MARY STACEY, MA | Founder and Managing Director

Mary is Context’s founder. She combines her role as managing director with select client engagements, innovative projects in leadership development, and university teaching.

Mary’s work with executive leadership teams increases their effectiveness in the midst of escalating complexity. She is known for delivering high-impact change strategies that create a leadership culture and align capabilities with business needs. Her leadership designs have been named best practice in multinational corporations, profiled by the US based Information Management Forum and in Life Science Leader. She also facilitates multi-stakeholder collaborations on global challenges, most recently The Climate Gathering in Europe. In 2014, she initiated the Burren Executive Leadership Retreat, an annual gathering in Ireland of global leaders who are navigating complex systems.

Mary’s articles have appeared in strategy+business magazine, The Change Handbook: Best Methods for Engaging Whole Systems, and the Context Brief: Adaptive Leadership Networks in Global Organizations. She recently presented at the World Institute for Action Learning, the MaRS Discovery District, The Conference Board of Canada, and the Society for Organizational Learning.

Mary holds an MA in Organizational Leadership and Learning and is a certified executive coach qualified to work with a variety of development assessments. She teaches in the Strategic Leadership Advanced program at the University of Toronto, where she also regularly works with delegations from China.

Download Mary’s bio here.
Mary Stacey in the 2015 Distinctive Women Magazine


IMAN MASUD OMAR | Principal Consultant

As a consultant, Iman has worked on cultural transformation projects, organizational development interventions and design and implementation of HR systems and processes. As a facilitator, she specializes in community building and integrates the practice of mindfulness into her work. With a passion for purpose, she delights in facilitating groups towards self-discovery, enabling them to bring their best selves forward and create positive impact.  She is a certified trainer for Positive, Power and Influence® and a certified coach for Hogan Assessments. Recent clients include the World Bank Group, Coca Cola and Reckitt Benckiser.

Iman has more than a decade of global corporate experience in the Consumer Goods and Not-for-Profit sectors. She has worked in various HR and Organizational Development roles delivering People Strategy, HR Functional Effectiveness and Design, HR Technology, Workforce Planning, and People Analytics and Insight.

As a member of HRPA, she completed her Certified HR Professional designation in 2008 and is currently a candidate for the Certified HR Leader Designation (expected October 2018). She also holds the Senior Professional in HR certification (HRCI)

Committed to impacting positive change in South Asia, Iman remains involved in the efforts of the Pakistan Society of Human Resource Management (PSHRM) and serves as a board member at the Asia Pacific Federation for Human Resource Management (APFHRM). She has been invited as a speaker to international HR conferences as part of her role in APFHRM.


REILLY DOW | Associate and Graphic Recorder

Since 2008, Reilly has supported organizations on four continents, creating visual representations in English and Spanish to facilitate greater creativity, depth, and engagement. She uses graphic recording and visual facilitation in support of diverse groups looking to share, understand, and act on important ideas. Her recent clients include the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the International Peace Institute, and the United Nations.

Reilly is a member of the International Forum of Visual Practitioners (IFVP) and the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation (NCDD). She holds an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies, and her research interests include multi-stakeholder dialogue and participatory decision-making in complex environments. Reilly is originally from Canada and has lived in Chile and the US. She is currently based in Mexico City.



Gayle Karen Young is a culture-builder and a catalyst for human and organizational development. She comes from a rich organizational consulting background with both corporate and nonprofit clients. She was in process of becoming a monk when she became an executive instead, taking on the role of Chief Culture and Talent Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation (Wikipedia and its sister free-knowledge projects) until early 2015, when she decided to return to private practice as a rogue provocateur. Born in the Philippines to Chinese parents and raised in the United States, she has a multicultural perspective, an adventurous spirit, and a deep commitment to expanding human freedom.

Gayle works to create dynamic organizational cultures in which people can thrive and thus make greater contributions. She acts as the interface between individuals and the systems within which they work, and fosters the development of both. From high-level strategic thinking to practical implementation, her skills include leadership development, change management, instructional design, training, strategic communications, team building, and personal and organizational transformation. Gayle has a rare capacity to hold multiple perspectives at once, remaining sensitive to the needs of diverse stakeholders and working for higher synthesis. Combining wisdom and warmth with expertise and effectiveness, she elicits trust and inspires transformation. Her clients have ranged from McDonald’s Corporation to Kaiser Permanente to Yale University to Ernst & Young. She is currently based in the United States between San Francisco, California, and Whidbey Island, Washington.



Nelisha’s particular area of expertise is supporting high achieving executives develop self-compassion and emotional integrity in order to increase their resilience and ability to thrive and lead in complex and challenging environments. She brings to her work a wealth of diverse experience, having worked for ten years as a psychologist, family therapist and clinical services manager in the UK’s NHS and Social Care field, five years running a successful restaurant and organic food business and fifteen years working as an executive leadership and team development practitioner across the private and public sectors. He holds a doctorate in Organizational Change and a Masters in Public Sector Management.



Herb Stevenson has been a management consultant for thirty years. He has designed and successfully guided many large scale change initiatives, including the turnaround of nine failing financial institutions. Herb supports executives who are seeking to address strategic issues and bring greater focus to their leadership, and organizational talent development and succession planning to ensure long term leadership capacity. His clients have included Fannie Mae, Hewlett Packard, NASA, and the National Cooperative Bank.

