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Training for Pragmatic Leadership

Who We Are:


Samuel B. Bacharach
Co-Founder and Director of Program Development

Sam Bacharach is the McKelvey-Grant Professor of Labor Management at Cornell University’s ILR School. He is the Director of ILR’s New York City based Institute for Workplace Studies as well as the Director of the Smithers Institute and the director of the New York City-based Master of Professional Studies. He received his BS in economics from NYU and his MS and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

For the last 10 years, Professor Bacharach has focused on bridging theory and practice. Integrating his earlier work on politics, negotiation, and complex organizations into his studies of the workplace, Sam has established his own unique perspective on proactive leadership. Sam is the author and editor of over 100 articles and over 20 books, including his two most influential works, Get Them on Your Side: Win Support, Convert Skeptics, and Get Results (2005) and Keep Them on Your Side: Leading and Managing for Momentum (2006). His work has been reviewed by The New York Times, Fast Company, HR Magazine, CIO Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, Leadership Excellence, and Harvard Management Update.

Working with eCornell, Samuel has developed a dynamic 10-course leadership training certificate for high potentials, subscribed to by many Fortune 500 companies.

Among the organizations trained in his pragmatic leadership approach are: Computer Sciences Corporation, PepsiAmericas, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, March of Dimes, Wal-Mart Stores, Citigroup, International Monetary Fund, Mellon Financial, Starbucks, BASF, BMC Software, Boeing, Inter-Continental Hotels Group, Chubb, Nintendo, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Devon Energy, TeleTech, and Gap, Inc.

Yael S. Bacharach
Co-Founder, Executive Director and Training Director

Yael Bacharach is a practicing psychotherapist and coach. Having spent much of her career trying to combine the techniques of psychotherapy with the practical tools of coaching and having worked as a consultant and presenter in different organizational contexts, Yael believes that many of the obstacles faced in the workplace stem from the dynamics of relationships among leaders, followers, supervisors, subordinates, colleagues, and coworkers. To overcome these obstacles and move ahead proactively, supervisors, leaders, and coworkers must create a dynamic atmosphere where reflection and dialogue assist in overcoming both inner and external blocks. After 20 years of practice she has developed a series of techniques and modalities which help individuals overcome blocks and move ahead proactively.

Yael Bacharach has worked as a counselor in the military. She regularly consults with hospitals and clinics, and has developed a workplace intervention program in conjunction with the Smithers Institute at Cornell University and The Israel Institute of Technology (Technion).

Peter A. Bamberger
Senior Academic Affiliate Director of Surveys and Research

Peter A. Bamberger is Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration, Tel Aviv University, and senior research scholar at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University. He has been serving as Associate Editor of the Academy of Management Journal since 2007.

Current research interests include peer relations and helping processes in the workplace, and employee emotional wellbeing, and HR Strategy. Co-author of Human Resource Strategy (with Ilan Meshulam Sage, 2000) and Mutual Aid and Union Renewal (with Samuel Bacharach and William Sonnenstuhl , Cornell Univ. Press, 2001), Bamberger has published over 70 referred journal articles in such journals as Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, and Personnel Psychology. He received his Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Cornell University in 1990.

Stuart M. Basefsky
Information and Technology Specialist

Stuart M. Basefsky is a renowned information specialist and lecturer/trainer who focuses on gathering and customizing essential facts and research in support of leadership, public policy, work and business needs. Most notable is his work as Director of the IWS News Bureau of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in the New York City Office of the ILR School/Cornell University. He is also an award winning teacher who developed a unique course entitled, "HR Online Research and Reporting Methods for Executive Decision-making" in collaboration with the Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies. He consults on these matters with the European Union and other international intergovernmental organizations as well as with leading business schools such as ESCP Europe and the University College Dublin School of Business. His career has been primarily at Duke University and Cornell University where he continues to work. Basefsky holds a bachelor's degree in international affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a master’s degree in international studies and education from Duke University, and a master’s degree in information and library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also has two years of legal training at the University of Colorado Law School.

Chris Halladay
Trainer and Higher Education Consultant

Chris holds a Masters of Organizational Behavior from Brigham Young University. He has been involved in leadership development in higher education for more than 20 years. Before coming to Cornell, Chris was Director of Organizational Development at the Center for Public Service Development and Training at Western Washington University. At Cornell, he is responsible for Organizational Development for Faculty and Staff, Workforce Policy and Labor Relations, Career Planning & Development, and Learning Management and Technology.

