VALERIE D’COSTA is a certified executive leadership coach, facilitator, diversity equity and inclusion (DEI) strategist, international development expert, and lawyer. Over the past 29 years, she has become recognized for forging dialogue and partnerships across diverse constituencies, launching and growing inclusive international coalitions, and coaching high-performing leaders -particularly people of color - to succeed and thrive. Her career has focused on technology as a tool for economic and social inclusion and sustainable development.
Valerie founded Circle Coaching and Consulting LLC (Circle) to use her experience as a leader and woman of color, and facilitator to help her clients increase job satisfaction and resilience; develop an authentic and centered leadership presence; exercise inclusive leadership that embraces diversity as a strength; be calm and effective in dynamic work environments; elicit stronger team/Board performance; communicate and manage conflict gracefully; balance professional and personal goals; and deepen confidence, awareness, and self-esteem.
Valerie also founded Circle to champion greater diversity, equity and inclusion around the world. She facilitates tough conversations, through which self awareness, mutual understanding and shared goals emerge. She supports leaders in organizations to make bold steps needed to dismantle structures of inequity and bias, and move towards workplaces that accept and celebrate everyone.
Known for her warm yet direct communication style, positive approach, and calm presence, Valerie has a special interest in helping high potential women - particularly women of color - become strong, centered leaders who excel at forging connections and producing results.
Valerie’s excellent cross-cultural communication skills and experience working around the world make her a natural choice to facilitate teams, coach leaders and advise organizations in any country.
Prior to founding Circle, Valerie was Chief of Community Engagement at the Wikimedia Foundation, supporting the free knowledge Wikimedia movement. Before that, Valerie was the Executive Director of infoDev at the World Bank. infoDev has helped 150,000 technology entrepreneurs and innovative startup enterprises in over 55 countries gain access to capital, markets and business mentors. Valerie designed and led a landmark Women’s Economic Empowerment Program at the World Bank to grow women-led businesses around the world. Prior to the World Bank, Valerie led the Singapore Government’s international technology policies; moderating complex multilateral negotiations. For her efforts, she was awarded a Public Administration Medal by the Singapore Government.
In 2016, Valerie gave a TEDx talk entitled “Think Circles, Not Pyramids” on how international development efforts could have a greater impact on the poor and marginalized.
Valerie is certified by the International Coach Federation via Georgetown University’s Leadership Coaching Certification Program. She holds law degrees from the National University of Singapore and University College. London; an Executive MBA from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business; and a Certificate in Building Innovative Organizations from the UC Berkeley Center for Continuing Education. Valerie is personally committed to causes of supporting women in the workplace; race relations; and fostering equitable and inclusive societies. She volunteers at Higher Achievement and Little Friends for Peace. She is a member of the Washington D.C. Interfaith Network (WIN) & Asian American/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP).
“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort, and choosing to practice our values rather than just profess them”