Dr. Robin Denise Johnson

Many people say that people should focus on one thing — get in a lane and stay in it.

I disagree — for me.

I cannot imagine my life without the full and glorious range of experiences and encounters I have had by being open to the world’s diversity.

I believe life is a journey — not just a goal or destination. And I enjoy that journey.

From my perspective AND is in our DNA.

I am open to the AND.

— Robin Johnson

Robin Denise Johnson, Ph.D.

Robin Denise Johnson earned her doctorate in Organizational Behavior at Harvard. She wrote an award-winning dissertation on diversity, work-life balance and empowerment. Her other degrees are in International Relations and World History from Brown University, and an MA in Social Psychology from Harvard. She integrates her research-education with her professional experience in her multicultural leadership development programs. She is an educator, author and coach — working with people managers and leaders in major corporations, non-profits, and academia. She continues to work with UCLA-Anderson and UVA-Darden as faculty / faculty director in a number of executive education programs, and was a visiting professor with Ozyegin Graduate School of Business in Istanbul, Turkey. Prior to graduate school she worked overseas in international finance with Chase, McDonald’s Corporation, and Lloyds Merchant Bank.

Robin Denise Johnson was born and raised in Washington, D.C. and attended McKinley Tech High School. She worked summers at the Smithsonian Institute, went overseas for the first time as an AFS exchange student in Belgium where she attended the Koninklijk Atheneum in Tielt, Flanders, Belgium and returned to Brown University to complete her undergraduate university studies. She has maintained her strong commitment to intercultural understanding throughout her career. As an African-American female child of Civil Rights activists, she is also committed to diversity-inclusion for personal as well as equity reasons. As part of her work-life balance, she is a dancer, developer of Cardio-Tribal Style (CTS) dance, and director-choreographer of Zaltana.

Robin has been called a Renaissance woman. She is a naturally interdisciplinary — bringing together and synthesizing ideas from her wide-ranging interests and experiences.

Hood to Harvard | Grew up in Black DC and attended Ivy-League universities. As a result, she is comfortable with a people from a wide range of socio-economic and educational strata.

Local and Global | Interested in the environment and life in the desert of California where she lives — and has traveled, worked, or lived in over 70 countries at last count. While fluent in her native tongue — English — she also speaks-studied several other languages (French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Malay, and Turkish) and continues to listen-dance to world music.

Research and Practice | Committed to making quality research useful for practicing managers.

Numbers and People | Ex-finance professional for 10 years plus multiple statistics classes — uses numbers to help people quantify their contributions to their organizations so they stay motivated by being able to mark their progress. Metrics motivate!

Business Creative | Dance of Leadership was born by combining insights from the dance arts with her business school teaching.

Corporate / NonProfit / Education | Works in all three areas of practice when it comes to teaching people to be both kind and effective at work.

Expressive Introvert | By personality, an introvert who is selectively sociable and is also as comfortable speaking to / teaching large groups as she is with one-on-one coaching / mentoring.

Learner and Teacher | From childhood, loved learning new ideas and sharing them when it would assist others.

Grounded and Spiritual | Raised southern Baptist (preacher’s kid) with a deep interest in healthy living, world religions-spirituality (New Thought), daily meditation (Vipassana) and esoterica (studied and teaches psychological astrology, numerology, and tarot).

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

— Helen Keller


Dr. Robin’s Birkman
Strategic Blue Usual Behaviors and Expectations; with a healthy dose of process / data-oriented Yellow organizational focus; Anti-Authoritarian Creative Interests (Box-buster / Paradigm Shifter), Selectively Sociable people-orientation

Dr. Robin’s Top 5 Clifton Strengths
Individualization, Strategic, Learner, Achiever, Activator

Dr. Robin’s Top 5 Values Character Strengths
Creativity, Curiosity, (Love of) Learning, (Wise) Judgement, Love

Dr. Robin’s MBTI
INTP => Expressive Introvert, Accepting T, Early-Starting P

Credentials Summary


Ph.D. | Harvard | Organizational Behavior
M.A. | Harvard | Social Psychology / MBA Year 1 Honors Level
B.A. | Brown | International Relations / History


Birkman Master Certified Professional (Highest)
College of Executive Coaching
— Coaching Intensive (44 hours)
— Strengths-Based Coaching (52 hours)
Conflict Dynamics Profile
Denison Leadership Profile
Denison Organizational Dynamics
Intercultural Conflict Inventory
Intercultural Development Inventory
Korn Ferry VOICES 360 Feedback
Korn Ferry Leadership Architect
MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) Step II
Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts / Ouch! Your Silence Hurts
StrengthsFinders (Clifton)
Values in Action (VIA) Character Strengths