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Leadership & Adaptive Capacity   
Healing Collective Trauma & Generative Cultural Renewal

Leadership Consultant and Coach, guiding individuals and communities toward enhanced resilience and adaptive capabilities

Sousan Abadian

“This marvelous book by Sousan Abadian not only throws important light on the painful and dangerous practice of female genital mutilation in many parts of the world, but also provides substantially new understanding of the big role of unfreedom of women, along with the importance of gender inequality in general and on the other side, the powerful place of informational development in the transformation of human lives. It would not be easy to find another book that presents such plentiful – and integrated – assessment of empirical understanding and its conceptual reach. This far-reaching investigation is a truly splendid achievement in advancing critically important human knowledge and its global implications.”
Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in Economics, December 25, 2022

This book combines academic research and sensitive analysis to provide a way forward—cultural renewal.”

—Shanta Devarajan, Professor of the Practice of International Development, Georgetown University

“Excellent, well researched, thought through, and carefully and eloquently put together. An enjoyable read with real-life storytelling, well-balanced opinions, and practical suggestions.

—Omar Mahmoud, Chief Market Knowledge, UNICEF

“The implications of this analysis go beyond those of FGM. It’s a calling to universal love for humanity... beyond geographic or cultural boundaries.”

—Dr. Jerry W. Leach, former Peace Corps Regional Director for the Middle East, Asia, and Pacific

“The depth of Dr. Abadian’s training, experience, and intelligence to pull together the complexities of this issue in all its cultural, historical, ethical, and programmatic dimensions, and her excellent writing style, made my read a real intellectual pleasure. Absolutely brilliant.”

—Peter Kovach, Foreign Service Officer & former Director, International Religious Freedom Office, US Department of State

“Sousan has a huge combination of imagination, intelligence, and concern for empirical data. [Her research on collective trauma and cultural renewal in the Native American context is] pioneering, highly original work that can be used to understand traumas elsewhere.”

– Professor Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate in Economics 

Amartya Sen, Sousan Abadian

About Sousan

Dr. Sousan Abadian has an independent practice, teaching, speaking, and consulting internationally on leadership, innovation, and culture change. She helps her clients cultivate inner exponential technologies to enhance their well-being, creativity, resilience, and performance. 
Sousan holds a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University, an M.P.A. in International Development from Harvard's Kennedy School, and an M.A. in the Anthropology of Social Change and Development, also from Harvard University. She has served as a Fellow at M.I.T.'s Dalai Lama Center for Ethics & Transformative Values as well as at the Harvard Center for Public Leadership. Between 2017-2019, she also served as a Franklin Fellow at the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, focused on preventing violent extremism.

Individual & group Coaching
leadership development & life skills

“I came to Sousan hoping to find clarity about my ideal next career step and I walked away with so much more. Intuitively intelligent, her technique is a unique blend of art and science, helping even the most skeptical of clients take the leap of faith and believe in themselves and find a pragmatic way to achieve their dreams.”

- Rum Ekhtiar

Founder & Partner, Per Se Partners 

Public Speaking & Workshops

Collective Trauma, Leadership Development, & Cultural Renewal

Any presentation can be more fully explored in half or full-day workshops

Mom Trauma Event.jpeg

Webinar Recording

Healing from Collective Trauma
Webinar ​
with Dr. Sousan Abadian,
Dr. Doris Brothers, & Dr. Jack Saul

Recorded on October 9, 2020

Media Features

Can Iranian Women Change the World?

Schar School of Policy and Government
Can Iranian Women Change the World?
Can Iranian Women Change the World?

Can Iranian Women Change the World?

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Post Traumatic Growth (after COVID-19) – Dr Sousan Abadian

Post Traumatic Growth (after COVID-19) – Dr Sousan Abadian

Play Video
Can Iranian Women Change the World?

Can Iranian Women Change the World?

Play Video
Does Collective Trauma Create Destructive Leaders? | Dr. Sousan Abadian

Does Collective Trauma Create Destructive Leaders? | Dr. Sousan Abadian

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"I can’t thank you enough for an informative, inspiring presentation…you gave me hope for our government and a reminder to continue to work on myself, to meet anger with kindness and fear with love."

- Sherry Schiller, Ph.D.

President, Schiller Center for Connective Change

Collective Trauma and Challenges to Diplomacy
The U.S. Department of State Official Blog 
Trails of Tears and Hope
"Collective trauma" takes a ferocious toll on human societies, yet there are pathways to healing.
Harvard Magazine
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