Collaborative leadership specialist Laura Calandrella helps teams overcome conflict to make real progress on their most ambitious environmental projects and initiatives.

Collaborative leadership is key to a sustainable future.

My name is Laura Calandrella. For the last two decades, I’ve been on a mission to help conservation leaders come together to solve complex environmental issues facing our world. I help individuals, teams, and organizations build their leadership capacity and apply it in mission-critical ways.
I trained as a biologist, first applying my skill set in international development and then later in US federal land management. I never set out to be a professional consultant. But after spending years in the field, every project and experience I had continually returned me to one vital understanding: whenever we’re talking about the future of conservation, leadership matters.
And I’ve learned firsthand that effective leadership in the world of sustainability is never just about the responsibility of one. With the stakes as high as they are in the current landscape, it is the leadership of many that we need to cultivate.

My work uniquely integrates collaborative problem-solving with leadership development practices to help leaders and organizations meet the environmental challenges of today consciously, intentionally, and strategically.

My curiosity and love of the natural world began at an early age.


Iwas raised in the Arizona desert where Saguaro National Park meets Coronado National Forest. Growing up in this unique ecosystem and just 30 minutes from the US-Mexico border, my childhood was infused with a diversity of ecology, culture, language, and thinking.

When I went on to study community-based conservation as an undergraduate, my dream was to work with communities in the developing world and to help local populations identify the best approaches on-the-ground to use their natural resources in a way that simultaneously achieved the goals of conservation and economic development.

My studies and experiences took me far out of the classroom and, quite literally, around the world. I lived in the rainforests of the Brazilian Amazon developing markets for non-timber forest products. I traversed the landscapes of Guatemala documenting traditional ecological knowledge for communities of Mayan heritage. I worked on the plains of Kenya navigating the difficult subject of community wildlife management. And eventually moved abroad to New Zealand to complete my Masters degree while learning political approaches to conservation from the Maori people.


Throughout my experiences working with diverse stakeholders on environmental issues on nearly every continent, a question began to haunt me:


With so many crucial environmental issues being too complex to be shifted by any one person, organization, or sector, how can we possibly create the change that is needed to build a more sustainable world?


The answer? We need to learn how to both work together and lead together. Both are required for success.


As this awareness crystallized for me, I changed course in my career to focus on these two elements within the field of conservation. I now facilitate multi-stakeholder groups through dialogue and strategy that allows them to articulate and implement a shared vision. I also provide training and coaching for individuals, teams, and organizations who believe that a new set of leadership capacities and skills must be built to enable this kind of enduring change work.


In the years since, I’ve brought my first-hand experience in the field to help organizations across the United States address critical environmental issues:


Guided regional leadership from multiple sectors through the design of a strategic plan for the sustainable use of publicly- and privately-held forest lands in the Southeast.


Facilitated a year-long community engagement strategy to determine recreation standards for a Wild and Scenic river that runs through three states and multiple jurisdictions.

Managed the Chattachoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia during the massive economic downturn in 2009 in the United States when federal agencies were called to infuse resources into communities.


Lead a national, multi-organizational redesign of the way our federal, state, and local government responds to wildfires.


I am a skilled guide who understands what you’re up against and how to create the right conditions to deliver meaningful results.


Our world today needs change to happen at an unprecedented scope and scale. That means we need leaders from all sectors to be willing to do the inner and outer work that grows their ability to create that change.
If you’re here, I believe you are one of those leaders. And I believe I can guide you in the right direction.

We can begin to create a better future together.

Let’s elevate your leadership capacity, evoke the full range of talent and ability from those within your organization, and begin to create partnerships that make big strides towards our shared goals.


Laura Calandrella Consulting was established in 2015 as a women-owned small business certified by the Small Business Association. View the capabilities statement



Laura Calandrella
CEO / Founder

Laura Calandrella is an executive coach and facilitator who uses the skills she learned as a conservation practitioner to help people work together on critical environmental challenges. Her clients are individuals and organizations who want to play a role in shaping a more sustainable future – and they know they can’t do it alone. She helps them create the conditions for strong collaborative partnerships, including training and coaching that empowers collective leadership. Laura draws on a wide variety of experiences blending her knowledge of natural and human systems to help her clients create meaningful, lasting results.    
Laura’s career has led her around the world, as a biologist, international development specialist, US federal land manager, and now consultant. She has been recognized by the Udall Foundation for her leadership, public service, and commitment to environmental issues. Laura is certified as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coaches Federation. She holds a Masters in Development Studies, a BS in Biology, and a BA in Spanish.

Laura Calandrella is an executive coach and facilitator who uses the skills she learned as a conservation practitioner to help people work together on critical environmental challenges