Naomi Bagdonas is an executive advisor, Lecturer at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and leading expert in the intersection of humor and business. She facilitates interactive sessions for the boards and leadership teams of Fortune 100 companies and nonprofits. Versed in behavioral science and human perceptions, she advises executives and celebrities on topics ranging from leadership presence, to media appearances on Saturday Night Live and The Today Show, to political campaign strategies, to creative marketing assets.
Naomi’s work on the power of humor has been widely featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, on Good Morning America and TED. Her executive coaching was featured in Sports Illustrated. Her pioneering research on team chemistry was the cover story of the Harvard Business Review and led to Naomi co-producing a music video on the topic (in which she cameos as Janitor #2).
At Stanford, she teaches courses including Humor: Serious Business focused on how to harness humor as a secret weapon in business and life, Rethinking Purpose focused on how to create positive, meaningful, and lasting impact in the world, and A New Type of Leader focused on how leaders can bridge the trust gap and unlock radical agility in the face of change.
She is the national bestselling co-author of Humor, Seriously, which was named one of 5 Business Books That are Surprisingly Fun to Read and called “a smart and funny book on how to be smart about being funny” by comedian Sarah Cooper — who added “and I’m not just saying that because they say I am smart and funny in it.”
Naomi earned her MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, her BA in Economics and Psychology from Claremont McKenna College, and is formally trained in improv and sketch comedy at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in Los Angeles. In her spare time, she teaches improv in San Francisco’s county jail, backpacks in the Sierras, and fosters a revolving door of rescue dogs whom she adores and who systematically destroy everything she owns.