Maya Bernstein

Maya Bernstein believes in the power of individuals and groups to adapt, and to creatively respond to challenges and opportunities they face in their work.

Maya Bernstein

She draws on her expertise in Adaptive Leadership, Design Thinking, improv theater tools, and story-telling to create unique environments in which participants become willing to take risks, and experiment with new ways of thinking and behaving. She is the founding co-director of Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership’s Certificate in Facilitation, where she co-designed the curriculum and is on faculty. Maya is the founding co-director of and an Associate at UpStart Lab, an incubator that supports innovation in nonprofit settings. In her decade of work at UpStart, she helped build the organization from inception to a now-thriving national nonprofit organization; she offered content design for nascent nonprofits, and built the organization’s consulting branch, working with established institutions to train them to use best practices from the innovation sector and adapt accordingly. She is currently on faculty of the Wexner Foundation, teaching leadership to graduate students and lay leaders; the Masa Leadership Center, a global leadership training program for young adults; and Yeshivat Maharat, the only orthodox Rabbinical school for women in the world. Maya publishes widely, online and in print, on the topic of innovation and change. She has lived and worked in Israel, Belarus, China, and Germany. She graduated Phi Betta Kappa, Summa Cum Laude from Columbia College and has a Master’s Degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, and is a 2012 recipient of the Covenant Foundation’s Pomegranate Prize. Maya and her husband live in Yonkers with their five children. In stolen pockets of time she swims, juggles, and writes poetry.