Katha Kissman

Personal Information


Areas of Expertise

  • Executive Transitions
  • Roles & Responsibilities
  • Board-Staff Relations
  • Assessments
  • Strategic Thinking & Planning
  • Governance Design & Support

Katha Kissman is an independent consultant based in the greater Chicago, IL area, and has served as a Senior Governance Consultant for BoardSource since 2006. Katha has more than 30 years of experience managing and consulting with nonprofits. Katha has provided individualized board consultation and training and has conducted workshops on governance issues to a variety of organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Lincoln County Community Foundation, and LA Art, among others. In addition to providing governance consulting through BoardSource, Katha also serves as an interim leader, providing a short- or long-term leadership bridge and nonprofit organizational development consulting.

Katha has served as the President & CEO of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Foundation and Leadership America’s leader of leaders—first as executive director in 1996 and 1997 and then as president and CEO in 2000 and 2001. She lived in the United Arab Emirates in 1998 and 1999, where she was the founding director of the American University of Sharjah’s Continuing Education Center. Katha has also lived in Kuwait, where she was on the founding leadership team to establish the American University of Kuwait in 2004. Her other previous leadership positions include director of training and organizational development at the national headquarters of Volunteers of America, managing director of Round House Theatre, assistant managing director for Living Stage at Arena Stage, and sales manager for Nadra K Real Estate.

Katha currently serves or has served with the Office Depot Business Women’s Council, IONA Senior Services, African Continuum Theatre Company, Trans-Arab Research Institute, New Buffalo Railroad Museum, Leadership Montgomery, Berrien County Economic Development Commission, Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce, Maryland State Arts Council, Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, Greentree Shelter for Women, NOW, and Hexagon.

In 2006, Katha authored Taming the Troublesome Board Member and, in 2009, Trouble at the Top: The Nonprofit Board’s Guide to an Imperfect CEO (BoardSource). In 2015, she co-authored (with Beth Gazley, PhD) Transformational Governance: How Association Boards Achieve Extraordinary Change (ASAE Foundation/Jossey-Bass). Katha received a bachelor of science degree in public administration at the School of Public Service at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Katha specializes in:

  • Interim leadership
  • Succession planning & CEO search facilitation
  • Strategic planning
  • Governance & organizational analysis
  • Executive coaching for CEOs, chairs & boards

Contact Katha

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