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Biography

Tacy Byham, Ph.D.

Chief Executive Officer

Tacy Byham, Ph.D.
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Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D., is Chief Executive Officer of DDI. As CEO, Tacy has oversight of DDI’s finance, R&D, talent management initiatives, global sales, marketing, consulting practices, and HR. She has personally managed DDI’s strategic client relationships with Keurig Green Mountain, ADP, BNY Mellon and Texas Children’s Hospital. Since taking the helm of DDI in 2015, Tacy has established a new strategic direction cascading to aligned initiatives and metrics to drive business transformation to meet changing business dynamics.

Additionally, she has driven significant market-leading investments in technology integral to DDI’s transformation and innovations. During her more than 20 years at DDI, she has led numerous strategic initiatives, including the creation of DDI’s Executive Development Practice and award-winning frontline leader development programs. She also has developed DDI’s Women in Leadership focus with her “#LeadLikeAGirl” campaign. DDI’s industry-leading learning systems have helped our client organizations around the world develop more than 1 million leaders annually improving business metrics such as productivity, turnover, downtime, and safety with an ROI ranging from 147% to 633%.

Tacy believes that leadership should be treated as a valuable profession that requires deliberate preparation and support. “We don’t send a surgeon in to an operation unprepared, and we don’t send a pilot into the cockpit unprepared. Why would we put the company’s most valuable assets in the hands of the least prepared leaders? This starts with their first leadership job and comes from a focus on leadership as a life-long pursuit.” A nationally recognized speaker and author in the field of leadership, Tacy’s wisdom helps leaders survive and thrive during critical transitions and unleash their potential.

Her book, Your First Leadership Job: How Catalyst Leaders Bring Out the Best in Others, coauthored with Rich Wellins, has sold tens of thousands of copies and has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, German, Portuguese and most recently Spanish. Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., The Conference Board Review, Chief Learning Officer, and TD Magazine have featured the her articles on topics ranging from the arrival of unprepared leaders, innovation, managing from the middle, and how to be a leader at home.

A staunch supporter of women’s empowerment and gender equality, she has harnessed the power of DDI to champion diversity and inclusion with clients as a method to leverage the collective genius within their organizations. Most recently, her #LeadLikeAGirl speech was highlighted along with President Barack Obama’s keynote at ATD International Conference & Expo.

Within the community, Tacy is a highly visible and ardent advocate for social responsibility. Under Tacy’s leadership, DDI has initiated commitment to positive community change in two ways: through supporting a wide variety of worthy charitable organizations and through SPARK grants, which allow employees and clients to offer DDI’s hiring and leadership training to local non-profits for free.

Presently, she serves on the board of the Pittsburgh City Theater and has clocked over 25 years of continuous fundraising service on behalf of various campaigns for Mt. Holyoke College, where she graduated with a Math/Computer Science degree. She subsequently completed her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and is the recipient of the national ASTD Dissertation Award at its International Conference and Exposition for her research that exposed the bleak realities of the development planning process.

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