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LeaderVoices with Sadhna Bokhiria Inspire. Empower. Impact.

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Your Host: Sadhna Bokhiria

President & CEO, KIRIA Research

Sadhna Bokhiria is the President & CEO of KIRIA Research, a biotech & pharmaceutical advisory firm that specializes in international market access strategy. Notably, her company’s tailored health system intelligence drives the delivery of the world’s most promising drugs and drives the growth of her clients’ multibillion-dollar assets. 

Known for her quick wit and authentic leadership, Sadhna’s research on the psychosocial factors that impact survivorship in cancer patients was published in partnership with the University of Arizona’s Cancer Center. This research led her to begin exploring the ways in which laughter impacts healing in cancer patients, which later inspired her research on stand-up comedians. 
Her research explores the ways in which humor impacts psychology, physiology, resilience, and leadership. 
It supports the notion that humor is intelligence.
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About LeaderVoices:

LeaderVoices is a show about leaders, and their infinite ability to change the world. Each episode in LeaderVoices, we dig into stories and sparks from “for-purpose” leaders, coaches, comedians, luminaries, and everyday heroes from around the globe. Tales of impact and failing forward, of aspirations and innovations — and the infinite and inspiring ways that social purpose leaders lead and make the world a better place.

This show is brought to you by the American Express Leadership Academy alumni Network and leaderstories.org.

LeaderVoices is audio engineered by Ravi Lad and produced by Kree Pandey and team at OTVO Digital. Special thanks to Caitlin Johnson and Michael Chang.

ALL Episodes

ALL Episodes

Episode 9: Building MOMentum in Motherhood with Chelsie Bruggeman

Join us on LeaderVoices as Dr. Sadhna Bokhiria sits down with Chelsie Bruggeman, the powerhouse behind MOMentum, an organization designed to support working moms. Chelsie dives into her past as a top fundraiser, pulling in over $15 million for Arizona State University, and how this led her to start MOMentum. She shares the real talk on juggling life as a mom of two young boys and the demands of a career, bringing a fresh take on the ups and downs of matrescence—the transition into motherhood. Expect a candid conversation filled with stories from the front lines of fundraising and motherhood, tips on navigating professional life post-kids, and why sometimes, the best policy is just to embrace the chaos.


Chelsie Bruggeman

Founder and CEO, MOMentum for Working Moms

Episode 9: Molecules to Mindsets: Innovating against Malaria With Dr. Daniel Emerling

Join host Dr. Sadhna Bokhiria on LeaderVoices for an enlightening conversation with the ever-dynamic Dr. Daniel Emerling where he shares his journey and the philosophies that have shaped his professional life and work. Dr. Emerling's illustrious career, spanning over two decades, has been marked by groundbreaking contributions to the development of therapeutics for a spectrum of diseases including those affecting the nervous system, as well as oncology, autoimmune, metabolic, and infectious diseases. A seasoned neurobiologist and biotech leader, Dr. Emerling shares the narrative of his journey from a wide-eyed, deeply curious child to a titan of biosciences and therapeutics development. Not only is his work driven by a profound commitment to scientific inquiry and application, he also shares an experimental mindset that has led to practical applications that promise to save millions of lives, most notably through his pioneering work on a malaria vaccine.


Dr. Daniel Emerling

SVP, Head of Research, Annexon Biosciences

    Episode 8: Jokes on You: A Neuroscientist's Journey to Comedy with Dr. Ori Amir

    Join Dr. Sadhna Bokhiria on LeaderVoices as she welcomes Dr. Ori Amir, a neuroscientist who doubles as a stand-up comedian. Joining us from Mongolia, Dr. Amir discusses with us the neuroscience of humor, the impact of cultural differences on comedy, and the boundaries of humor in today's sensitive social climate.  In this episode, Dr. Amir shares his intriguing personal journey from a comedic family in Israel to performing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles while conducting groundbreaking research on how humor affects the brain. Discover how humor can enhance cognitive functions, build community trust, and even aid in personal healing.


