Helen Fagan, Ph.D.

Leadership and Diversity Scholar and Practitioner

helen-fagan-aboutDr. Fagan is a Leadership, Diversity, and Inclusion scholar and practitioner. She is the founder of Global Leadership Group, which provides consulting and leadership coaching to organizations, communities, and executives in the field of Diversity, Inclusion, Cultural Competence and becoming an Inclusive Leader. Since 2018, Fagan has been a faculty member and program lead for the Inclusive Community Leadership Fellows program at University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In addition to a Ph.D. in Human Sciences with specialization in Leadership from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Dr. Fagan holds multiple certifications in Diversity, Emotional Intelligence, and is a trained Executive Coach. Also, she is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory which she has used with developing thousands of leaders and healthcare providers. For the last 5 years she has also served as a faculty with the Qatar Institute for Intercultural Communication providing workshops for faculty, staff and graduate students working at 6 US universities in Education City in Qatar. Dr. Fagan’s expertise in developing inclusive leaders, organizations and communities has enabled her to speak is multiple nations and at last count 4 continents. Her book, Becoming Inclusive: A Worthy Pursuit in Leadership will be released in 2021 via Information Age Publishing.

Before Academia, she created and led the Diversity and Cultural Competence Initiatives at Bryan Health, in Lincoln NE. This initiative at Bryan was considered so innovative that it gained national recognition and was featured in a Joint Commission (hospital accreditation body) publication. During that time, Helen played a key role in the recruitment and resettlement of nurses from the Philippines to address the nursing shortage in Nebraska. Helen also worked diligently to address employment and healthcare needs of refugees and immigrants; and was a strong voice for eliminating the use of children as medical interpreters in healthcare settings. As an international student from Iran, who arrived as an unaccompanied minor to the United States at age 15, just two months before the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979, Dr. Fagan has experienced a tremendous number of challenges during her life in the United States. She has used each of those challenges to inspire others, especially women, and as a result has received multiple awards for her contributions to the lives of others, including a key to the city of Lincoln.

In 2018, Dr. Fagan served as a Consulting Producer on a short film, The Healing of Harman. She consulted on the film during the writing, the filming, and editing processes. The film was directed by the Academy Award nominated Director, Seth Pinkster. This film has been used to create discussion with community leaders in relation to the process that communities can use to foster a spirit of inclusion in which people are welcomed and embraced in their healing. The film won Morehouse College’s best Human Rights Short film in 2020.


I have been working with Dr. Helen Fagan over the past several years through Clarkson College’s IDI assesssment and consultation. Dr. Fagan has facilitated the IDI assessment and consultation process for our students enrolled in the NS 799 courses. She has faced some challenges with our students (namely on the student’s perspective of coordinating the assessment and consultation). Through these somewhat trying situations, she has remained courteous, and flexible, as well as helpful in facilitating the process through the uncertainities of technology. Dr. Fagan has communicated frequently with the faculty coordinating and implementing the IDI assessment. It is clear Dr. Fagan is passionate about her work, and enjoys her consultation with the student. She has been a joy to work with in coordinating this assignment for our students. I truly believe it has added to the quality of education we here at Clarkson are trying to provide to your students.

Jane Langemeier Ph.D. M.S.N. R.N.

Assistant Professor, Clarkson College

Helen has spent the majority of her life in an effort to educate and be educated on the depth and breadth of diversity and cultural competency. I had the great fortune to participate under her leadership as a member of the Bryan Health Diversity Council which Helen developed and coordinated. She successfully led the organization thru active council members, to examine and make appropriate change in policies and procedures that impacted employees and patients and the organization’s ability to actively understand and appreciate the cultural differences that exist. Many positive changes resulted and many lives were impacted by her leadership. Helen is truly suited for the work she promotes so beautifully and understandably on the site. The site is a wonderful display of her journey and the strengths Helen is gifted with. Thru Helen, others will be led in their own efforts toward transformation.
Diane Green

Director of Client Services, Bright Horizons


  • Recipient – Chancellor’s Fulfilling the Dream Award, 2021
  • Recipient – Excellence in Education, Women’s Leadership Award, 2020
  • Recipient – Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, 2019
  • Nominated – UNL Distinguished Teaching Award, 2018
  • Recipient – UNL Mortar Board, Distinguished Professor and Honorary Member, May 2017 
  • Recipient – UNL Mortar Board, Professor of the Month, Oct 2014
  • Recipient – Doane College Alumni Assoc. Exceptional Service Award, 2013
  • Recipient – UNL Holling Family Teaching Excellence Award, 2013
  • Recipient – University of Nebraska Parent’s Association Award, 2012 & 2013
  • Recipient – Doane University Keith Berlage Memorial Award, 2008
  • Recipient – YWCA Tribute to Women Award, 2005
  • Recipient – Key to the City of Lincoln by Mayor Colleen Seng, 2004
  • Recipient – One of “20 under 40” Leaders positively impacting Lincoln, 2002
  • Recipient – 2001 KZUM Radio Multi-cultural Awareness Award
  • Letter of Commendation – Admiral of the U.S. Navy, 1991

Learn more about what I can do for your organization!

Need help in the area of diversity and cultural sensitivity? I can conduct individual and group assessments, and provide plans and coaching designed to move you towards your goals.
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