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Jo Ilfeld, Ph.D., PCC

Jo Ilfeld, Ph.D., PCC

Executive Coach

“As an executive leadership coach, I help C-suite leaders, executives and high potential managers develop the flexibility, skill and frame of mind to meet the challenges of the next five, ten, twenty years — and beyond.”


Executive Coaching

As an executive coach, Jo helps senior leaders develop self-awareness, identify patterns of behavior, and uncover opportunities to radically improve performance and results. She partners with executives to articulate their vision and better engage their teams.

Jo’s focus on four core areas of leadership development – leading with clarity of vision, mastering the art of results, developing influence and deepening executive presence – enhances the effectiveness of individuals, teams, and organizations. She guides clients in creating a clear vision and strategic plan and then coaches them to engage their staff, clients, and other stakeholders in that vision. With the ongoing feedback and accountability that Jo provides, executives sharpen their skills and learn through strategic action.

With a Ph.D. in business, Jo is well-versed in the science of leadership and working with technical leaders to gain an understanding of that science. As a result, they strengthen their relationship building skills and elevate their leadership effectiveness.

Executives today face the challenges of an increasingly complex market and workplace. Jo works with them to shift their approach to managing time, tasks, and people and build a culture of purpose, autonomy, and empowerment. Her clients experience more productive communications and greater interpersonal fluency, transforming their ability to motivate and inspire others.


Jeanne Adler

CFO, Huneeus Vitners

My coaching with Jo has been transformative and fundamentally changed my life.

My leadership role as CFO demanded a better way of managing my work relationships and dealing with people who don’t operate like me at work. And my emotional reactions weren’t helping me. My coaching with Jo has been transformative and fundamentally changed my life. I now understand the way I process information and interactions and can think more clearly about how to respond, allowing me to manage any situation more effectively. I’m also more alert to my behavior and capable of stopping myself and centering before going down the wrong path or overreacting; I’m not as personally offended or affected by others’ behavior. I would definitely recommend Jo to other executives who want to increase their leadership skills and presence.

Professional Experience

Jo’s career began as a management consultant in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ boutique marketing wing with Fortune 500 clients including Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, Bayer and Monsanto. 

During her consulting engagements, she noticed that working with the most senior executives and C-suite leaders was necessary to achieve real and sustainable change. This discovery led Jo to pursue her Ph.D. in Business, adding documented credibility to her existing expertise in executive coaching.

For the last 10 years, Jo has worked with C-suite executives and senior leadership teams in biotech, tech, and fast-growth businesses. Working with these individuals causes the greatest ripple effect in corporate efforts to transform cultures, increase engagement, and change growth trajectories.

Jo’s clients are executives from leading Bay Area companies, including eBay, BioMarin, Santen, Theravance, PayPal, Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California as well as many small to medium-sized companies and non-profit organizations.


Jo earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale College and a Ph.D. in Business from the UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.


Her coaching credentials include a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation and a Certified Integral Coach through New Ventures West. She is also a certified practitioner of The Grove’s Team Performance Model and the Leadership Circle, as well as DISC, NBI, EQi and the Enneagram leadership assessments.

Jo is committed to developing future business leaders and coaches. She serves as a Professor of Leadership Intelligence at Sonoma State University, an executive coach at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and adjunct faculty for the New Ventures West coach training program.

Michal Wroczynski

CEO & Founder, Fido Labs

… we are already putting her strategies into action to make tough decisions and accelerate our product launch.

After working with Jo as my coach, I knew she would be the perfect person to help my team overcome some fears around failures and collaboration. Jo quickly understood the issues I was up against with my team. She designed and executed the perfect combination of team-building and strategic intervention. My team said that it was the most helpful retreat they’ve had and we are already putting her strategies into action to make tough decisions and accelerate our product launch.

It’s time.

Achieve measurable change in your leadership performance and capacity.

Get in touch with Jo