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Palena Neale

Global Leadership Coach, with NGO experience


Palena has over 20 years of experience working with UN, NGO, government, private sector and academic partners, on sexual and reproductive health, HIV and AIDS, gender, women’s empowerment and leadership development in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. She is highly experienced in the design, delivery and evaluation of capacity-building interventions in leadership and management.


Palena is the founder of unabridged – a leadership development practice providing bespoke coaching, mentoring and learning interventions to support individuals achieve greater personal, professional and social impact. She is an ACC-accredited coach and runs a leadership coaching programme for women in global development who want to advance social progress. 


She is the founder of Mentoring Exchanges – a mentoring program that matches international development professionals in low-resource settings with global executives and academics – with successful programmes run in India and numerous francophone African countries. 


Palena lectures on MBA programmes and Masters’ courses in Management, Leadership, and Organisational Behaviour in France and the UK. She also serves as Faculty at the UN Staff College where she teaches on topics including emotional intelligence, communication, and performance management for UN leaders. She has a PhD in Gender and International Relations, and has conducted post-doctoral research on employee engagement in mission-based organisations. 


Palena is passionate about leadership development in individuals, organisations, communities and societies, and she regularly designs and delivers workshops on leveraging and leading with resilience. 


Palena speaks English and French. She is a regular contributor for Forbes and Harvard Business Review and is a featured guest on numerous podcasts. 

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