Ariana Leon
Leadership Coach

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“Transformation begins with a commitment to growth with intention. Coaching provides a safe space for deep reflection, development and clarifying purpose. It is my passion to partner on this journey of transformation with clients.”

Over her 25-year career, Ariana has been especially inspired by projects where she created safe spaces for women of diverse cultural backgrounds to learn from each other and build their leadership capacity often under challenging circumstances on the front lines of international development work. That transformational work led Ariana to commit to supporting change agents through leadership development. Her clients appreciate Ariana’s ability to create a comfortable working relationship and quickly build trust, champion their strengths, and walk side by side as they grow and stretch into their full potential.

Ariana’s career has primarily been in the nonprofit sector, holding senior management and research positions in the fields of international development, environment, and cross-cultural education. While she excelled in managing people and projects, her passion lies in supporting leaders to be their best selves and have a positive impact. 

As a coach, Ariana attracts clients who are inspired to think big and yearn to align their work and life with their values. Her clients appreciate digging into their purpose and claiming their own agency. They report growing their confidence, going from “surviving to thriving”, improving their communication skills, building better team connections, and gaining clarity about how to move forward.


  • Coached over 100 individuals and groups of mid to senior-level professionals in Fortune 500 companies, federal agencies, and nonprofit organizations on communication, leading others, team-building, influence, and strategic management
  • Facilitated nonprofit team and women’s retreats to align values, communication, and goal setting
  • Previously she held senior executive (COO, Acting Executive Director), research, and philanthropy positions with the UN, global nonprofit institutions, and universities, and co-founded a human rights non-profit organization in India.
  • While in a research faculty role, she co-led a government-funded project to build a community of women leaders from five Central and South Asian nations working on water sustainability. Despite historical conflicts and significant language barriers, she successfully built bridges of understanding. 
  • Former Board Member, ICF Metro DC Chapter
  • Pro bono coach, ICF Metro DC Chapter

Education, Training, Certifications

  • Master of Arts in International Affairs (Ohio University)
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Studies (Ohio University)
  • Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC)
  • International Coaching Federation Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • Executive Certificate, Organizational Development & Change Leadership (Georgetown University)
  • Certificate in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace (University of South Florida)
  • Assessment Certifications: Everything DiSC, Leadership Circle Profile 360


  • An avid hiker and occasional backpacker, currently connecting Appalachian Trail sections
  • Has lived, worked, or traveled in 23 countries (and counting) and loves how travel expands her mind and perspective of the world
  • Lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, teenage son and rescued dog and cat
  • Plays with fire through silversmithing, and plays with music through violin

Learn more about Nebo’s services.

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