Clarify your life.
Whether you are a person seeking answers to life’s questions or a corporate team resisting change while managing new challenges, I help you develop what I call personal, interpersonal, team/group and global competencies. I coach emerging and seasoned leaders using a Leadership Agility® approach, giving you the capacity to make wise decisions and take effective action amid complex and rapidly changing conditions.
How I can Help You
I am an ordinary woman with extraordinary experiences. Once I was an overworked corporate executive who felt fairly stable and secure in my rise up the career ladder. But after a series of tragic events — including a decision not to see my brother on what turned out to be the eve of his death — I felt a calling I couldn’t ignore — to find wholeness, balance, and peace for myself, and then for others. It’s become my life’s work.
Truly understanding who I am means I can help you be who you are.
Grounded in my mission and purpose, I help you claim your own mission and purpose on a personal, interpersonal, team/group and global level, and see how surprisingly interrelated they are. Always bringing the spiritual to the practical, I developed a new kind of leadership – Reconciliation Leadership – which both draws on the resources of my business experience and is sensitive and responsive to our divided society.
Consulting and training since 1986, I promote community building, communication, leadership and spiritual renewal. In 1991, I became a citizen diplomat and United Nations Non-Governmental Organization representative. Since my 1992 UN presentation on Reconciliation Leadership, integrating the spiritual into the practical work of peacemaking, I have facilitated global UN workshops and utilized what I call my Peace-building Process of Reconciliation to Develop Political Will™ with people suffering from human rights abuses.
After being in New York during the earth-shattering devastation of September 11, 2001, I founded The Institute for Global Leadership to help leaders and teams through change, challenges and crises, recognizing all human beings and institutions, in their uniqueness, need this capacity for transformation.
Amid the rising global conflicts and workplace stresses, I decided our world needed some positive stories of human goodness and service to others, so in 2007, I created my successful television program, “Imagine Worcester and the World.” I also prepare couples for marriage and officiate at interfaith weddings.
My life’s work resonates with the wise words of the Commission on Global Governance:
“The world needs leaders made strong by vision, sustained by ethics and revealed by political courage that looks to the longer term and future generations for whom the present is held in trust.”
Featured group consultation work
- Co-facilitated team-building for “Taking Charge of Change” process during major corporate merger of American Express and Thomas Cook in San Diego
- Designed and implemented peace-building interventions for former Yugoslavians and Rwandans, who brought their war with them to the United States
- Co-facilitated working group on multinational business codes of conduct within International Business Task Force of Institute for Civil Markets at United Nations
- Consulted with teams involved in “Project Global 2000” for the International Education Council, offered through Global Education Associates in New York
- Founded Principal’s Advisory Committee to enable high school students from more than 30 cultures (including former child soldiers and immigrants from war zones) to discuss their needs and fears and learn conflict resolution skills
- Coordinated and co-trained 100 student peer mediators and initiated teacher-student reconciliations in a Peer Mediation Program over five years
- Developed and presented seminars on re-visioning the relationship between man and woman
- Conducted consultations in severely conflicted churches in Diocese of Massachusetts, teaching conflict skills to deeply divided parishioners, de-escalating emotions and training in interpersonal and systemic conflict management
- Co-Founded Coalition for a Strong United Nations to educate Americans through global issue conferences in partnership with the Kennedy Library
- Served as co-convener, Rwanda Project, APA annual conference in Ethnogenicide Division, calling for responsibility among high level officials for complicity in the genocide
- Raised awareness of abandoned American landmines in Uganda through interview with Cosmos Lam, watch here
- Educated global citizens in New England on variety of issues through one-day trips to the United Nations
Virginia Swain’s Professional Bio
Social entrepreneur, spiritual guide, facilitator, leadership trainer, author, educator, mediator and master coach — in everything she does, Virginia Swain, MA, draws on her diverse background and experiences, including certified leadership agility coaching, senior management in human resources, marketing and public relations in both corporate and nonprofit organizations, as well as 25 years of training and coaching emerging and seasoned leaders at the United Nations in New York and on five continents.
Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, she founded the Institute for Global Leadership to provide training and coaching for leaders and teams to adapt to the changed dynamics of our post-September 11th world. Together with her husband, Joseph Baratta, Ph.D., she is also the co-founder of the Center for Global Community and World Law.
An adjunct faculty member at Clark University, Baypath College, Quinsigamond Community College, Lesley University and Salve Regina University, Virginia has taught courses on career development, leadership, cross-cultural conflict transformation, change management, and managing in a global economy, and developed a customized leadership curriculum implemented in the United Nations, Reconciliation Leadership.
She highlights human goodness and service to others in her television show, “Imagine Worcester and the World,” which debuted in 2007 and is now updated as “Imagine Worcester in America;” in her books, A Mantle of Roses: A Woman’s Journey Home to Peace (Xlibris, 2004) and the forthcoming My Soul’s Journey to Redefine Leadership: A New Phoenix Rises from the Ashes of 9/11; and in her blogs.
Virginia earned an organization development master’s degree from Lesley University in Community Building in Organizations and has advanced certifications from the Summer Peacebuilding Institute at Eastern Mennonite University in Ethnic Identity Consultation, Skills for the Religious Peacebuilder, and Consulting in Conflict Transformation and Reconciliation. She also holds certificates in professional holistic counseling, mediation, spiritual direction, Reiki Advanced Energy Healing, Myers-Briggs team building, and parent effectiveness coaching. As an interfaith marriage officiant, Virginia prepares couples for marriage.
Virginia’s Book, A Mantle of Roses of Roses: A Woman’s Journey Home to Peace
“I am an ordinary woman with extraordinary experiences. My story begins in 1979 when I felt a leading I couldn’t ignore… Because I have a certainty of what I am being led to do with my life, I understand now how I can make a difference in the world.”
- Purchase a copy here
- Read Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury’s response to A Mantle of Roses.
- Read a Strategies’ Review