Mission and History

Our Mission: Make an impact

The Institute of Coaching (IOC) was founded in 2009 to empower the coaching field through science to expand the consciousness and upgrade the well-being of the world, one client or patient, one organization, one community at a time. The IOC delivers world-class professional development and community networking through our conference, webinars, research doses, seminars, courses, discussion groups, roundtables, and an unparalleled coaching library of 3,000+ resources. IOC provides grants to support promising coaching research and conducts research programs.

So as to not compete with our community, the IOC does not offer coaching services, coach training, or coach credentialing.

Where we live

The Institute of Coaching (IOC) is based at McLean Hospital, founded in 1811 and the top freestanding psychiatric hospital in the U.S. for the past 20 years. McLean is shaping the future of mental well-being as a center of innovative research and cutting edge treatment for mental health conditions, including the first cognitive behavioral therapy unit. McLean is a member of Mass General Brigham , and the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

We are dedicated to high impact

By bringing a strong and expanding scientific foundation to the practice of coaching, the IOC is making a large, positive, and global impact on the collective well-being of individuals, leaders, teams, organizations and communities. Coaching is a powerful vehicle for individual and collective growth, self-actualization, and well-being. Our turbulent times call for a deeper commitment to well-being, which provides the resources everyone needs to turn great challenges into opportunities and growth. The IOC’s mission helps deliver the core mission of McLean and Mass General Brigham to improve population mental and physical health and well-being.

With gratitude for what got us here

The formation of the IOC with a $2 million donation from the Harnisch Foundation, and the global IOC community. emerged from fourteen Coaching in Leadership and Coaching conferences delivered since 2008 as a collaboration of the Institute of Coaching, McLean, and Harvard Medical School. The conference brings together the best science, thought leaders, and the coaching community in leadership, education, and healthcare.

Our History


The Coaching and Positive Psychology Initiative

Carol Kauffman and Margaret Moore become founders of the CPPI with a $75,000 gift to Dr. Kauffman to study Positive Psychology and a $30,000 legacy gift to Margaret Moore for health and wellness coaching. Their vision was to create an academic home for coaching while applying the science of positive psychology to empower individuals to reach their peak health and performance. McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School Affiliate offered to house CPPI.


Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare, a Harvard Medical School CME course

The Initiative’s first project was to partner with Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital to launch an academic/practitioner conference. The first, Coaching: A New Horizon, sells out in weeks. The conference, now called Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare, typically draws up to 800 attendees. Our participants include: leadership, health/wellness, and positive psychology coaches as well as psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and nurses from 6 continents and over 60 countries. Co-chairs are Carol Kauffman, Margaret Moore and Chris Palmer.

The International Coaching Research Forum

The Harnisch foundations gifts $180,000 to create the International Coaching Research Forum. Forty of the top coaching researchers gather to exchange ideas and offer hundreds of coaching research proposals on a public website to inform and inspire research in coaching. Forums were held in Boston, London, Berlin, and Hong Kong.


The official launch of the Institute of Coaching

The Harnisch Foundation gifts $2 million to create an organization dedicated to offering the highest caliber education in addition to awarding $100,000 annually to support coaching research studies. The Institute of Coaching public website is launched. Executive Director Carol Kauffman and Co-Directors Margaret Moore and Susan David are the leadership team. Philip Levendusky oversees the effort at McLean, with Lew Stern and Doug Riddle as Senior Advisors.


Institute of Coaching Professional Association

We create a private membership website to support those highly committed to evidence-based coaching practice. Our Founding Fellows, Founding Members, and affiliates have donated generously and enable us to continue to develop unique education opportunities.


The Institute of Coaching Leadership Forum

This invitational event is for senior leadership coaches who want extended time to connect with one another and to business leaders. Panels and private keynotes are given by C-level leaders and global leadership development and heads of HR.


A robust website with upgraded search capabilities is implemented. In order to support the fast growing community, our new website even more resources that are easier than ever to find. Members are now able to create private libraries from the journals, conferences, and webinars as well as connect with colleagues.


In response to the Covid-19 pandemic worldwide, expands IOC roundtables and initiates topical discussion groups for affiliates and fellows in major regions of the world, including LA, DC, Northeast US, Toronto, EMEA, Asia and ANZ to support connection and build community.


In a collaboration that will elevate the field of coaching, the International Coaching Federation pledged to give $575,000 over five years, to support the Institute of Coaching coaching research grant program. in addition to funding research grants, the IOC gathers and translates the fast-growing body of scientific literature into articles, webinars, master classes, discussion groups, and other educational opportunities


With a global membership reaching over 5000, IOC continues to expand education programming for coaches worldwide, with live seminars based on evidence-based research and an asynchronous course on Mental Health Literacy.

In addition, having completed a qualitative study of leadership during the pandemic with IOC fellows and published a report on coaching and leadership https://instituteofcoaching.org/ioc- report-leading-with-humanity-the-future-of-leadership-coaching, we announce the creation of a research consortium on human-centered research.

With AceUp as the founding consortium member, the human-centered leadership research consortium is bringing together experts, researchers, scholars, thought-leaders, and leadership coaches to define, measure, and implement human-centered leadership – the science-based components that together generate human empowerment, growth, and thriving. Human-centered leadership and coaching will help define excellence in the future of work.