David serves AvoLead clients as an executive coach and leadership development facilitator. Raised in a Peace Corps volunteer training camp in the U.S. Virgin Islands where his father worked, David developed a passion for working with leaders who are intent on improving the lives of others. The impact of this experience is evident in David’s nurturing coaching style and his dedication to supporting clients as they develop into the leaders they choose to be.
His unique perspective on leadership effectiveness inspires David to work with all of his clients to improve personal branding and executive presence. This starts with the identification and communication of the individual’s unique positive attributes, which enables clients to create a highly recognizable and marketable personal brand. Executive presence is enhanced by choosing a preferred verbal and non-verbal communication style, and then working to foster the proper internal energy needed to model that style and exude the desired high-level executive presence.
David began his career as a software engineer and leadership development trainer at NASA’s Mission Control Center. In addition to his technical duties, he was a pioneer in the introduction of participative management. Within the manned space flight program, David trained and led engineering teams in collaborative leadership and problem solving techniques. This initiative led to significant changes in products, processes, and — most importantly — within people.
His passion for working with leaders dedicated to improving people’s lives is behind David’s work with several highly respected non-governmental organizations. These include the social entrepreneur network Ashoka, World Vision, the Academy for Educational Development, CHF International, the Tata Institute for Social Services and Egypt’s Future Generations Foundation.
As an executive coach, David’s clients include high-level religious, education and healthcare leaders. He also works with military leaders at the ranks of General and Admiral. Special Executive Service clients include the CIA, NSA, and EPA. Corporate clients include the ARAG Group, Bayer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Banco de Credito de Peru, Boston Consulting Group, Citadel Group, Citigroup, Federal Reserve Bank, IBM, Medtronic, Medimmune, Microsoft, Peabody Energy, SAP, Sanofi-Pasteur, Singapore Economic Development Board, Sunoco, Verizon, Warnaco, Wellpoint, and Xerox.
David gleaned much of his knowledge about leadership in the 18+ years he spent founding and directing a suite of vertically integrated corporations. Active in all aspects of the business, David achieved success by creating very fast and lean operations while constantly fostering a highly performing team of people from five continents.
Having achieved personal success as an entrepreneur, engineer and educator, David makes seeking excellence in all aspects of life an integral component to his leadership development approach. As a competitive runner, triathlete and fitness enthusiast for more than 25 years, he is uniquely effective in coaching executives and achieving sustainable results in work-life balance, health and fitness.
In addition to serving AvoLead clients, David maintains a consulting practice and also contracts as Adjunct Faculty with the Center for Creative Leadership, Discovery Learning, Duke University, and Executive Development Group. He is also currently an Action Learning and Development Coach in a long-term Robert Wood Johnson Foundation multi-community public health initiative.
David earned a Bachelor’s in Physics, cum laude, from Appalachian State University. He is fluent in Spanish.
Currently, David lives in North Carolina with his partner Laura. When he’s not working, he can be found outdoors cycling, canoeing or kayaking. His dedication to exercise and fitness still compels David to train for the occasional triathlon, but most days you’ll find him learning to enjoy the pleasures of walking. No matter what activity is on the agenda, David always likes to spend time with his three daughters Lisa, Erika and Crystal.
What clients say about David:
“Working with David Dorn has been a tremendously rewarding experience. David has a true gift for active listening, synthesizing information and providing feedback in an honest and safe manner, making change easier to embrace. He is astute in all things related to professional development and has provided valuable coaching through difficult challenges. David has been readily available to bounce ideas off of and he has been instrumental in assisting me to re-brand certain aspects of my professional image. He shows a steadfast and genuine interest in me as an individual, as well as in my professional growth. In short, David is a very trusted ally who has become a friend. Wise, kind, astute, gentle, honest, forthright, giving, available, direct; these are all adjectives that come to mind when I think of David. – Debra Millar, Senior Health Advisor, CHF International