Dr. Carmela Bennett, Leadership Development Coach

Dr. Bennett blends her 25 years of experience in growth and development to teach, coach, and consult with individuals and organizations using a holistic, constructive, developmental approach in order to create transformative, sustainable change. Dr. Bennett believes that insight and learning about leadership models is not enough to develop these capacities—the ability to apply the learning to real-world situations and take different actions is necessary to make a difference. Throughout her workshops, courses, and coaching engagements, Dr. Bennett integrates leadership best practices with somatic and mind/body theory to enable leaders to see new ways to see their particular situation, develop the skills and practices that allow them to “walk their talk,” make the changes necessary to attain their professional goals, and live fulfilling, purposeful lives. This new awareness opens the space for a structural shift in basic premises of thinking, emotion, and behavior. Carmela coaches and consults internationally with executives, profit, and non-profit organizations and educators seeking to build their strategic leadership capacity in order to create innovative, mindful solutions to global, complex workplace initiatives and educational curriculums. Clients include DL Piper International Law Firm, The Natural Resources Defense Council, Berlin Public Relations, Bloomberg Philanthropies, NYU Stern School of Business, Stanford University, Columbia University, The University of St. Thomas, and the Bachrach Leadership Group.
Dr. Bennett also brings two decades’ experience working in the field of chemical dependency to her coaching practice, holds a CASAC, and is a certified recovery coach and recovery coach trainer. She specializes in supporting executives, individuals and family members developing the awareness, inner and external resources, and pragmatic skills necessary to create fulfilling lives free from the effect of chemical dependency.

Embodied Leadership@Columbia

Fall Semesters

Participants in this experiential course explore embodied/somatic learning through an interdisciplinary lens of relevant literature from psychology, adult learning, eastern and western philosophy, neuroscience, and leadership best practices. Through readings, experiential, expressive, and reflective exercises learners explore the relationship between somatic or “mind/body” practices, learning and leadership, and understand ways to apply this learning to enhance their professional development as well as the development of those they lead.

Throughout the course, participants explore ways to bring these approaches into everyday events such as crisis management, decision-making, communication, and strategic thinking and apply them to real-world situations. They also come away with simple, practical tools they can use individually as well as with teams within organizations.
“Dr. Bennett embodied what she was teaching us in the way she showed up to every class; listened and responded to each of us with respect, often seeking clarity or providing feedback and observations that were insightful; applied the theoretical aspects to her teaching practices and classroom activities.
  • “Finally, she modeled to us how to hold space effectively and cultivate an atmosphere of opening and trust and bonding. This made all the difference in the class.
What was unexpected is Dr. Bennett’s openness and support, helping us to develop integrated wholeness and a state of being and embodiment that ultimately felt very personally and individually customized for me. This liberated and inspired me. Dr. Bennett’s approach in this way represented and embodied the general essence, premises, and application of somatics.” — Kaarina R.


Past Workshops

March, 2016 – Present
Teachers College Department of Continuing and Professional Studies

Women Leaders: Mastering Authenticity, Influence and Power through Embodied Leadership

August, 2017
Society for Design Marketing Professional Services

Leadership Workshop: How do you show up? Leading by Being Present Society for Design Marketing Professional Services

August, 2017
Columbia University Executive Education MBA Program

Leadership as a Way of Being: Developing Purpose, Presence and Performance

July, 2017
Beijing Energy Week Consortium

Inclusive Leadership: Developing Whole Person Leaders that Build Collaborative Teams and Organizations

July, 2017
International Leadership Association: Women’s Leadership
Omega Institute

Empowering Women Leaders through Embodied Leadership

Jan 2017 – Apr 2017
New York University Leadership Initiative

NYU Women’s Embodied Leadership Program

Women Leaders: Mastering Authenticity, Influence, and Power through Embodied Leadership
October 27-28, 2016, 9AM-5PM
Teachers College, Columbia University
525 West 120 Street
New York, NY 10027-6696

Women Leaders: Mastering Authenticity, Influence, and Power through Embodied Leadership

