Kristen Kirkland

Practice Program Manager, Executive Bench® Services


Dr. Kristen Kirkland is a practice program manager of the Executive Bench® team in RHR International’s Atlanta office. Her duties include innovation and the advancement of RHR’s expertise in assessment and development. Kristen focuses on the design of new leadership development products, overseeing the building of new software and simulation tools, crafting partnerships with external vendors, and performing research to ensure alignment with market needs. In addition, Kristen implements assessment processes that assist senior executives as they increase the scale of their responsibilities.

She is an entrepreneurial, creative, and experienced talent management professional with a history of success across leadership consulting, nonprofit, and financial services firms. Prior to joining RHR International, Kristen was the chief operations and talent officer at Every Mother Counts (EMC), a maternal health advocacy nonprofit organization. At EMC she built the HR infrastructure for the organization and spearheaded fundraising through marathons and other running events, which raised over $3,000,000. Prior to that, Kristen worked in leadership development, talent management, and succession planning at multiple financial services firms on Wall Street.

Kristen is a member of Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology’s (SIOP) and Global Organisation for Humanitarian Work Psychology. She continues to support Every Mother Counts as an ambassador for the organization, participating in fundraising and awareness raising events on a regular basis.


The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY
PhD, Industrial/Organizational Psychology

The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, NY
MS, Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Oglethorpe University, Atlanta, GA
BA, Psychology

Published Work

Sommer, K.L., Kirkland, K.L., Newman, S., Estrella, P, & Andreassi, J.L. (2009). Narcissism and cardiovascular reactivity to thoughts of rejection. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 39(5), 1083–1115.

Kirkland, K., McMillan, E.L., & Kirkland, K.L. (2005). Use of collateral contacts in child custody evaluations. Journal of Child Custody, 4, 95–109.

Kirkland, K., Kirkland, K.L., Reaves, R.P. (2004). On the professional use of disciplinary data. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 35, 179–184.

Kirkland, K. and Kirkland, K.L. (2000). Frequency of child custody evaluation complaints and related disciplinary action: A survey of ASPPB member boards. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 32(2), 171–174.