Our Change & Transition Team
Senior Vice President of Consulting
Jillian Ihsanullah, PhD, is Senior Vice President of Consulting at Linkage. She specializes in working with organizations to build values, people systems, and leadership experiences that accelerate the development and commitment of women, while enlarging talent pipelines.
Jillian has designed and facilitated a wide range of leadership development programs, including classroom experiences, action-learning teams, executive coaching, and executive retreats. Most recently, she integrated her passion for leadership with her expertise in measurement as the architect of Linkage’s Return on Leadership Development system, a unique offering designed to measure the bottom-line impact of leadership development efforts. Her clients include Aldo Shoes, American Airlines, GE Capital, General Motors, John Deere, Lockheed Martin, Mattel, McDonald’s Corporation, Morgan Stanley, Toyota, and The United Nations, to name a few.
Prior to joining Linkage, Jillian earned recognition for excellence in teaching undergraduate psychology courses at Purdue University. She previously worked at the Indianapolis think tank, Hudson Institute; cofounded Thought Labs, a social media consulting company; and ran Decisions That Matter, her own executive consulting and coaching business.
She holds a BA in psychology from Connecticut College and an MS and PhD in industrial/organizational psychology from Purdue University, where her research focused on measurement, decision making, and leadership styles.
Director of Operations & Principal Consultant
Shannon Bayer, JD, is the Director of Operations and a Principal Consultant at Linkage. In this role, she helps organizations to drive business results through improved team effectiveness, effective negotiation, coaching, and innovation.
Shannon specializes in designing, facilitating, and implementing innovation, change leadership, and leadership professional development programs and has led strategic initiatives across a variety of industries, ranging from government to financial services, healthcare, insurance, and consumer products and goods. Notably, she designed and successfully launched Creating an Innovation-Capable Organization in partnership with Linkage partner and innovation expert Stephen Shapiro.
Prior to joining Linkage, Shannon was a Scientific Recruiter for Kforce and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. At Dana-Farber, she coordinated the training and career development of Dana-Farber’s postdoctoral researchers while attending law school at night. She started her own law practice and successfully grew her business using alternative and innovative methods in a challenging economic environment.
Shannon holds a BS in animal science from the University of Vermont and a JD in international law from Suffolk University.
Devon Brown, PhD, is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. He has more than 25 years of experience in coaching; designing, and facilitating leadership development programs; and consulting around strategy and organizational design. Devon’s passion lies in developing individual leaders and working with teams and organizations to solve complex problems.
Devon’s success as a coach and an organization development consultant lies in his ability to listen to the client and ask critical questions. He approaches his work, supporting teams and organizations’ efforts to achieve bottom-line results, from a systems perspective. When Devon works with teams or entire organizations, he begins by looking at how organizational systems interact and influence each other, and how these systems create and contribute to specific issues and strengths of the organization. This approach allows Devon to better understand complex organizational issues, as well as better able to discern root causes of organizational challenges and to develop planned, long-term strategies for those challenges.
Devon has worked in a wide variety of industries, with extensive focus in health care, financial services, energy, and agriculture.
Prior to joining Linkage, Devon was the VP of Leadership Development for eight years at FCC Services—a consulting firm focusing on providing leadership development, talent selection, risk management, insurance management, and claims administration services to a variety of clients in the agricultural sector. In this role, Devon was responsible for managing the leadership development practice area, including executive coaching and leadership development program design, and consulting with clients on strategy development and implementation, organizational design, and strategic talent management.
Devon worked as a faculty member, conducted research, and taught communication and leadership development courses at the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business; the University of Waikato, New Zealand; and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Devon was also the President and Founder of a training and development firm, Bridging the Gap Consulting.
Devon holds a PhD and an MA in Organizational Communication from the University of Colorado and a BA in Conflict Studies from Earlham College. Devon lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife, Amanda, and their two children. When not working, Devon can be found with his family travelling, and often in the mountains, skiing, hiking, climbing, and mountain biking, and at the ocean learning to surf.
Stu Cohen is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. He is a skilled consultant and facilitator, specializing in change and transition leadership, executive coaching, and leadership development. He has over 25 years of experience working as an internal and external consultant with Fortune 100 organizations.
Stu is a seasoned executive coach who is experienced in the design and implementation of leadership development initiatives. He has demonstrated the ability to link change and leadership development initiatives to corporate strategy and individual business unit goals.
Prior to joining Linkage, Stu began his career as an account manager with AT&T, focusing on providing business solutions to C-suite level clients. Later, as Director of Organization Effectiveness with Oxford Health Plans (now United Healthcare), he led the design and implementation of talent development programs and served as an executive coach to leaders throughout the organization. Stu also served as a Vice President at CIGNA Corporation, where he was instrumental in leading the development of an assessment-based talent and leadership development process for the global distribution organization.
Stu has a BA from SUNY Buffalo and completed training at the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science in organization development and effectiveness. He has spoken at numerous conferences on topics ranging from team development and competency-based performance management to building a world-class distribution organization.
Briana Goldman is a Senior Consultant at Linkage. She is passionate about driving a collaborative approach to consulting, working with her clients to co-create shared understanding and generate solutions in Organization Development. She is a key innovator, contributor, and strategist to Linkage’s change management and advancing women and inclusion practices.
Briana is a skilled consultant, facilitator, and coach. She is particularly proud of her work partnering with the Institute of International Education, where she has been central to redesigning the organization to build on its exceptional client service and program management to increase reliability, consulting capability and reach. She created an innovative design for Avanade’s Leadership Program for Women to drive culture change at all levels of the organization. In addition, Briana is leading the development of Linkage’s work on sponsorship; she believes that the greatest opportunity organizations have to promote women and minorities is through an organization-wide commitment to driving executive sponsorship.
Prior to joining Linkage, Briana pursued a mission-driven career path in the world of Jewish non-profits. She led a team of warm-hearted development professionals as the Associate Director of Advancement at Brandeis Hillel Day School. In her role as a Leadership Development Associate at the Jewish Community Federation in San Francisco, she partnered with the board to support an organization restructure and evolve leadership development efforts.
Briana has a master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Counseling from Golden Gate University, and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University, Chico. When you meet Briana, ask her what she’s reading at the moment, or where her last hike was.
Mitchell Nash is a Principal Consultant at Linkage. He has over 20 years of experience leading, facilitating, and supporting large-scale change initiatives. Mitchell’s unique expertise is in facilitating organizational impact and results by using technological, organizational, and leadership development solutions.
Mitchell has coached executives and leaders in Fortune 100 companies to produce significant results using a combination of 360° feedback, strategic business models, and behavior change methods. He combines business acumen with in-depth knowledge and experience of organizational and personal dynamics to develop substantive, long-term solutions with his clients. He has also worked with numerous global organizations to support corporate initiatives such as Six Sigma, mergers and acquisitions, executive team building, and high-potential leadership development. Mitchell’s work is always linked to core strategies and values that lead to better business results.
Prior to joining Linkage, Mitchell held several leadership positions. He was the Managing Director of PDI’s Western Region, where he was responsible for P&L and growth targets. He was also a director at Communispace, where he participated in the development of a groundbreaking application that revolutionized the process for gathering and analyzing consumer insights. Mitchell was a partner with Interaction Associates, where he helped significantly grow the business and establish an international presence for the firm.
Mitchell earned an MA in Counseling Psychology from New York University and has spoken at numerous national conferences on topics such as change and transition, organizational collaboration, and coaching.