Geoff Smart
Alan Foster
Sumona De Graaf

The Mentors


Geoff Smart is the #1 thought leader on the #1 topic in business.

What is the #1 topic in business? Hiring and leading talented teams.
What is Geoff’s purpose? To help leaders amplify their positive impact on the world.
Who inspired his purpose? His father who had a passion for leadership, and his professor in graduate school, who was a pioneer in the field of management, Peter Drucker.

How does Geoff live his purpose?
Geoff is Chairman & Founder of ghSMART. He founded the leadership consulting firm in 1995. The firm’s mission is to use its expertise in business and human behavior to help CEOs, boards, and investors build valuable organizations. The firm has 12 offices in the U.S. and one in London. In 2015, ghSMART achieved 99.5% high client satisfaction, and 94% team retention. It was named one of the “world’s top firms” in the book The Art of Managing Professional Services, and is the subject of two Harvard Business School Cases, titled “ghSMART & Co.: Pioneering in Professional Services.”

Speaking & Books
Geoff loves to give talks on “hiring and leading talented teams” to audiences globally. He hosts an annual event called SMARTfest, in his hometown of Denver, Colorado, USA. Geoff’s events are based on his bestselling books:

  • Geoff Smart and Randy Street’s book Who: The A Method for Hiring is a New York Times bestseller. The book is ranked #1 on on the topic of hiring talented teams. Shanghai Daily named Who a “Top 5 Business Book in China.” Globe and Mail named it the “Best Business Book of 2009.”
  • The same international newspaper subsequently honored Geoff and his colleagues’ Wall Street Journal bestseller Power Score: Your Formula for Leadership Success on its list of “The 10 Best Business Books of 2015.”
  • Leadocracy: Hiring More Great Leaders (Like You) into Government won the 2013 IPPY Award for Best Business Book of the Year.
  • In the 1990s, Geoff co-created the topgrading brand for talent management.

Geoff is the Founder of SMARTKids Leadership Program™, which provides 10 years of mentoring and $100,000 scholarships to students with leadership potential from low-income communities. He founded The Leaders Initiative™ to inspire private sector leaders to work in government, and served as Chief Talent Officer for the State of Colorado, a 33,000-employee, $24 billion organization. Geoff has personally advised three sitting U.S. Governors, top leaders in education, military, and public health, and the President of the World Bank. Geoff and his colleagues donate hundreds of hours per year to advising leaders who make the world a better place.

Thor Mann, Psy.D.

Thor Mann is a Partner with ghSMART, the leader in quality-guaranteed management assessment and leadership coaching. Clients include leading private equity investors, hedge fund managers, CEOs and Boards. His consultation drives the organizational change that helps leaders maximize enterprise value creation and achieve other critical goals.

Prior to joining ghSMART, Thor was a consultant with RHR International. There he advised senior executives of the firm’s most important financial services and corporate clients globally, including Citadel, Merck, Pfizer, and others on selecting, developing, and retaining their key talent. Beyond management assessment and executive coaching, Thor was often called on to support and educate leadership teams in organizations going through large-scale change such as mergers and downsizing.

Thor has a passion for supporting mission-driven organizations and leads ghSMART’s non-profit practice where he and the team translate the best practices in talent and organization from the private sector to practical tools for non-profit Boards and leaders to deliver on their mission. Clients have included top foundations, educational organizations and cultural institutions.

Thor has a Psy.D. in Organizational Psychology from Rutgers University, where he was an Excellence Scholar, and a BA in History from Reed College, from which he graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He lives outside New York City with his wife Alice, a management consultant and their three children.

Sumona De Graaf, Ph.D.

Sumona De Graaf is a Principal at ghSMART, partnering with leaders of organizations to unleash their true potential through management assessment, leadership coaching, and talent and organizational development solutions. She works across multiple sectors, advising clients on their most critical organizational and leadership challenges.

Prior to joining ghSMART, Sumona was the global head of Career Development at Bloomberg LP. There she worked across all levels of the organization, working to attract, develop and retain key talent. With a data-driven approach, she designed and implemented initiatives that addressed the talent and organizational challenges that leaders and employees face as they navigate their careers. She was often turned to as an advisor to senior leaders across the organization, and called upon for her creativity and energy used to solve complex people issues. She has nearly a decade of experience working in the financial sector.

Sumona has had extensive experience coaching senior leaders, particularly during key transitions in their careers. She has also worked with high potential and high flight risk talent to drive talent retention efforts for companies. Her background in psychology coupled with her applied experience position her uniquely to coach and develop leaders to perform at their best.

Sumona’s passion lies in aligning people and practices to the broader organizational mission and vision. With line of sight, she believes that people derive more meaning and value from their work – resulting in higher levels of productivity and organizational success.

Sumona has a Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology from The George Washington University, and a B.S. in Psychology from Lehigh University. She lives in Atlanta with her husband Justin, her son and her beloved Old English Sheepdog.

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