Julia Keleher is an accomplished education professional, lifelong learner, and management consultant. Julia’s 25 years of experience in business and education makes her uniquely positioned to help leaders and organizations seeking to implement radical change. She brings experience working in business, education, nonprofits, and academia. She is passionate about helping others achieve success through learning and capacity building. Julia approaches each day with a positive attitude and dedication to making the most out of each moment. 

Julia Keleher

Julia Keleher attended the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She remained at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia to obtain her Master of Science degree in Education, with a focus on Psychological Sciences. She would eventually go on to complete her EdD in Education Leadership from the University of Delaware and obtained her MBA from Strayer University. Julia’s ongoing passion for learning encouraged her to continue completing further education opportunities, which included a professional certificate in strategic decision making and risk management from Stanford University, PMP certification, and CELTA certification in Teaching English as a Foreign Language.

As part of her commitment to education, immigration, and workforce development, Julia Keleher founded the program, Thought & Voice, which focuses on helping individuals learn English. The no-cost, high-quality education opportunities provided by the program make learning a new language easier and facilitate the process of transitioning into new roles in society. The program specializes in providing access to high-quality language learning activities and provides education on other cultures for those who have recently arrived to the United States as well as returning citizens. Through this initiative, Julia continues her work as an educator, finding purpose in supporting others to achieve their goals and enjoy success in the future. 

Julia Keleher’s inspiring work throughout her career has also been recognized by a handful of awards over the years. She has been recognized for her work with awards that include the Leadership Award for Valor in Crisis, the Extraordinary Changemaker Award, Outstanding Professor of Project Management, and Government Excellence Fellow.

Julia Keleher’s Interview Questions

Question: What’s the most important thing we should know about you?

Julia Keleher: I am tenacious and don’t give up easily; my life has been characterized by facing and overcoming challenges. I create solutions to complex problems. I excel at operationalizing a vision and transforming what people say into plans, projects and results.

Question: Name the most impactful lesson you learned from failure.

Julia Keleher: Language, culture and lived experiences influence what people say and what people hear – and this has implications for leadership practice. The idea is similar to “white privilege” but in a more universal application – it addresses how to build bridges across any sort of difference.

Question: What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Julia Keleher: There isn’t any one accomplishment. Every time I accomplish what’s in front of me, I move on to the next challenge. So a sense of pride is ever-changing and fleeting. I am proud of myself that I persevere when life gets tough

Question: What did you waste the most time on when you were first starting your career?

Julia Keleher: Thinking that having the factual/data/research based answer was sufficient to solve a problem. Underestimating the importance of people’s feelings about their work contributions. 

Question: Name a tool you use for work that you can’t live without.

Julia Keleher: My Computer

Question: What is your favorite hobby and why?

Julia Keleher: Studying and practicing languages – because you are never done and you always learn something new. Making mosaics – you break apart something to put it back together and the beauty of hte final product is greater than the sum of its parts

Question: What excited you the most about your industry right now?

Julia Keleher: Greater social awareness and attention to the need for equal opportunities for youth and returning citizens.

Question: What concerns you most about your industry right now?

Julia Keleher: Not a concern – but a belief that the best recommendations come from those who have been in the field, struggled on the mat, tried/failed/won/learned – and not from an office, executive suite or ivory tower. 

Question: What’s the greatest risk you’ve ever taken?

Julia Keleher: Fighting the US government in 3 legal cases

Question: Name one small habit that positively impacts your productivity.

Julia Keleher: Exercise

Question: What tips do you have for getting a seat at the table?

Julia Keleher: Be confident in what you think, put the time in to develop informed thoughts, offer practical solutions, be interested in others ideas, have a can do attitude 

Question: What book has made the biggest impact on your life?

Julia Keleher: Man’s Search for Meaning – Vicktor Frankl

Question: Do you value intelligence or common sense more? Why?

Julia Keleher: You need both. If you don’t have strengths in both, make sure the people you put on your team balance out your strengths and weaknesses. Always think about what your missing/can’t see

Question: What would you consider to be the perfect day?

Julia Keleher: When no new news about war, poverty, violence and injustice is reported and there are stories of everyday people, in great numbers, doing simple things that make society better. 

Julia Keleher
Job Title
Founder of Thought & Voice