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Carol S. Pearson Ph.D.


Carol S. Pearson, Ph.D., D. Min., is an internationally recognized authority on archetypes and their applications, best known for her 12-archetype system for individual and collective development and evolution. Her books on this system include The Hero Within: Six Archetypes We Live By, Awakening the Heroes Within: Twelve Archetypes To Help Us Find Ourselves and Transform Our World, The Hero and the Outlaw: Building Extraordinary Brands Through the Power of Archetypes (co-authored by Margaret Mark); Mapping the Organizational Psyche: A Jungian Theory of Organizational Dynamics and Change (co-authored by John Corlett); and, most recently, What Stories Are You Living? Discover Your Archetypes — Transform Your Life, which supports the Pearson-Marr Archetypal Indicator® (PMAI®) assessment instrument. She is an author of the PMAI Manual along with Kesstan Blandin and Hugh Marr.

Dr. Pearson’s fields of expertise also include leadership and gender studies as well as narrative intelligence (NQ) and interfaith spirituality. Her edited book, The Transforming Leader: New Approaches to Leadership for the Twenty-First Century, grew out of a three-year project with the Fetzer Institute that she co-led. It received an award given at the International Leadership Association Annual Convention for making an original contribution to leadership studies and practice. She wrote Persephone Rising: Awakening the Heroes Within for women and the men who partner with them at home, at work, or in the community. In 2016, Persephone Rising was named a gold medalist in the category of books for women by the Nautilus Book Awards, an annual accolade of books in the genre of social and environmental justice.

A respected scholar and higher education administrator, Dr. Pearson served most recently as Executive Vice President/Provost and then President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. Previously, she was Professor of Leadership Studies in the School of Public Policy and Director of the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland. During her tenure, the Academy was the incubator of the International Leadership Association, and Dr. Pearson was a member of ILA’s Board of Directors.

Dr. Pearson’s pronouns are she and her. She is a U.S. citizen whose grandparents immigrated to the states from Sweden. She and her husband, David Merkowitz, live in the Washington, DC area.

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