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Dr Ginny Whitelaw

From her first science job working in a high energy physics lab to learning how to work with energy in Aikido and Zen training, to her doctoral research in biophysics, Ginny has had a passion for bringing energy, mind and body together. When she was a senior leader at NASA in charge of integrating the Space Station Program, she took several leadership courses, but was dissatisfied with their “head-only” approach, knowing that the body has to be involved in enduring change. It became clear that integrating science and the physical, energetic practices from the dojo into leadership development was her work to do. For more than 25 years, she’s brought this integrated approach to developing leaders in top companies all over the world. In 2012, she founded the Institute for Zen Leadership, combining the depth of embodied Zen training together with the most essential leadership skills for our time.

Ginny Jiko Whitelaw is a Zen master, teacher, and writer. She is the author of four books, including The Zen Leader and award-winning, Resonate – Zen and the Way of Making a Difference. Together with her psychologist husband, Mark Kiefaber, she developed the FEBI®, which measures four patterns in the nervous system that link mind, body and behaviors. She holds a Ph.D. in biophysics, B.S. in Physics, B.A. in Philosophy and a 5th degree black belt in Aikido.


With thanks to Ginny Whitelaw for supporting the SDF’s Festival of Learning and Development 2021