Kristen Bakalar

Kristen Bakalar

Talent Developer, Status Quo Disruptor, Workplace Innovator and Diversity Advocator

Kristen has worked in leadership development, human resources, culture, DEI, talent management, career development, employee engagement, and even held a short stint as a Chief People Officer.  She brings a fresh perspective, a human-centered mindset, an innovative spirit, and a synthesized and simplified approach to the work.

Kristen has a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University, where she focused her studies on adult learning, group and team dynamics, and executive coaching.  Since then, her career has provided her with a wealth of experiences that cover the entire HR spectrum:

Training & Development, Career Development Models, Executive Coaching, DEI Strategy and Execution, DEI Training & Coaching, Culture Audits & Definions, Internal Communications, Culture Operationalization, TA Strategies and Process, Employee Engagement, Onboarding, HR Strategy Creation, Instructional Design, Leadership Team Facilitation.

Kristen has been a featured speaker on the topic of DEI at places such as DisruptHR, The Institutes, Gallagher Bassett, SEI, and Bentley University.  She has a pragmatic and accessible approach to all of her work, pushing every company’s HR practices to be constantly- progressing, hyper-relevant, and user-friendly.

As the Head of Talent Development & Internal Communications at Mendix (a Siemens company), Kristen designed and delivered a pandemic-era video series highlighting good leadership practices, which led to a 12% increase in employee engagement.  As the head of L&D at athenahealth, Kristen led the Women Leading Change initiative that became the catalyst to data-driven solutions that increased women’s engagement by 8%.  As a leadership development consultant at BlessingWhite, Kristen led the design of multiple programs, most notably the Leading With Inclusion series, focused on creating more inclusive leaders.  In her most recent role at CarGurus, Kristen designed an equitable career development model that simplified the process by which people advance in their careers, while creating equitable opportunities for all.

In everything she does, Kristen is motivated by the opportunity to make improvements – improvements to herself, improvements in leadership capabilities, improvements in the diversity, equity and inclusion of organizations, improvements in the employee experience, and more.  She can’t help but try to make things better.