About Chris

Chris Esmonde, ACC, MBA

Founder and CEO, Third Stream Leadership

“As an executive coach and management consultant, I’ve always been drawn to supporting leaders and executives who are striving to create positive change beyond the balance sheet. My most satisfying moments are when I provide active guidance to leaders and teams that are working hard to improve people’s quality of life. Being someone who people trust during key transitions is energizing and gratifying.”

Chris’ focus throughout his career has been to work with people and organizations dedicated to a mission that reaches beyond just financial goals, whether they be in the for-profit, NFP, public sector, or public/private spheres.

As a leadership coach, Chris brings an open and down-to-earth approach and pragmatic strategies to collaborative, achievement-oriented leadership work. Clients can count on him to bring keen insight, innovative ideas, empathy, and humor to their work together.

Prior to founding his own coaching and consulting practice in 2003, Chris consulted with Fortune 100 clients on customized leadership programs at Harvard Business School Executive Education. He has led major initiatives in strategic planning, change management, service innovation, training and outplacement for leading corporations and large not-for-profit organizations at CSC Index (now DXC Technology), General Electric, Hewitt Associates (now AON) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Chris has served a broad base of clients in a variety of fields, including:

    • Financial services: CRICO Insurance/ Risk Management Foundation, Sun Life Financial, Swiss RE;
    • Health Services: Humana HMO, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital (now New York Presbyterian Hospital), Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada, Northwestern Healthcare;
    • Life Sciences: Biogen, Pfizer, Novartis;
    • Technology: IBM, Deutsche Telecom, Lockheed Martin, CommuniSpace (now C-Space), SEMplicity Security Software;
    • International Development: The World Bank, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Inter-American Development Bank.

Chris is a Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and a Certified Executive Coach (CEC) with the Center of Executive Coaching. He is a Certified Practitioner in the Leadership Circle Profile and is always learning innovative ideas and approaches for accelerating adult learning and development.

Chris earned his MBA in Health Services Management and Organization Behavior at  Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern. He has an AB in Labor Economics, cum laude, from Harvard University.

A strong believer in succeeding through teamwork and collaboration, Chris was co-captain and All American on the Harvard Varsity Lacrosse team. His love of music was expanded as a jazz DJ on Harvard Radio, WHRB.

Chris is a longtime practitioner of yoga who loves coaching youth sports teams. A jazz aficionado, he also plays string bass and enjoys all kinds of live music. A native of New York City, Chris and his wife live in the Boston area, where they are raising their teenage twins.

Community Engagement

Chris has always been committed to causes that seek to improve education and healthcare locally and beyond. His volunteer activities include the following:

    • Leading a local citizens’ advocacy group to win a $23M project to renovate and modernize an under-resourced public elementary school;
    • Serving on the Board of Boston Partners in Education, a longtime catalyst for improving K-12 academic performance in the Boston Public Schools; and
    • Organizing a series of classical music concerts at Harvard University to benefit Partners in Health, an NFP leader in global health.

“Chris’ biggest strength is his ability … to weave the wealth of information obtained from all sources into one cohesive and well-thought-out plan. I would welcome the opportunity to work with Chris again, especially when trying to solve complex problems within equally complex organizations.”

Marco DiBuono

— President, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities

Coaching for Authentic Leadership

With more than three decades of executive coaching and management consulting experience, Third Stream Leadership works with executives and teams of mission-driven, purpose-led organizations to improve their most productive leadership attributes while mitigating their less-effective tendencies.

Whether through one-on-one coaching, team-level coaching, or collaborative management consulting, our solutions focus on your key areas of improvement, aligned with your goals and purpose. Should we decide to work together, you’ll experience the following benefits:


Everything we do with our clients is based on collaboration. Clients looking for a one-on-one coaching relationship will find a deeply collaborative experience, structured with an open and ongoing sharing of thoughts and ideas — all held in strict confidence.


We are dedicated to supporting our clients in achieving results in their key areas of focus. We help clients think through, prioritize, and execute their options effectively and efficiently.

Experience and Adaptability

Broad experience helps us to understand what matters most to our clients. We are also open to new ideas and can shift our process and approach to meet client needs as they pursue their goals and accelerate professional development.

Alignment with Your Purpose & Goals

Successful, purpose-driven leaders need to pursue their mission while also achieving  business goals. Third Stream Leadership is focused on supporting leaders as they go beyond the balance sheet to support their communities in such areas as healthcare, education, economic mobility, and climate.

Bias for Action

While well-defined objectives and values are critical, it is focused action and firsthand experience that accelerates the shift in mindsets to create lasting change.

Trust and Empathy

We strive to build the mutual trust, respect, honesty, and transparency that will enable us to communicate most effectively and help you to succeed more quickly.


We bring the insight gained through many years of experience working with organizations, leaders, and managers. We augment these insights with leadership assessments and interviews as appropriate to gain a fuller, more in-depth understanding of our client leaders.

“Act your way to a different way of thinking. Don’t think your way to a different way of acting.”

— Robert Sutton, Professor of Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University