Why Catherine Robinson-Walker


Catherine Robinson-Walker is well-known as a leadership expert, executive coach, author, Enneagram devotee, and passionate advocate for developing oneself to better serve and guide others.

As president of The Leadership Studio, Catherine brings more than two decades of senior executive leadership experience in complex health organizations, national commissions, and academic consortia. For many years, she has served esteemed leaders in the healthcare field, including nurse and physician leaders, chief executives, management teams, and other senior staff in national, regional, and local organizations.

Catherine has worked with leaders and teams from a variety of healthcare organizations such as those listed here and on the Clients page.

  • The American Nurses Association
  • SSM Health Care
  • Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC)
  • The National Council of State Boards of Nursing
  • John Muir Health
  • The American Organization for Nursing Leadership (formerly AONE)
  • The National Cancer Institute
  • Sutter Health
  • The Association of California Nurse Leaders
  • The Permanente Medical Group

Catherine’s first book, Women and Leadership in Health Care: The Journey to Authenticity and Power, was a Jossey-Bass health series bestseller. Catherine’s second book, Leading Valiantly in Healthcare, provided a successful approach for healthcare leaders at all levels to grow into successful, resilient leaders. She also authored numerous continuing education courses and articles, including “The Coaching Forum,” a featured column published in Nurse Leader, the official journal of the American Organization of Nurse Executives/American Hospital Association.

As a result of readers’ requests, the “Coaching Forum” columns became the basis for Catherine’s latest book,Leading with Mastery and Heart: The Coaching Companion for Thriving Nurse Leaders.”

Working with nurse leaders has been a special focus for Catherine since 1982. Since then, she has co-created numerous leadership programs and resources for nurses, including:

  • The Network Institute for Patient Care Executives (also known as The Western Network Institute for Nursing Executives, at the University of California, Berkeley)
  • The inaugural leadership program to launch the Florence Nightingale Museum of Nursing building campaign (London)
  • The Center for Nursing Leadership, developed in collaboration with the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (formerly AONE)
  • The Executive Coaching Resource Center, an online coaching resource center for members of the American Organization for Nursing Leadership (formerly AONE)
  • The Executive Coaching Service, sponsored and funded by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing

For 18 years, Catherine was the founding Executive Director of the Network for Healthcare Management, a multinational, 15-university consortium of graduate programs in health management, including:

  • The University of California, Berkeley
  • The Kellogg School at Northwestern University
  • The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania

In addition, she has held Executive Director roles with the Chicago-based Joint Commission and the California Health Collaborative.

Catherine was first recognized as a Master Certified Coach (MCC) through the International Coaching Federation (ICF) in 2005; she has been recertified as an MCC numerous times since then. She has served as a member of the Leadership Team of the renowned Hudson Institute of Coaching since 2001. She is also one of a small number of executive coaches for the National Center for Healthcare Leadership.

In 2019, Catherine was honored by Sigma Theta Tau International when she received the Sigma Honorary Membership designation, given to individuals who have been recognized by their peers for their superior achievement and dedication to the advancement of global health.