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What a few of my clients say


Vikas Birhma,

Harvard Kennedy School, Echoing Green Fellow, Founder and CEO, Gramhal, Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia

“I met Bela in 2018 during the Dalai Lama Fellowship and since then it has been a relationship that I cherish. As a mentor and coach, she helped me in developing a leadership rooted in self-awareness, compassion, and empathy. Bela is excellent at deep listening and asking the right questions. Hence, in my coaching calls, she acted more like a mirror and created a safe space to listen to my inner self. At Gramhal, when I thought of building a culture rooted in self-awareness and compassion, I immediately reached out to Bela and asked her to be our emotional intelligence leadership coach to our team of five. Bela’s sessions allowed us to look inwards, which is driving change and impact outward. Our team has developed a shared vocabulary that has improved not only our personal wellbeing but also our professional efficiency. If you want to know about her, please feel free to reach out to me.”


Ally Philip,
Assistant Director of Programs,
Social Innovation and Change Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School

“Bela led a day-long retreat on self-compassion and core values for a group of student social innovators at Harvard. In the weeks leading up to the retreat, Bela worked with our team to clarify our goals for the experience and to co-create a meaningful experience for the students. During the retreat, Bela created a safe space for students to connect, reflect, and share openly, despite having never met them before. In their reflections, students shared that the retreat was one of their favorite sessions of the year – the space created allowed them to authentically reflect on their relationship with themselves and others in a way that deepened the community in our cohort and created renewed energy for their work moving forward.”

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XSoraia Francisco,

Program Manager,

Princeton Alumni Corp

“It was such a pleasure to collaborate with Bela Shah. Her extensive experience with Fellowships and service work were clear in the ease in which she centered self-compassion. Bela facilitated an online workshop on Inner Wellbeing for our 2019-20 Project 55 Fellows. Even within a virtual space, Bela was able to exude warmth and safety. Bela's workshop offered our Fellows a new framework for wellness within community and service based work while they navigated a global pandemic. Our Fellows were provided the opportunity for self reflection, peer reflection, and the development of tools and resources to support themselves as they seek to create change. Our Fellows connected with the nature of Bela's work and how these perspectives are important to their everyday personal and professional aspirations. We would be more than happy to collaborate with Bela again and recommend her work!”


Peggy Mativo-Ochala, Harvard Business School, Founder, PACEMaker Intl, Kenya 40 Under 40

“Bela Shah is one of the most thoughtful and thorough coaches I have come across. Over the past few months, the techniques that she's shown me have helped me become more grounded and more ambitious while improving the experience of the people I lead. Her flexibility, her ability to ask the tough questions, and her ability to connect insights from multiple weeks of reflective conversation distinguish her. Through her coaching, Bela has given me a precious gift as a leader. I'm grateful, awed, and inspired by her.”


Dhiraj Sharma, CEO and Founder,

"Bela skillfully designed and facilitated three workshops on emotional intelligence leadership for my teams in the U.S. and also in India. Through these workshops, Bela effectively introduced my team to EI concepts and language that is slowly building a foundation of mindfulness in our team culture. As a participant in the workshops, I was impressed with both Bela's knowledge and experience of EI, rooted in neuroscience and mindfulness practices. I received positive, unsolicited feedback from my employees and colleagues and have invited Bela back in the spring to lead a workshop series for my team focused on building psychological safety on teams and a culture of belonging, trust, and inclusion. It has been a great pleasure working with Bela and I would highly recommend Bela as a mindful leadership coach and facilitator."


Ruchi Varma,
Founder and CEO,,
2020 Echoing Green Fellow, 2018 Dalai Lama Fellow

I have been truly blessed to have Bela as my coach and confidante since 2018. Her empathetic coaching has transformed me from an ordinary girl struggling within into a strong leader embracing inner values and challenging unethical and unjust systems. Bela has an innate quality of listening to what lies within each of us and an amazing power to see our authentic selves and the power we hold, something that we don’t even realize. She taught me how to channelize my emotions to fuel my inner voice and engage through compassionate action with the outer world. Bela continues to walk with me and coach me to establish the foundation of my organisational work on equity and happiness with HumanQind. She is a blessing, an anchor, and a mentor par excellence.

Sunrise over the Wheat Field


  “Bela has a love for helping others and it shows in her care, reliability, and authenticity. She creates a healthy and safe environment for her clients to express themselves without worry of judgment. She provides invaluable insight that helps me grow into a more secure and confident person. She has given me the proper tools to manage my anxiety and continues to be an ally in my pursuit of becoming the best version of myself. Thank you, Bela, for all that you continue to do for me.” 

