic planning effort; and moving forward the work of committees, new initiatives, policy development, and use of business plans. She provided a thoughtful, frank, and insightful analysis of the organization, with excellent and very helpful recommendations for future directions regarding governance. She is highly professional, personable, and knowledgeable about organization governance and strategic planning. She was a true pleasure to work with. I recommend her highly and without reservation.

Judith Turner, Ph.D., Past President, International Association for the Study of Pain
Professor, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

Joan was brought in at short notice to fill the role of Interim Executive Director for ISAC – an international scientific society – and provided confident and expert guidance. Her skills were very much appreciated in acting as facilitator and rapporteur for the Society’s 2013 strategic planning activities as well. Excellent service. Unequivocal recommendation. Great results.

Paul J. Smith, Ph.D., Past President, International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry
Professor of Cancer Biology, Cardiff University, UK
Co-founder and Director, Biostatus Ltd. 
I contracted with Joan to provide executive level interim support for a client society during a transition period. Joan was able to step in immediately and effectively to keep projects moving and communications flowing. Joan is incredibly professional and knowledgeable. In addition to meeting the day to day challenges, Joan was able to provide strategic guidance on critical issues and helped identify opportunities for the organization when our initial goal was to just get through the transition. Joan is also thorough and reliable, and I’d gladly work with her again at any time.
Jennifer Pesanelli, CAE, Past Deputy Executive Director for Business Development, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

Joan Goldberg is the consummate professional with a deep insider’s knowledge of scientific society management, priorities and practice. The depth and breadth of her experience with the typical services and concerns of scientific societies are huge strengths giving her much to contribute. She is thorough, detail-oriented, and always willing to share her experience and expertise. The International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) has had the pleasure of working with Joan on several occasions starting as our Interim Executive Director in 2012. She didn’t miss a beat, performing at a surprisingly high level from the start.

We hired her in 2013 as a facilitator to help us create a 5-year strategic plan focused on education and membership. She started by coordinating a SWOT analysis, creating a document used to define the critical topics to be discussed at a two-day retreat. At the retreat, she facilitated discussions, asked probing question and refocused us whenever the group went too far off track. What emerged from that meeting was a very comprehensive plan, written by Joan, that was adapted and has since become a living document as we have moved forward implementing the ideas and concepts it contained. This work plan is now reviewed annually and while some changes and modifications are made, its substance has passed the test of time and served as a foundation for our decisions.

The third and most recent time we engaged Joan to assist us was in the review of AMCs to manage ISAC. Joan did everything from write the RFP, identify the companies to invite to submit a proposal, review the scope of service, advise on appropriate specifications for consideration, communicate with appropriate AMCs, ensure confidentiality, and balancing different viewpoints during the process. She drafted a scorecard to reflect ISAC’s priorities, reminded ISAC leaders about timelines, assisted ISAC in selecting top candidates, helped prepare for and manage the interview process, and finally assisted ISAC through selection and contract negotiation. Joan’s knowledge and expertise of AMCs made defining the difficult issues much easier and helped put our gut impressions and thoughts into a proper reference.

It has been a pleasure working with Joan through the years, and I would highly recommend her to anyone or Society looking for guidance and informed professional input setting priorities and making tough decisions.

Paul Wallace, Ph.D., Past President, International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry, Professor of Oncology, Rosswell Park Cancer Center

Following the retirement of the long-term executive director of the Paget Disease and Bone and Cancer Foundations, we engaged Joan Goldberg to help us reorganize and restructure the organization. Her 20+ years managing professional organizations, including the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, made her a natural choice for this task. Over the course of a 3-month period, Joan worked closely with the leadership and Board of Directors to identify and characterize several strategies to streamline and reorient the organizations. Her recommendations were incisive and thoughtful.  She approached this task with enthusiasm, professionalism, and provided timely recommendations. I recommend her highly.

Robert F. Gagel, M.D., Past President, The Bone and Cancer Foundation, and The Paget Foundation
Head, Division of Internal Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
Joan Goldberg was hired to help assess OSA’s organizational structure, review CEO workflow and examine senior level staffing, with the goal of expanding the workflow within the organization. Her knowledge and experience in running organizations like OSA brought a high level of insight and expertise to the work. In a very short time frame, Joan was able to absorb and identify key issues and the related short and long-term solutions.  I highly recommend Joan to organizations that are in need of candid, supportive and creative solutions to improve the output of their operations and staff.
Elizabeth Rogan, CEO, The Optical Society (OSA)

Joan served the ASCB with passion, commitment and grace. Her remarkable contributions include inaugurating annual strategic planning and mission analysis, focusing Council on goal setting and mission-relevant objectives, enhancing two-way member communications through surveys and outreach, and securing funding for and overseeing the successful development of The Cell Image Library. She was a strong advocate for listening to members and making data-driven decisions. Joan ably steered the ASCB ship through difficult financial times, giving us the resources to most effectively serve our members. She coordinated the efforts of the numerous volunteer committees and their activities to ensure the efficient and effective operation of our complex and diverse organization. As President of the ASCB, I found working with Joan a pleasure. She is a wise, responsive, efficient, highly organized and dedicated professional.

Sandra Schmid, Ph.D., Past President, American Society for Cell Biology

1998-2001, I served as the treasurer of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research, the major international research society focused on bone related diseases. During my term , and in the surrounding years, I worked closely with Joan Goldberg who served as the Executive Director of our organization. She oversaw the activities of a large support staff and worked closely with the society leadership to provide administrative oversight and supervision of our activities that included financial management, meeting planning and educational programs. Included in her innovations were the institution of a strategic planning process that has helped to guide the society in defining its priorities and relationships with government, industry and academia. Critical to her success was the ability to work with our leaders and members to build consensus and develop an effective plan of action.

Steve Goldring, M.D., Past Treasurer, American Society for Bone and Mineral Research
Chief Scientific Officer, Richard L. Menschel Research Chair, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical School

Joan is a wonderful mentor and coach. She made it clear what was expected and then allowed me the flexibility to try and reach those goals without explicitly defining the process I had to use. When I needed the coaching, she was able to supply guidance and suggestions to help me reach my goals and to make sure the project was always on track. Her professionalism stood as a perfect example to strive for and her attentiveness to my project while working on so much else was greatly appreciated.

David Orloff, Past Senior Manager, Image Library, American Society for Cell Biology