    Dr. Ori Amir

    Neuroscientist, Comedian & Founder of HaHator

    Episode 7: Code Blue, True You: Finding Your Calling with Dr. Ron Cohen

    Join our host Dr. Sadhna Bokhiria as she welcomes Dr. Ron Cohen to the LeaderVoices Podcast. Dr. Cohen shares his intriguing journey from a career in medicine to becoming a biotech innovator. Discover how he blends his love for the humanities with his expertise in biotechnology to push the boundaries of medical science. In this episode, Dr. Cohen delves into the challenges of the U.S. healthcare system, the ethical considerations in biopharma advancements, and the power of effective communication in science. He also sheds light on how collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical industry can enhance patient care. Tune in for an engaging conversation that offers both inspiration and insight into the evolving world of biotechnology and healthcare.


    Dr. Ron Cohen

    President & CEO, Acorda Therapeutics

    Episode 6: Bigger Than Depression

    Could depression be an asset in your leadership? Elsie Ramsey, founder of the nonprofit Bigger than Depression, says it can. She says depression has helped her navigate workplaces, build lasting relationships, and promote her ideas. Comedian Tristan Bowling is in a different place in his journey. Sadhna talks with both about the profound insights they’ve learned about leading through and with depression and anxiety.


    Tristan Bowling


    Elsie Ramsey

    Founder, Bigger than Depression

    Episode 5: A Period Piece - Menstruation and Leadership

    Did you know that there are more than 5,000 euphemisms for menstrual period around the globe? It’s a truth of life that is often kept silent. A recent study found that a third of male workers think it’s “inappropriate” to discuss anything to do with menstruation in the office. In this episode, we’re talking about it, with two thought-provoking leaders who have a lot to say on what it means to be a menstruator – from the perilous effects of menstrual stigma and sanitary supply gaps, to the power of “cycle syncing” and so much more.


    Wendy Aura

    Executive Director, Young Women Leaders Connect

    Alyx Coble-Frakes

    Founder & CEO, The Agenda.Period.

    Episode 4: Successor Success for Certain

    Change is challenging — especially at the executive level. Studies show that the period around a nonprofit founder's departure is an especially vulnerable time for the organization. In this episode, Sadhna links up with two powerful leaders who stepped into CEO roles when their founders passed them the leadership torch. With the right approach and support, successor success is certain.


    Abby Robinson

    Claire Louge

    Episode 3: Rock Star Women Equalizing Gender Gaps

    Not all rock stars are household names. In this episode, Sadhna introduces us to two rock star women — Wendy Rockwell and Jaclyn Boyes — who are changing the world through their passion, power, and influence on policy. Through their determination to impact not just their own careers but expand opportunities for others, these women are leaving a mark on the globe that will transcend generations. From equal pay to racial justice, these rock stars are rocking it!


    Jaclyn Boyes

    Regional Senior Vice President, West at Per Scholas

    Wendy Rockwell

    Director, Market Access National Account Team, Calliditas Therapeutics

    Episode 2: The Dream Theme

    Are you relentless in the pursuit of your dreams? Sadhna sits down with Mbao Ngula, director of ProjectEDUCATE and stand- up comedian Paul Virzi to talk about following one’s dreams with passion and purpose…..For a dream without a plan is simply a wish. If you haven’t listened to Episode 1: Dream Big, Dream Bold, you don’t need to listen to it first, but you won’t want to miss it!


    Mbao Ngula

      Paul Virzi


        Episode 1: Dreaming Big, Dreaming Bold

        Sadhna sits down with Wesner Pierre, Senior Managing Director of Programs at Harlem Children’s Zone, on how he mapped a big, bold dream - and made it his reality. Some very special insight from Executive Leadership Coach, Brian Wood (who after a 30-minute session, inspired Sadhna to quit her job) and 72-year-old breakout comic star Billy O’Connor.


        Wesner Pierre

          Brian Wood

            Billy O’Connor

              Meet our production team

              Sadhna Bokhiria

              Writer, Host, & Executive Producer

              Kree Pandey


              Michael Chang

              Project and Operations Manager

              Caitlin Johnson

              Engagement Manager

              Ravi Lad

              Audio Engineer