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Brittanie Richardson, Founder and ED, Art and Abolition, Dalai Lama Fellow

"Simply put, my coaching experience with Bela has been one of the most transformational experiences of my life. Her skill combined with her heart make sessions with her absolutely life-changing. You will not find a better coach."

Foot Tracks on Sand


"Through working with Bela, I've found myself to be a lot more trusting of my own intuition and compassionate of myself and others. The insights and tactics that come out of her coaching have resulted in a much stronger inner coach and more empowering self-image." (Founder, SwiftRead)

"Since working with Bela in the Cheng Fellowship and now beyond graduation, Bela has helped me cultivate greater connection and love with myself, better understanding of what triggers impatience or anxiety, and how to build trust within my team and among other stakeholders. Her recommendations are always action-oriented and I find myself incorporating my learnings every day in my meditation practice and in daily life!" (Co-Founder, Breaktime and Parker)

"I have felt reassured. High-performing areas and leaders at the institution I am in have inevitably pushed me towards feelings of inadequacy, impostor syndrome and insecurity. I deeply appreciate how Bela has not just listened to the things I am saying, but also, the things I am not saying. She has a unique gift in helping me see other parts of my life that I am able to address issues in or answer questions in and then helps me personally apply those problem-solving skills to the areas of my life I am maybe facing more cognitive dissonance towards, or more insecurity. By doing this, Bela equips her clients with an ability to hold the key to their own minds and hearts - not have it in someone else, which is both liberating and unlike any type of coaching I have ever experienced!" (Rhodes Scholar,  Founder, Serenity Project)

"I think Bela is amazing, but her excellence really has shined (in workshops and 1:1) in helping individuals to embrace self-acceptance, compassion, and extending empathy. As a result, I think individuals are able to develop more resilience in their work, more openness, and deeper connection with others." (Staff Director, SICI, Harvard Kennedy School)

"I had the honor of having Bela as my coach in the Goleman Emotional Intelligence course. Wisdom is the first thing that comes to mind when I think about Bela. She is a GREAT listener and very understanding. Bela goes beyond and above as a coach— scheduling times to talk out of her coaching schedule & follow up. I think of her as not only a coach but also a friend and a mentor. I am really grateful for you Bela, and I am so glad our paths have crossed!" (Liliane Pari Umuhoza, Founder, Women Genocide Survivors Retreat)

“There are no words to express how much Bela’s coaching was invaluable to me. What I appreciate most about Bela is her humble and curious spirit. Through our coaching, Bela affirmed me that I was the exact person and surrounded myself with the right peers to lead our project. There was a humble stance in her coaching approach. She believes that those she works with already hold a significant amount of wisdom within themselves. Her role was to walk alongside us and support us to put our inner wisdom into practice. As a coach, Bela was trustworthy, patient, and understanding. As a woman of color, it was 100% reassuring to have a coach who affirmed and had insight into my lived experience.” (Deandra Cadet, Dalai Lama Fellow, Co-Founder and former Executive Director, InterAction)

"I am very grateful to have worked with Bela for over a year. She is an incredible mentor, leader, and friend that I cherish so deeply. Bela has and is revolutionizing what thought and compassionate leadership can be for our world. Her style of guiding allows people to feel liberated to keep coming back to themselves. She listens intently, communicates effectively, and brings her whole self to each moment. ." (Elisa Tran, Dalai Lama Fellow)


"The workshop on values-based leadership is making me think about how to be more intentional with my efforts. How to be more clear of what is urgent and what is less urgent, including my internal rest and work." 

"The workshop helped me identify/give words to the values that are closest to me. I can now better understand and articulate why I am passionate about what I do. Identifying strengths and having an idea to build on them and identifying challenges and having a plan to mitigate them, monitoring them regularly by journaling, are concrete steps that I am walking away with. They are obviously very important to the work I am doing."

"I was LOVIN it -- Bela's exercise on values/gifts was so so needed for me at this time, and communication skills are always critical. I felt that I came out of the workshop with a practical, tangible benefit, which is not always the case with workshops."

"The power of deliberately taking time to think about what matters to me and what my values are, and how that relates to what I want to do in the future. It really helped me to clarify some of my motivations and understand how I can best work towards my goals."

"I am still thinking about how I show up in the world naturally and what my gifts are. I think this is something that I will continue to think about because it's oftentimes hard to recognize your own natural abilities."

"I have more gifts than I previously recognized, and I owe it to myself and others to not only let these shine, but bring them to the forefront of the work that I do."

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