Samantha Karlin

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Samantha is a passionate, charismatic and engaging speaker who seeks to empower women, change company cultures into places where people flourish, and inspire people to create a better world. 


She is the CEO of Empower Global, where she facilitates trainings and gives keynotes on issues regarding diversity and inclusion for Fortune 500 companies, startups, nonprofits, government entities, and universities. Empower also runs a groundbreaking women’s leadership challenge for small groups of women leaders from around the world. She is also a facilitator for the NeuroLeadership Insitutute, where she brings in neuroscience to prompt behavior change. 


She is the upcoming author of Feminist Leadership: The Next Generation of Leaders, and is a Bellagio Fellow. Her clients include Amazon, Slalom, RB,, Verizon, Reaology, Insight Partners, Salsify, Hiscox, Halcyon, the DC Bar, Legacy International, Tufts University, Harvard University, Indian Institute of Management – India, IE Business School, Spain, and The Fletcher School. 


Some of her popular keynotes are:

- Engaging Hearts and Minds as a Leader: Emotional and Logical Transference

- The Top Leadership Trends for 2023

- Embracing Equity and Intersectionality in the Workplace

- Embracing Equity in Technology

- Embracing Equity in Government 

- Breaking the Bias for Women in Tech/FinTech/Finance

- Championing Women in the Workplace

- The Keys to Building Lasting Community 

- Ethics and Technology: A Revolution Awaiting

- Allyship in Action

- Start where you stand: A call to action for Leaders

- What Resilience Really Means: Stories of Women's Rights Activists around the World

- Vulnerability, Empathy, and Connection in the Virtual World

- Inclusive Leadership

- Countering the Great Resignation

- Leading Millennials and GenZ: What You Must Know

- How to Create Sustainable Change on the Things That Matter to You

- The Neuroscience of Happiness and Wellbeing

- The New International Order: Making Sense of the War in Ukraine

Samantha also hosts a talk show on international relations, Samanthropolitics, which brings awareness to conflict and crises around the globe, and make global issues relatable to a Western audience. She has extensive experience living and working abroad, including at the US embassy in Bosnia, training young leaders in Peru, designing Russian civil society activation programs in Prague, etc.

She authored a white paper on inclusive virtual facilitation techniques and is very adept in the virtual space, and also is thrilled to give in person keynotes. 

She has been described as an inspirational speaker and leader, easy to work with, and a motivating voice for all who hear her.  She is a TEDx speaker.

Samantha holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy with a specialization in global gender analysis and conflict resolution from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She has also studied at Yale University, the Harvard Kennedy School, and the Harvard School of Education.  She has been published in the Washington Post, Conscious Company Magazine and Women2.0, and is a New America expert.

Samantha Karlin's Experiences

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  • What is your favorite quote? "If they don't give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair." - Shirley Chisholm
  • Are there any moments that stand out as having a significant impact on your career? I have significant experience internationally, including managing the gender portfolio for the US State Department in Bosnia, training young leaders in Peru, singing opera in the Czech Republ
  • Outside of your profession do you have any hobbies/interests? I was trained as an opera singer, and sang professionally in Europe starting at age 16. I love singing Mozart, Bach, and Donizetti and still spin out some arias at concerts in DC.
  • Who do you look up to as a mentor and why? Madeline Albright. If there had been any woman who was equipped to be president it was Madeline. She's an incredibly sage, astute, and culturally adept woman who made incredible strides given
  • Is there anything else we should know about you? I customize each talk to the audience. My goal is to keep people engaged, inspire them, and educate them.