Kirsten Henning
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Leadership Training & Communications

Leadership training & communications



Let's Work Together

I design and execute leadership trainings and communications strategy for a variety of organizations—from corporations to nonprofits to Native American tribal entities. I have a perspective that comes from working in multicultural organizations and communities and the experience of leading multi-generational teams. My background allows me to help others develop greater emotional intelligence, a stronger empathy muscle, and the ability to shift their mindset–all of which results in more efficient and joyful teams and work places. 

All of my work is customized, and I also welcome speaking engagements!


  • Branding & identity

  • Crisis communications

  • Storytelling & narrative development

  • Community outreach

  • Facilitation

  • Strategic planning & organizational development


  • Team building

  • Executive coaching

  • Career development

  • Multicultural management

  • Personal storytelling

  • Empathy and nonviolent communications workshops

My Approach: Leadership and Improv

For my trainings and workshops, I use improv comedy as a vital component. In my experience, the core qualities of improvisers, like empathy, collaboration and fearlessness, are also the same ones we need to become authentic leaders. When we improvise, we create something that none of us could have created on our own. Over time, I've developed a belief that life can be this way as well—we don't know how it will unfold but leaders know that no matter what, we will figure it out, together. 

I’ve been studying at the Magnet Theater in New York City since 2013 under some of the most thoughtful and talented improvisers on the planet, including Elana Fishbein and Armando Diaz. I'm trained in improv comedy, musical improv, storytelling, and improv coaching. 

Current & Past Projects

Current and past projects include work with the following:

  • Barnard College, Columbia University

  • New York City Department of Consumer Affairs

  • Funny Girls—The Harnisch Foundation

  • National Grid

  • Girl Scouts of the USA

  • Girl Scouts of Alaska

  • Girl Scouts of Nassau County, New York

  • Girl Scouts of South Carolina Mountains to Midlands

  • Girl Scouts of Western Washington

  • Sealaska Corporation

  • Nisqually Indian Tribe

  • Morgan Howard Communications

  • Alaska Mental Health Trust

  • University of Alaska, Land Management

  • Procter & Gamble

  • Amy Poehler's Smart Girls

  • Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media

  • The White House Project—VoteRunLead

  • USA/NBC TV Network

  • Dartmouth College, Tuck School of Business

  • Baruch College

  • State University of New York, College of Optometry

  • Teachers College Community School, Columbia University

  • Public School 163, New York City

  • Riverdale Country School

  • LEADPrep School

  • Major League Baseball

  • World Baseball Classic

  • Seattle Mariners

  • Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks

  • Seattle Seahawks

  • The Clinton Foundation

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

  • Japan Center for International Exchange

  • Japanese Cultural & Community Center of Washington State

  • Kizuna and Kakehashi Programs キズナ強化プロジェクト

  • Laurasian Institution

  • Northwest Society for Interior Designers

  • TrainTracks Inc.

  • Childhaven

  • Nordic Museum

  • Seattle Art Museum

  • Center for Ethical Leadership

My Favorite Projects

Funny Girls

I am proud of my work as both a writer and instructor for the pilot of Funny Girls, a curriculum that teaches young women leadership skills through improv. From collaboration to empathy to resiliency, we know that the key skills needed for improv are also the same ones for leadership. Funny Girls is run by the Harnisch Foundation, in partnership with the Magnet Theater and Pilobolus Dance Company.


For more than a decade I have worked with indigenous organizations including Sealaska, the regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska with over 22,000 shareholders. I often partner with Morgan Howard Communications, a Native-owned business in the Pacific Northwest. We have worked together on communications and storytelling strategy, from annual reports to a historic campaign to enroll the next generation of tribal members.

Great East Japan Earthquake Recovery Efforts

After the Great East Japan earthquake in March 2011, I spearheaded efforts with the governor, consul general, and nonprofit leaders to create a coalition of 80 community-based organizations and companies in Washington state to raise money and awareness for recovery efforts.

The White House Project

In my role as VP of communications and strategy, I served as brand architect and culture steward at a national nonprofit working to elect women into office. I directed a comprehensive identity and branding process that included cultivating a new internal culture and managing team building and staff retreats. By working alongside trainers, we created leadership training modules and engagement strategy for 15,000 trained alumnae. The organization now exists as VoteRunLead