Photo of Garry Sanders

Garry Sanders
Leadership Coach & Facilitator


“As John Lennon sang, ‘Life is what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans.’ I encourage my clients to learn about themselves through our coaching partnership.  I am definitely an ‘operationally focused achiever’ in how I approach coaching because that is the space where many of my clients find themselves as they serve their organizations. And, I coach clients to think and examine their career and life beyond the crisis or challenge or perceived limitations of the day.”

Garry Sanders plays the piano and loves jazz improvisation. He says, “Being an improvisational leader is all about learning, adapting, and finding the right pace and momentum to create productive change in oneself and one’s organization. It is about making sense of dissonance as well as harmony.”

Garry enjoys working with clients in the midst of change, helping them to find a path forward and to define what it means to be successful. He supports clients looking to bring their voice to lead and inspire others. He coaches his clients to think and examine their career and life beyond the crisis or challenge or perceived limitations of the day.

Garry is a great coach for those who have deep operational or fiscal or strategic planning roles.  He loves to brainstorm with clients, to serve as a partner with the client as they unwrap their challenges and make sense of the complexities in their work and environment. He also enjoys working with clients who are questioning whether or not they have the right team in place to support them.


  • Brings over 30 years of senior leadership experience to his coaching and facilitation work
  • Leadership and Innovation Coach and Learning Circle Advisor at the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership
  • Senior Leadership Fellow, State University of New York, SAIL Institute (Strategic, Innovative, Academic Leadership)
  • Prior to coaching, served as the Executive VP and COO of The Research Foundation for the State University of New York and managed $1.0B in grants and contract opportunities
  • Served on the board of the National Council of University Research Administrators
  • Serves as a board member of a local social services agency that provides counseling services and logistical support for families in need.

Education, Training and Certifications

  • Master in Public Policy (University at Albany, SUNY)
  • Bachelor of Arts in English and History (State University of New York at Buffalo)
  • Executive Certificate in Leadership Coaching (Georgetown University)
  • International Coaching Federation Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • Assessment Certifications: Leadership Circle Survey, Collective Leadership Assessment, Professional Strengths Values and Story Survey


  • Lives in Albany, NY
  • Plays piano in local rock and jazz bands

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