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Our Corporate Bios

Carolyn J. Stefanco PhD, CBA
Managing Director

Navigator Associates

Dr. Stefanco is a highly accomplished academic leader and CEO with 35 years in higher education and research as well as very senior, practical experience in responsible management and women's leadership.


She has significant teaching, technical, restructuring & turnaround, development, crisis management and organizational leadership experience. In 2019, at the American University in Bulgaria, Dr. Stefanco, who served as a Trustee and Chair of the Board, worked with Navigator Associates to drive significant and urgent organizational change.  She was directly involved in the strategic organizational restructuring of the University to better deter, detect and manage material breakdowns in controls over essential business processes.


Earlier in her career as a dean, vice president, and president/CEO, Dr. Stefanco led successful efforts to restructure the academic and business foundations of colleges and universities, thereby reversing budget deficits and threatened organizational failure.


Dr. Stefanco also spent two decades as a tenured professor of history at American universities and has significant experience in global organizational settings. In addition to her work in Bulgaria, she served as Senior Fulbright Scholar to the University of Zagreb in Croatia; resident director of a London Study Program; and higher education consultant for Saudi Arabia and South Africa. In recognition of her lifetime achievement, she received a Helen Gurley Brown Foundation Genius Award.


Dr. Stefanco is a board director of the Albany Med Health System and the International Leadership Association, and she is an associate member of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Management at the University of Wollongong, Australia, where she is part of an international research team studying responsible leadership in corporations and higher education, in both the U.S. and Australia.


She has also served on the boards of the American Council on Education’s Women’s Network Executive Council, the Center for Economic Growth in New York, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, Hearst’s Women@Work, The National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Association of Chief Academic Officers and the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences. 


Dr. Stefanco earned a Ph.D. in history from Duke University, an M.A. in women’s history from Binghamton University and a B.A. in history and a women’s studies certificate from the University of Colorado at Boulder. 


In addition to her role in crisis management and organizational controls consulting at Navigator Associates, she is CEO of Baret Leadership Consulting, which helps individuals, corporations, and organizations to cross boundaries and to defy the odds through professional services in executive coaching, global engagement, and board development.  Dr. Stefanco is a Certified Board Advisor.

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