My work explores the relationship between leadership, psychology, contemplative practice, and innovation. I work with leaders both individually and in groups, as well as in retreat at our center in Taos, New Mexico. I have a passion for working with those who wish to revitalize or who have an interest in increasing emotional or intuitive intelligence. I am a long-time practitioner of meditation and I enjoy incorporating practices that explore the nature of consciousness into my work.

I also work with the connection between organizational culture and leadership, helping leaders implement culture change. My clients have spanned a broad range of industries, including MJM Creative, Google Fiber, Time Warner Cable, Novo Nordisk, Novartis, AMAG, Havas Media, Campbell Soup, Young and Rubicam, Westminster Choir College, Turnaround for Children, and Insight Communications. 

I lecture and write for audiences in corporate and academic settings including Deloitte Consulting, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Novo Nordisk, Geometry, Time Warner Cable, the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Olin Business School at Washington University. In conjunction with the CEO of Young and Rubicam, I helped to develop and co-led the Young Lions Leadership Program geared towards their high performing leaders.

I am a blogger for the Huffington Post and I have written articles on leadership for Forbes Magazine. I have recently published a book titled Silent Leaders

I am honored to have counterparts in both Brazil and South Africa. Some of my articles have been translated into Portuguese in Huffington Post/Brazil. Retreats in Brazil can be arranged through Sonia Maia. I am also a partner and advisor for Silent Leaders in South Africa, a newly formed organization that brings contemplative practices to leaders in business, government, and education.

In 1995 I co-founded the Center for Advanced Emotional Intelligence (AEI), serving as the Senior Partner for eleven years. In 2006 I founded Princeton Leadership Development (PLD). In 2011 I moved to Taos, New Mexico and founded Contemplative Leadership Development (CLD) so that I could extend my work into a retreat setting.

I have an undergraduate degree in philosophy from the College of Wooster and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Fordham University.

I began my career in the field of international affairs.  I worked for some time in the field of mental health, specializing in the area of trauma.  

I have two children and two grandchildren and presently reside in Taos.


Jan Birchfield, PhD

Jan Birchfield, PhD

Some of my better-known clients in the United States include:

  • Time Warner Cable

  • Campbell Soup Company

  • Novartis

  • Thermo-Fisher Scientific

  • Novo Nordisk

  • Westminster Choir College at Rider University

  • New York City Charter School System

  • Google Fiber

In my business we are moving away from the production of commodities to a service culture, and so human capital is even more important. The kind of leadership required is different than what was needed in the past - flexible, adaptable, self-aware, humble, and inspiring to others. I want to become a more effective leader for this service-based economy.
— Jessica, Chief Operating Officer, Cable Company