Chris earned his BA in International Relations. He holds certifications in SYMLOG, PI (Predictive Index), Power and Systems: The Organization Workshop, the Haygroup’s ECI (Emotional competency Indicator), Arbinger Institute: Leadership and Self Deception, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). He is a member of National Consortium for Continuous Improvement (NCCI) in Higher Education and a coach for Cornell’s Executive MBA and other executive courses. Of late he has been able to assist in building programs connecting U.S. universities with community building opportunities in Central America.

Kathryn L. Burkgren
Trainer and Higher Education Consultant

Kathryn L. Burkgren is the director of Organizational Development for Faculty & Staff at Cornell University. She works with academic and administration units to deliver results in the area of organizational development and effectiveness. She partners with college, division and department leaders to build engaged teams and develop staff with a focus on high performers and high potentials enabling units to more effectively lead and manage change and align priorities, goals and deliverables towards the accomplishment of the university mission and strategic plan.

Dr. Burkgren designs, facilitates and delivers leadership and management development programs. Her passion is working with individuals, leaders, teams and organizations to continuously develop with the overall goal being to create strategically aligned sustainable leadership. Her OE and OD work is built on 14 years of work in the areas of marketing, communications and administration, which includes six years working with the Cornell University Building & Properties Board of Trustee Committee.

Kathy holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University in educational psychology and organizational behavior. She practices at Cornell and in for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. In July 2010 she was asked to serve president for the National Consortium of Continuous Improvement (NCCI) in Higher Education.

Kathy earned her undergraduate degree at Iowa State University in Education and Journalism, and holds certifications in Low Ropes, PI (Predictive Index), Power and Systems: The Organization Workshop, the Haygroup’s ECI (Emotional Competency Indicator), Arbinger Institute: Leadership and Self Deception, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicate (MBTI). In July 2011 she was voted to serve a two-year team president of the National Consortium for Continuous Improvement (NCCI) in Higher Education, a group that focuses on continuous improvement, change and innovation. She is an executive coach for the Executive MBA and MBA Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management Education Programs, National Grocers Association, and National Association of Convenience Stores through the Food and Industry Management System.

Edward J. Lawler
Senior Academic Affiliate and Advisory Board

Edward J. Lawler is the Martin P. Catherwood Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations, Professor of Organizational Behavior and Sociology at Cornell University. Before joining the faculty of Cornell in 1994, he was a member of the sociology faculty at the University of Iowa for 22 years, where he became the Duane C. Spristersbach Professor of Liberal Arts in 1990.

Lawler has authored or co-authored three books and over 60 articles, and edited or co-edited over 20 volumes of the annual series, Advances in Group Processes. Most recently, his book, Social Commitments in a Depersonalized World (2009) won the 2010 James Coleman Best Book Award from the Rationality and Society Section of the American Sociological Association.

He served as Dean of Cornell University’s ILR School from 1997-2005, chaired the University of Iowa’s Department of Sociology (1983-89) and was President of Research Committee (42) on Social Psychology of the International Sociological Association (1998-2002).

Dr. Lawler earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from California State University, Long Beach and Los Angeles, respectively, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Andrew Doyle
Advisory Board

Andrew Doyle is a Senior Vice President and Head of Compensation, Benefits, and Technology for OppenheimerFunds, Inc, where he is responsible for the strategy, design and administration of the firm’s various rewards plans. Prior to joining OppenheimerFunds, he was most recently Head of Rewards and Information Services for the Global Wealth Management Group at Merrill Lynch. During his career at Merrill Lynch, Andy had extensive overseas experience, including being Head of HR for the Pacific Rim Region, based in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to his 10 years with Merrill Lynch, Andy was employed with the Toshiba Corporation, based in Tokyo, where he helped in their efforts to set up an HR infrastructure for their overseas affiliates. Andy is active in the Japanese community in Bergen County and is a volunteer youth soccer coach in Glen Rock, NJ, where he resides with his wife and two children.