Developing powerful women leaders has never been more important or relevant. This 2-day, non-credit, experiential workshop explores Embodied Leadership, a radically different way of learning to lead. Particularly significant for women leaders, this body/mind approach enables women to experience the body as a source of intelligence and power in ways that directly impact their ability to act with agency, develop a consistent voice, and take a stand for self and others.
Embodied Communication
May 13, 2016
Stanford University
Management Communication Association Annual Conference
Mindfulness in Action: Embodied Leadership
March 24, 2016
NYU Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square South, Room 914
New York, NY 10012

Mindfulness in Action: Embodied Leadership

Embodied Leadership cultivates deep insight into our largely unconscious patterns of perception, emotion, and action that result in the leaders we show ourselves to be. Somatics expert Dr. Carmela Bennett will facilitate a workshop to explore what it means to dig into these unconscious perceptions that guide how we present ourselves.
Conversations in Creativity: Embodied Leadership
November 21, 2015
Arts & Culture Club, NYU Stern
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012

Conversations in Creativity: Embodied Leadership

Over a three hour workshop, Dr. Carmela Bennett will work with you on your leadership. Beginning with a brief talk, much of the time will be spent individually and in small groups. You will work interactively with posture, movement, awareness, and communication that facilitate present moment awareness of habitual mindsets and action styles. By attending Embodied Leadership, you will learn to express yourself as the leader you want to be.
Connecting Body and Brain: The Neuroscience of Change
November 20, 2015
The Gibney Dance Center
280 Broadway
New York, NY 10007

Connecting Body and Brain: The Neuroscience of Embodied Change

What makes change so hard? Recent research in neuroscience supports the notion that 95-99% of what we do is the result of the embodied, unconscious habits that override conscious thought and really drive our behavior. In this experiential workshop, participants will learn the neuroscience of body/brain principles that underlie change and how to make them work for you.


“My Somatic learning experience has been extraordinary. It was an eye-opener on how our minds and bodies can work together. Learning about the mind-body connection has made me more aware of the importance of how our bodies can be used to convey messages to others about ourselves. I wondered how it could make people better in what they do and the relationships they have, it was only when I truly started incorporating it into my life that I understood its power and beauty.” — Grace A. former HR Practioner
“I felt like there was an immediate awareness, application, and shift that I experienced as a result of my learning in both my personal and academic life. I am becoming more centered and grounded, better able to connect and be present and embody within my presence that which I value. I also learned with somatic awareness and practices, I can make fundamental shifts and change my habits and tendencies. This ultimately has inspired me with confidence and hope, learning that change is possible and that I can be more focused and resilient than I previously thought. I feel empowered to have created a toolbox of somatic practices and to have learned how to discern what practices to use when and not revert to conditioned tendencies and habits.” — Kaarina R.
“My Somatic learning experience has been extraordinary. Learning about mind-body connection has made me more aware of the importance of how our bodies can be used to convey messages to others about ourselves. The energies that are encapsulated within us can be harnessed to bring about positive changes within our lives. . It was an eye-opener on how our minds and bodies can work together. Although there were times when I wondered how it could make people better in what they do and the relationships they have, it was only when I truly started incorporating it into my life that I understood its power and beauty. ” — Grace A. former HR Practioner
“I had some amazing results. The awareness I gained in the practices with Carmela helped me catalyze the development of aspects of myself that will have great influence in the years to come. With Carmela’s support I explored my pattern of avoiding conflict and realized how it was ingrained in my emotions, my thought process and the way I relate to people.” — Agustin C.
“Carmela is very focused and eager to see progress in her clients. She understands a situation quickly and accurately and made me feel very understood. She brings a fresh approach that uses the whole body, made connections where I hadn’t seen them, and suggested ways of thinking about a problem that I hadn’t heard of or thought of before.” — Julia D.
“Working with Carmela has given me new insight into my work as a teacher-leader, the way I relate to people, the way I relate to myself, how I react in times of stress, how I handle challenges coming at me, what helps me stay grounded and centered, and what areas of the body I tend to hold tension in or what areas I can focus on to tap into peaceful strength.” — Jimi H.
“Enlightening, because she has observational opportunities, she notices the things that really matter and can link that back to how the person is presenting themselves.” — Sara
“The information I learned about myself, the self-awareness of how I show up and how I react, has already started to inform my actions on a daily basis, it’s become a part of me.” — Client