Priya Nalkur-Pai


University of Western Ontario, BA, Kinesiology
Yale University, MPH, Global Health
Harvard University, EdM, Risk and Resilience
Harvard University, EdD, Human Development and Psychology


A psychologist at heart, Priya is deeply interested in people’s motivations to achieve. She has published on achievement, motivation, resilience, and hopefulness, and has held teaching appointments at Harvard University and CUNY. An experienced speaker, Priya has lectured widely, including at the University of Pennsylvania, Brandeis University, and various academic conferences worldwide. In 2004, Priya was elected Co-Chairperson of the Editorial Board of the Harvard Educational Review and was subsequently a Spencer Foundation Research Fellow at Harvard University. After her doctorate, she led research at the University of Pennsylvania as a Postdoctoral Fellow, and then went on to practice leadership coaching as Assistant Director of Career Development at the Heller School for Social Policy & Management, and as Principal at AMP Coaching, LLC.

Other leadership

Harvard Graduate School of Education, Instructor and Lead TA; Hunter College, Adjunct Professor; Harvard Medical School, Research Associate; City of Cambridge, Coach/Consultant; Harvard Educational Review, Co-Chairperson; Career Development Center, Assistant Director; US Advisory Board, Rwanda Youth Healing Center; CASE Competition Award Committee, Student Lead; Harvard Graduate School of Education Admissions Committee, Student Member.

Training and certification

The Coaches Training Institute, Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC); CRR Global, Advanced Organizational and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC); Anthony Robbins Coaching Program, Master/Platinum Coach; Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Qualified; Strong Interest Inventory; California Psychological Inventory.

At The Boda Group…

Priya’s clients say she is smart, balanced, and sensible. She is profoundly curious about the factors that make leaders want to grow and be better. She knows that leadership requires courage and strength, and that multiple contexts—both personal and professional—push and pull at true leadership potential.

The most influential leader in my career has been…

my father. He is truly a self-made man. A first generation immigrant with no more than five dollars to his name in 1971, he left behind everything he knew to fly to Wisconsin in the dead of winter—never having left India before—to realize his vision for himself. He survived his M.B.A. by selling encyclopedias door-to-door. He built an international career, a happy family, and a successful business. Thirty-five years later, he graduated with honors from a Ph.D. program: yet another testament to his commitment of turning his dreams into reality. Throughout his career, he has held fast to a number of beliefs that have brought him great success: integrity, taking risks, and clarity of vision. Through his example, I have learned that the hard work required to uphold these values is well worth the resulting powerful, life-changing consequences.

One place that is special to me is…

Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, because in many, many ways, it is where I really grew up.