Sarah Happel headshot

Sarah Happel
Leadership Coach & Facilitator

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My job as a coach is to make sure you feel safe, but not necessarily comfortable.  My goal is to maximize a team’s performance, which all starts with the leader.”  

Sarah Happel spent most of her adult life overseas where she developed a career working with expatriates, bridging communication and cultural gaps. As people began to request one-on-one work with her, Sarah decided to become a leadership coach in order to provide powerful, game-changing conversations to her clients. Sarah is passionate about cultivating individual, team, and organizational well-being.  She often helps leaders manage competing commitments, increase self-awareness, and lead greater team performance.  Working on improving communication is always part of her approach.  

An international volleyball player, Sarah’s experiences as an athlete mean that she understands results and how to lead for results.  Sarah’s coaching style is adaptive and friendly and she brings a warm sense of humor and fun to her work. Sarah teaches coaching as a faculty member at George Mason University. Born and raised in Minnesota and raising an international family, Sarah’s life experiences give her a unique perspective about people, culture and leadership.


  • 11 years of experience in the field of coaching
  • International Coach Federation Professional Certified Coach (PCC)
  • Co-Creator of the SOAR Train-the-Trainer program
  • Lived and worked with with leaders throughout Europe and South America for 12 years
  • Prior to coaching, spent years as a public relations director, freelance journalist, and consultant


  • Advanced Coaching Certificate in Well-Being (George Mason University)
  • Executive Certificate in Leadership Coaching (Georgetown University)
  • Master in Journalism and Mass Communications (Kansas State University)


  • Resides in Vienna, Virginia with her husband and three sons

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