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Els Valk

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Executive Coach Els Valk with Executive Coaching Connections, LLC, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Els Valk is an experienced executive coach.  Her practice focuses on executive coaching and leadership development as well as consulting for organisational transformation and change. Amongst her clients are international companies (finance, pharma, food, energy), professional firms (law), higher education institutions in the Netherlands and the Dutch Government (Ministry of Infrastructure). Additionally, Els works as Coaching Practice Director and executive coach for the INSEAD Global Leadership Centre (IGLC) in Fontainebleau, France. She also performs as coach for the Vlerick Business School in Belgium, The TIAS-Nimbas Business School in the Netherlands and the Dutch school for Public Administration in The Hague.

Els has broad international business experience in commercial line functions and organisation effectiveness consulting. She started her career in banking, at ING Barings. During these years, she was actively involved in business development in Russia and its satellite countries such as Kazakhstan, as well as former Yugoslavia, Poland, and Hungary.

Moving away from banking, Els subsequently joined SHV. SHV is one of the largest multinational holdings in the Netherlands and is active in retail (Makro stores) and energy (LPG). She occupied various management positions at their operations abroad. After some years, Els pursued her career at Ahold, at the time the world’s third global food retailer, where she became responsible for Procter & Gamble worldwide.

In these years Els developed a strong interest in what makes organizations tick: what moves organizations forward and how to develop effective leaders? As a result Els moved in 2004 to a consultancy role at Cargill Inc., an $88 billion, US based company, where she led the Organisation Effectiveness Consulting practice for Europe. This practice focused on strategy implementation, change management, M&A integration and leadership development. In this capacity, Els directly coached a selection of senior leaders at the executive level. 

Els has lived abroad in the US, Brazil, France, UK, and Belgium, and is fluent in Dutch, English, and French. She has broad experience with international business and working with and leading, cross-cultural teams. 


  • Certified Professional Coach
  • ECI
  • Hogan Assessments
  • Kolb Learning Styles
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®


  • Diploma in Clinical Organisational Psychology, INSEAD Business School, Fontainebleau, France
  • Master’s in both Spanish Law and Literature/Law, University of Amsterdam
  • The ITP (International Teachers Program) at Kellogg School of Management

Practice Areas

  • Executive Coaching
  • Leadership Development

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