Catalyst: Academic Executive Coaching

Professor Cyra Akila Choudhury is a tenured Full Professor of Law at a major R-1 university. She is a trained executive coach and runs workshops for academics in the areas of burnout, diversity, inclusion, and workplace justice from the perspective of academic faculty rather than the administration. Her focus is on improving faculty well-being particularly for women faculty of color.

Her coach training was undertaken at Co-Active Training Institute. She has certificates in Higher Education Teaching from Harvard. She also has two law degrees from Georgetown and a graduate degree from Columbia University.

Survive and Thrive in Academia

As a coach, my purpose is to be a catalyst that helps people to change in the ways they want and to attain goals they set.

Many academics and administrators struggle with balancing demands, imposter syndrome, fear of evaluations, transitions, promotion and tenure, staying productive and engaged. You don’t have to do it alone. An ally who hasn’t fled academia and remains engaged and productive but is also trained as an executive coach may be just what you need.

Coaching is confidential and focused on you, where you are, what your goals are, what obstacles stand in your way, and how to move forward.

Schedule a free coaching consultation by either emailing me: or self-schedule on Calendly.

Coaching is not therapy. While psychotherapy is an invaluable tool in terms of moving forward by resolving past issues, coaching seeks to build the tools the client already has to achieve specific, measurable, goals. It involves activating skills, developing the mindset, diffusing self-sabotage, coping with external factors in hostile workplaces, and thriving in achieving goals, balance, and real well-being.

Professor Choudhury is particularly invested in coaching women of color and minority faculty in legal academia and other fields who experience specific challenges in mentoring and thriving in academia.

Coaching is best undertaken over time. The first session is an intake session in which we co-create the coaching relationship and parameters. Sessions 2-4 are discovery sessions in which we explore the current landscape, skills and values, self-limiting ideas, and self-sabotage. All remaining sessions are about coaching you to achieve your goals, your purpose.

Coaches do not provide answers or solutions but help you craft responses, develop coping mechanisms, and unearth the skills and strategies you need to achieve your purpose. There is homework and accountability.


“I contacted Cyra when facing a significant professional decision. She helped me name some of the challenges I was facing and the inner fears holding me back. Cyra also suggested practical strategies for moving forward, and this immediately helped me find clarity and courage. I’m excited to work with her further.” – RM Australian National University

“I reached out to Cyra unable to commit to my career goal. I suspected that self-doubt was holding me back, but she helped me name it and see the great extent to which my negative thinking was blocking my efforts toward fulfilling work. Cyra taught me strategies to name and diminish my fears. This has helped me feel more productive and committed to my own success.” PK–Temple University

“Cyra is really helpful and clear. And helped me see things that were holding me back and what I could do about them.”–DS–University of Kansas

Some Coaching Areas:

Pre-tenure Success

Post-tenure Goals

Dealing with Burnout

Transitioning out of Academia or into new roles

Balancing competing demands in administration

Surviving the Tenure Process

Dealing with Hostile Workplaces

Thriving as a minority/woman/LGBTQ faculty

Leading effectively

Building resources to manage difficult workplaces.

Coaching Fees:

Free 30 minute Coaching Consultation

I do not do single coaching sessions with some emergency exceptions. I offer 50 minute coaching sessions with a minimum of 8 sessions that you can use any time over 3 months. The reason for this is that effective coaching is done over time with sessions building on each other.

Be sure to check with your institution for professional development funds. Some institutions may pay for coaching.

50 minute sessions are on a sliding rate:

Individual Faculty rates for 8 session packages:
For those earning over $50k – $600
For those earning over $150k – $1000
For those earning over $200k – $1600
For those earning over $300k – $2000

Renewal packages get a $100 discount.

Institutional rates:
Liberal Arts institutions: $1600
Universities: $2000

Leadership and Administrator Rates:
Liberal Arts institutions: $2400
Universities: $3000

Group-coaching: $200 per person for the series of 4 sessions depending on availability.

Please inquire for rates for those enduring financial constraints or for adjuncts who are not otherwise employed outside of academia. I will provide services depending on my schedule.

To book a coaching package, please email me at for a coaching contract and payment information.

Workshops & Groups

Teaching Workshop for Junior Faculty
Dates: TBD
Voluntary payment: $50

This is a workshop designed to offer junior faculty tools to prepare for successful teaching.

Group Session on Surviving Promotion and Tenure:
Dates: TBD
Cost: $200/person for the series

Group of 4-6 people. The each session will focus on the challenges of promotion and tenure including identifying the goal and creating the conditions to succeed, disarming the saboteur, coping with stress, and coming to terms with the end of the process.

Group Session on Academic Burnout: What to do to prevent it, how to overcome it
Dates: TBD
Cost: $300 for the series

Participants will first take the Maslach Burnout Index assessment, we will then examine the results and discuss concrete strategies to overcome or prevent burnout.

Reading Student Evaluations and Preparing for Being Evaluated
Dates: TBD
Voluntary payment: $50

This workshop will explore the fraught issue and mental stress caused by student evaluations.