Richard is an educator, published author, podcaster, organizational development consultant, and former academic committed to helping individuals and organizations accomplish even more than they believe possible. His sweet spot is leveraging the intersection of leadership excellence and inclusion.

For more than 35 years he has partnered with leaders across industries who want to transform organizations into places were people reach their fullest potential and enable sustainable results. In part, this requires leaders who authentically believe in workplaces where people recognize, celebrate, and utilize one another’s talent; not in spite of our unique differences but because there is a deep-seated appreciation for the value of our interdependence.

Experiences and passions

Richard’s passion is to create a world that works by giving voice to the power of inclusion. He has a love for academic rigor and practical application. Being a lifelong learner and teacher, he appreciates learning from the experience of others and building the “next practice” by blending what’s known and proven, with a belief in “what can be.”

Richard has served on the faculties of two world-class universities, had a small psychotherapy practice and lives between both Chicago and the Arizona desert. Richard began cross-cultural travel and study as a teenager and considers each client engagement as an opportunity to explore unique cultures, meet new people, and help leaders catalyze their journey toward realizing the future they have imagined. Traveling across industries he’s worked in the Federal Government helping Civil Servants manifest “Great Leadership for Great Government.” He’s built leadership capacity to serve the U.S. Navy’s nuclear deterrent program and has partnered with oil companies to energize their workforce and the world.


  • BP
  • Brigham & Women’s Hospital
  • Carrier Corporation
  • Department of Justice
  • Duke University
  • Ernst & Young
  • Federal Reserve Bank
  • Pfizer
  • PPG Industries
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • University of Chicago Hospitals
  • U.S. Census Bureau
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • U.S. Department of Transportation
  • U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Program
  • Westinghouse Electric Company
  • Wright-Patterson Air Force Base


I had the opportunity to work with Richard Friend as part of the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs (OJP) inaugural launch of its Leadership Development and Supervisory Training. From the initial design and planning meeting, through our final session, Richard’s commitment, and contribution to OJP as an organization made our program an overwhelming success. His ability to customize the content to have the most impact to individuals was invaluable.”

Jennifer D. McCarthy
Deputy Director of Administration for Human Resources, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice

Here at Duke, Richard Friend worked with the President, Provost and Deans of all the colleges on a process for promoting leadership action in service of inclusion, and with our health system’s human resource leaders in a similar capacity. Dr. Friend provides a unique blend of scholarship and rigor coupled with practical application and humor which makes learning and professional development accessible.

Judy Seidenstein
Chief Diversity Officer, Duke School of Medicine