Jack Goncalo
Academic Affiliate

Jack Goncalo joined the School of Industrial and Labor Relations as an Assistant Professor in August 2004. He received his Ph.D. in Business Administration in 2004, an M.S. in Organizational Behavior in 2001 and a B.A. in Psychology in 1999, all from the University of California at Berkeley.

He conducts research on group processes and performance, particularly group creativity and the quality of group decision making. Although most research in Organizational Behavior emphasizes the value of being a "team player" his research suggests that in order to spark creativity, organizations should emphasize individualistic norms and individual achievement. He co-edited the book Research on Managing Groups and Teams: Creativity in Groups (vol. 12). His research has been published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Management Science, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin and the European Journal of Social Psychology. It has also been featured on CNN, Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report, Fast Company and Fortune.

Susan F. Alevas, Esq.

Susan F. Alevas, Esq is an engaging management/training consultant and a principled private attorney licensed to practice law in the states of New York and Florida.

Ms. Alevas specializes in the areas of employee/labor relations, budgeting, contract negotiations, conflict resolution, adjudication of employee grievances, recruitment and staffing, workplace ethics, HRIS operations (including the design, testing and implementation of a customized company-wide system), performance management, staff development, succession planning and benefits administration.

As an adjunct instructor at Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Ms. Alevas teaches a variety of in-person and online courses in human resources, law and management‑development topics and programs. She also teaches legal and human resources graduate courses at New York University and post-graduate education law for the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Through the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Ms. Alevas is a trained mediator for disputes involving employment-discrimination claims, and she has published articles pertaining to sexual harassment, workplace ethics and employee relations.

Dana R. Vashdi, Ph.D.
Academic Affiliate, Trainer and Survey Coordinator

Dana Vashdi is a lecturer at the Department of Public Administration and Policy at The University of Haifa, Israel. Dana’s research and teaching focuses on teamwork and team management as well as employee well-being, organizational climate and healthcare policy. Her expertise includes enhancing learning in different types of teams.

Dr. Vashdi has published articles in a wide variety of academic journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Human Resource Management Journal and the British Medical Journal. Dana has worked in numerous organizational settings (armed forces, hospital/medical, high-tech) helping teams improve their effectiveness.

Dana earned a B.A. in Psychology and Statistics, from Tel Aviv University, a M.A. (Cum Laude) and a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology form the Technion – the Israel Institute of Technology. Dana has also done postdoctoral work at Cornell’s ILR School.

Yael Dredsner
Creative Director & Designer

Ms. Dresdner is a versatile Creative Director and Designer who melds art with commerce, providing creative visual solutions that advance clients’ business needs. She has worked with clients in diverse sectors such as financial/corporate, non-profit and arts organizations, PR firms and publishing. As a design and marketing consultant, she helps clients define their message and create a compelling experience for their target audience.

As the Creative Director for BLG, Ms. Dresdner has developed the BLG branding system and applied it across all print and digital media. She continues to help in the development and design of training materials, manuals and various publications.

Ms. Dresdner has done work for UBS, Prudential Financial, Kennedy Center, Georgetown University, International Securities Exchange, McGraw Hill, Friends of Yad Sarah, Music Festival of India, Economic Analysis Group, The History Factory and Studio 208, among others. She holds a B.A. in Visual Communications from George Washington University.

Dan Shuta
Visual Development & Interactive Design

Dan Shuta currently resides in Austin, TX as a freelance artist and multimedia developer. Dan's experience includes a position as an adjunct Senior-level Flash instructor at Syracuse University (Dan's Alma mater), as an animator for Richard Linklater's A Scanner Darkly, and as a support specialist for Apple's professional creative software suite. Dan has also worked for nearly a decade as an illustrator, animator and developer for Samuel Bacharach, Cornell University and eCornell.

Dan has shown paintings and audio/visual work at vetted gallery shows and performances in Austin and New York, placed in several festivals for music videos and short animation, and has contributed a unique introduction to physical computing in Douglas Easterly's Best Practice: The Pros on Adobe Flash. He has assisted as artist/animator, writer, post production and crew for multiple short film and animation projects in Austin, as well as lead live videographer for Austin's TXRD roller-derby league. Dan also enjoys experimenting with musical software and gadgetry, DIY electronics, and photography.

Dan works within the Bacharach Learning Group as web and application developer. He works closely with Samuel Bacharach and BLG, crafting illustrations and concept visualization for printed and digital materials.