noun. One who facilitates leadership experiences for Ariel. synonyms; thought leader, guide, guru.

Nan Crawford

Nan Crawford

San Francisco, CA


  • US West Coast


Nan Crawford is an expert in leadership and performance — helping visionary leaders shine in high-stakes presentations and high-impact conversations. She has coached numerous clients to advance to VP, SVP and C-level roles. Nan has helped clients write and deliver powerful presentations for boards of directors, major industry conferences, funding pitches that have raised millions of dollars, TED, The Clinton Global Initiative, The State Department, The White House and The Colbert Report.

She has been featured in Fast Company magazine and The New York Times calls her work “inspirational”. As a keynote presenter, Nan has shared the stage with Dan Pink, David Allen, Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, Peter Block, Bill Strickland, Steve Ballmer, and Anna Deveare Smith.

Training Experience

For over 20 years Nan has coached executives, conducted leadership development programs and delivered keynote presentations for organizations such as: Autodesk, Boeing, Dolby, Fidelity Investments, Google, Target, USAA, UC Berkeley’s GSB, Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School

Business Experience

Nan leads her own coaching and training business specializing in coaching bold women leaders step onto a bigger stage. In addition to a long client list with organizations and individuals, Nan has worked with The Bridgespan Group, Packard Foundation, Rudolf Steiner Foundation, World Pulse and V-DAY on issues of economic, environmental and social justice. She is based in San Francisco and Sonoma County California.

Theater Experience

  • Accomplished director and choreographer.
  • Founder and Artistic Director of the improvisational ensemble Pacific Playback Theatre. Playback Theatre is an interactive improvisational format designed to increase empathy and connection.
  • Favorite roles include Desdemona in Othello and Kate Nickleby in Nicholas Nickleby with Compass Theatre in Denver, Maria in Vaclav Havel’s The Memorandum and Pompey in Measure for Measure with Contemporary Shakespeare Co. in San Francisco.

Education and Credentials

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Theatre, cum laude honors, from the University of Texas at Austin
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Organizational Development & Transformation from California Institute of Integral Studies

Sample Coaching Assignments

  • Long term engagement with the youngest partner in a leading consulting firm. Worked to help client become more confident and assert more of his initiatives in the organization. Nan helped him build trusted relationships with CEOs of major foundations and President Obama’s Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan.
  • Coached two female VPs for a major client in the Entertainment Industry on how to increase their presence and influence at high-stakes meetings with the CEO and presidents of other divisions, as well as how to develop deeper relationships. Following the engagement, both women were promoted to the Executive Vice President positions for their divisions.
  • Coached highly regarded Subject Matter Expert at major consulting firm who had been nominated for Partner, but was facing concern from several Partners about his ability to build trust with C-level clients. Nan helped him increase skills to deliver his ideas with greater confidence and conviction, bring a more dynamic vocal range and inspire trusted relationships. Not only was he offered the Partner position, but within a year, while continuing to work with Nan, he was promoted to VP.
  • Coached the founder and president of a social venture in preparation for a prestigious TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) talk. Nan elicited her client’s pivotal stories and co-wrote the speech. Following the presentation, one of the conference organizers said to her client, “You’ve raised the bar for TED talks.” Nan has since coached numerous presenters for TEDx talks as well.
  • Nan has coached women leaders from Columbia, Bolivia, Nepal, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Philippines and the U.S. to present at the State Department and The Clinton Global Initiative on their global work for women and girls with WorldPulse.com.
  • Coached several executive directors of non-profit organizations to build stronger staff relationships, lead high-impact conversations with their Boards of Directors, and prepare for funding pitches that have raised millions of dollars.