Karena Strella

San Francisco

consultant name

Karena Strella Egon Zehnder, San Francisco


Karena Strella, based in San Francisco, led the design of Egon Zehnder’s model for assessing leadership potential and is a trusted talent management advisor, actively engaged with clients in CEO succession planning and in crafting sophisticated programs for developing high potentials. Karena is passionate about helping executive teams realize their full potential for achieving growth, product innovation, superior customer service and operational excellence. She is also active in Egon Zehnder’s Human Resources Practice.


Prior to joining Egon Zehnder, Karena developed and managed corporate venturing activities for The Permanente Company. As a consultant with BDC Advisors, she created solutions for growth and revenue generation. At Johnson & Johnson, Karena led marketing and product development activities for a portfolio of products.

Karena earned a BA in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College and an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She serves on the Board of Trustees for Mount Holyoke College, the oldest women's college in the world, with a focus on curriculum-to-career, preparing women for purposeful engagement with the world.

News and Publications

Potential: The Raw Material of the Future

Companies are investing more aggressively than ever in executive recruiting, assessment and development. Yet despite this higher level of input, the development tends have little or no impact for executives in a fast-changing market environment; the implication being the methods used to select and develop talent have not kept pace with the changing requirements for effective leadership.

Zeitschrift für Führung und Organisation - Potential: a New, Future-Focused Approach to Selecting Leaders

In today’s volatile world shaped by uncertainty, finding leaders who can rise to tomorrow’s challenges is essential to a company’s survival.

Digging for hidden treasure

The rapidly evolving business world has exposed the inadequacies of existing models for assessing potential. Past performance and current capabilities offer no guarantee that an individual will succeed in dramatically different work roles and environments of high-velocity change. Now, however, a new model of potential, encompassing the four deep personal traits that foretell great leadership, is providing the accuracy, rigor, and discipline that you need to uncover the real promise in people and manage it for competitive advantage.

It’s lonely at the top

Organizational challenges for female executives.

consultant name

Karena Strella Egon Zehnder, San Francisco