Eric Svaren

Eric Svaren

Distinguished Practitioner

Eric teaches PUBPOL 403: Professional Leadership for the Evans School. He has taught at Evans since 2003, primarily in Cascade Executive Programs and the Executive MPA program.  For Cascade, Diana Gale and he originated the popular Cascade course Leading When You’re Not in Charge and taught it for a decade.

With students and clients, he focuses on the practical application of theories and models to pressing leadership, organizational, and societal problems. He draws on research and writing on adult development theory, adaptive leadership, team dynamics, culture, equity, engagement, intrapsychic dynamics, adult learning, and polarity management.

When he’s not teaching, Eric is an independent leadership coach and organization development (OD) consultant, serving local, national, and international clients. He has supported leaders, fostered growth, aligned teams, and facilitated turnarounds—producing organizations that are better aligned, more effective and resilient, and able to deliver results.

Clients include many local, state and federal government agencies (such as the EPA, King County, the Port of Seattle, the State of Washington, Sound Transit, and the cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue and Everett), affordable housing agencies (Seattle Housing Authority, Spokane Housing Authority, Catholic Housing Ventures, Bellwether Housing, Community Roots Housing), health care (Seattle Children’s Hospital, Harborview Medical Center, and UW Medicine), higher education (UW, Washington State University, and Eastern Washington University), companies (Johnson & Johnson, Safeco, Valve, Eddie Bauer, GLY Construction), as well as other organizations (Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Washington State Transit Insurance Pool, and Woodland Park Zoo).

Eric served as senior OD consultant for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (“Fred Hutch”) and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA). During his nine years at the city of Seattle, he managed a joint labor-management program, provided OD consulting and facilitation, analyzed policy, and staffed a Seattle City Councilmember.

Eric mentors and supervises other coaches and OD practitioners and has presented at many conferences and professional associations. He has also served as an advisor and visiting practitioner in the LIOS and OSR OD graduate programs and a columnist and contributor for the Municipal Research and Service Center (MRSC).

He earned his Master’s degree in sociology at UW, with concentrations in social psychology and organizational sociology. He also holds certifications in many coaching and OD methods and instruments. Eric has served on the boards of directors of Navos, Leadership Eastside, Hilltop Children’s Center, Seattle Infant Development Center, and Operational Emergency Center.