Before becoming a management consultant, Herb was a bank executive for twenty years. During this time he managed five offices specializing in business start-up and rapid growth. As a consultant, he developed a national training program still being used by ten percent of US banks. Herb has published a number of books including Executive Management Guide to an Effective Board of Directors. He recently published A Paradoxical Theory of Change (Gestalt Review, 2010).

Herb served in the Unites States Marine Corps and is a recipient of the George Washington Medal of Honor. He holds an MA in Organizational Psychology and is on the faculties of Cleveland State University at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. He regularly leads Natural Passages nature-based leadership program, and lives with his wife on their ranch in Novelty, Ohio.


SANDRA HAYES, PhD | Associate

Sandra Hayes’s organization learning and change background includes specialization in leadership development, collaborative negotiation strategies, and team building. Some of her clients have been the United Nations, UNICEF, NYC Health and Hospital, Allstate, Citibank, Reuters, American Express, Lucent Technologies, and Columbia Business School.

She earned her Doctorate in Adult Learning and Leadership at Columbia University, where she also earned a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Psychology. She is on the faculty of the Summer Principals Academy at Teachers College, Columbia University. Sandra is a certified facilitator of The Human Element, a course that allows individuals and teams to focus on the underlying causes of behavior that block successful performance.

Sandras’s background in training and facilitation is enhanced by extensive experience in both the corporate and non-profit arenas. For ten years, she was a human resources professional for Westinghouse Broadcasting and Cable, American Health Partners and Reader’s Digest. Moreover, she spent seven years with the US Department of Labor’s Job Corps and for Prep for Prep. 


EDWARD KELLY, PhD | Associate

Edward brings his experience as an adventurer, entrepreneur and researcher to his work as a coach and facilitator in the field of leadership development. A recurring question he deals with is, “how can executives build their internal capacity to match the increasing outer complexity of the environment they are operating in?”

While earning his doctorate, Edward spent a decade researching in the field of adult development. During this period he also eased out of the telecoms business which he had founded in 1995. Prior to that, and while working for an investment bank in Sydney, he organized and participated in The Great Sydney Taxi Ride, raising $350,000 for children’s charities and entering the Guinness Book of Records in 1990 for the longest most expensive taxi ride in history.

Edward holds a PhD in Leadership Development, an MBCA in business and a BA hons in history & politics. In addition, he holds a Chartered Institute of Marketing Certificate (UK) an Integral Theory Certificate (ITC) and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) in London.



For 30 years Grady has been the principal of McGonagill Consulting, specializing in building capacity for leadership, learning, and change. He has been a key adviser to McKinsey & Company in the development of a culture of learning and coaching. He helped the Firm develop innovative team leadership practices that have been adopted world-wide. In addition, he designed a high-impact coaching workshop that has become part of the Firm’s required curriculum. He was recently selected by the Bertelsmann Foundation to conduct a study on “Leadership Development in the U.S.: Principles and Patterns of Best Practice.”

Grady’s workshops on leadership have been offered through M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management and the Harvard-affiliated Center for Management Research. Grady holds an EdD from Harvard University, an MA from Stanford University, and a BA from the University of Texas. Grady is a contributor to the Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, edited by Peter Senge et al. (1994), the author of a chapter in Executive Coaching, edited by C. Fitzgerald and J. Berger (2002), and the co-author of Leadership and Web 2.0 (2012).


MARIE LEGAULT, PhD | Associate

Marie is dedicated to helping leaders and organizations develop to their full potential for a sustainable future. Since 1996 she has helped public and private organizations in diverse sectors attain their business objectives. She designs and delivers integrated organizational and leadership development initiatives that support organizations’ visions, values, objectives, and strategies. She facilitates learning and transformative processes, founded on leadership and adult development principles, to accelerate the developmental process and optimize performance.

As a leadership coach, Marie guides and supports leaders and executive teams as they develop on three leadership levels – personal, organizational, and systemic. Her coaching has supported leaders develop and implement strategic plans, and energize them into action to lead change initiatives, to think systemically, to communicate effectively, to build relationships and teams, and to reflect on their leadership style and its impact on others.

Marie is a dynamic bilingual speaker. She has a PhD in Human and Organizational Systems, a Master of Arts in Leadership and Training, a Bachelor of Commerce, an Executive Coaching Graduate Certificate, and a Professional Training & Development Certificate. Marie is an Academic Supervisor in the School of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University.


SAMINA HASHMI | Program Director

In her role with Context, Samina supports our global team of Associates and oversees the offerings within our Learning Spaces. Recent designs have included Creating Shared Vision through the Practice of Action Inquiry with Air Canada, and the DNA Cafe Action Learning program for Genzyme-Sanofi, and Theory U with the Arts Services Organizations of Ontario.

An engineer by training, Samina is an accredited LEED Green Associate. A change catalyst by nature, and connected with M.I.T.’s Presencing Institute, Samina integrates a myriad of methodologies including Appreciative Inquiry, Complexity Theory, Action Learning, World Café, Open Space Technology, and Integrated Design Process.

For almost a decade, Samina Hashmi worked internationally with Engineers Without Borders. As the Director of Leadership & Organizational Learning, she led transformational change and organizational development initiatives and supported self-organizing communities. Having worked with technical, non-technical and multidisciplinary teams, she harmonizes a unique right and left brain approach.

Most recently Samina was recognized by the Women’s Executive Network as one of “Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women.” In 2006 she received the Honours Medal for Outstanding Leadership from Carleton University, and in 2005 she was the recipient of the YWCA Women of Distinction Award.