Valerie Brown has studied and practiced mindfulness meditation in the Plum Village tradition since 1995 and was ordained as a member of the Tiep Hien Order by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in 2003. She is an educational consultant and ICF-accredited leadership coach of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in leadership and mindfulness training for educational leaders (www.leadsmartcoaching.com). Valerie’s life and work is a blending of career paths and disciplines, having devoted her early career as an attorney and lobbyist, representing educational institutions. She holds JD, MA, and BA degrees, and has trained extensively with the Center for Courage & Renewal, Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership, and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society/University of Massachusetts Medical School. As a certified Kundalini yoga teacher, she engages the wisdom of the mind-body connection to support vibrant, healthy leaders and teams. She shares her global vision of a society that is interconnected through mindful awareness and compassionate action in her first book, The Road That Teaches: Lessons in Transformation Through Travel (QuakerBridge Media, 2012). Her latest book, co-authored with her friend and colleague, Kirsten Olson, The Mindful School Leader: Practices to Transform Your Leadership and School, offers inspirational portraits and simple practices to promote greater peace and understanding within schools. When not leading retreats or consulting nationally or internationally, she is an advocate for Right Sharing of World Resources, a Quaker micro-credit lending organization and for Mercer Street Friends, a Quaker organization helping families and communities make the journey out of poverty. She lives in the funky artist village of New Hope, PA. about midway between Manhattan and Philadelphia, with her husband. She firmly believes that ice cream and carousel rides are critical to a better world!