Cathleen Swody

Adjunct Faculty


Education/Professional Certification

Ph.D. University of Connecticut
MA. University of Connecticut
BA Psychology. University of Delaware

Areas of Expertise

Leadership Development
Employee Engagement
Emotional Intelligence
Work-Family Interface
Women & Leadership


Cathleen Swody is an industrial/organizational psychologist and Managing Partner at Thrive Leadership. She has spent the last 15 years developing expertise in leadership and organizational development across industries, including healthcare, pharma, insurance, financial services, and professional services. Her driving force is applying research and insights to help clients reach their goals and engage their human capital to effectively execute organizational imperatives.

In her role as a consultant and lead researcher, Cathleen has designed and delivered leadership development programs, workshops, and created original models and instruments, incorporating topics such as goal setting, team effectiveness, emotional intelligence, and difficult conversations. Examples of her work, and her deep commitment to collaboration, include:

  • Her passion for championing senior-level women in leading meaningful careers and helping organizations retain extraordinary talent inspired her to co-found the LeaderMom Panel, a high-performing cross-industry group of senior leaders and moms who share their insights into success.
  • Cathleen co-developed The Advisor, an innovative 360 degree feedback tool designed to build leadership through executives’ emotional intelligence
  • Cathleen conducts in-depth analytics to generate actionable insights for leaders about how to engage people, and how to identify and retain high performers
  • Using validated assessments, Cathleen develops candidate profiles to help organizations get to know their finalists and enrich the effectiveness of the vetting and selection process

Before Thrive Leadership, Cathleen worked with Leadership Research Institute for 10 years, working with leaders at all levels as a lead researcher, executive coach, consultant, and trainer. Previously, Cathleen worked as an internal selection expert and research consultant for SBC Communications (now AT&T).

Featured Publications

  • Swody, C. (2012). Survey Says: It’s All About the Follow-up. American Management Association.
  • Matthews, R.M., Swody, C.A., & Barnes-Farrell, J.  (2012). Work Hours and Work–Family Conflict: The Double-edged Sword of Involvement in Work and Family, Work and Stress, 28 (3), 177–264.
  • Swody, C., & Flavin, C, (2011). Top “LeaderMoms” Talk about Priorities and Sharing the Load.
  • Flavin, C., & Swody, C. (2010). LeaderMom – Sustaining Success: Insights from Top Performing Women Who Are Also Mothers.
  • Morgan, H., & Swody, C. (2010). Benchmarks Are Dangerous. Business Coaching Worldwide, 6(2)
  • Kath, L.M., Swody, C.A., Magley, V.J., Bunk, J.A., & Gallus, J.A. (2009).  Cross-level, three-way interactions among work-group climate, gender, and frequency of harassment on morale and withdrawal outcomes of sexual harassment.  Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82(1), 159–182.
  • Swody, C.A., & Powell, G.N.  (2007). Determinants of Employee Participation in Organizations’ Family-friendly Programs: A Multi-level Approach. Journal of Business and Psychology, 22(2), 111-122.
Contact Information
Phone+1 (860) 368-0574