About Us

The Baobab Group supports you and your team to execute your mission through coaching, facilitating, or consulting. We offer leadership coaching for individuals and  facilitation and consulting services for mission-minded organizations and teams. We use human-centered design to develop and facilitate inclusive workshops, retreats, and meetings that align with your mission.

Our mission is to help you do more good.



About Our Founder, Dr. Sidra D. Smith

Dr. Sidra D. Smith has committed her professional life to helping others grow – first as a teacher, then as a DEIB practitioner, academic dean, human resources professional, assistant head of school, and leadership coach. The daughter of civil rights activists who pursed careers in social services and the granddaughter of a teacher and a pastor, Sidra believes that service is her family legacy. With over 25 years of professional experience, Sidra has facilitated hundreds of gatherings. She has led professional development workshops; diversity, equity, and inclusion seminars; staff retreats; and trainings focused on leadership and communication.

An ICF-certified coach, Sidra holds both an Executive Certificate in Leadership Coaching and an Executive Certificate in Facilitation from Georgetown University’s Institute for Transformational Leadership. She is also a certified Critical Friends Group coach. Sidra earned a B.A. in English and African American Studies from Wesleyan University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Tufts University.

Currently Sidra serves as a commissioner for the Association of Independent Maryland and DC Schools (AIMS) and a trustee for Meridian Academy. In addition, Sidra is actively involved with the Wesleyan University alumni community and she is a member of the Winsor School Corporation, serving on the school’s Equity Committee. 

Our Origin Story

Sidra initially founded The Baobab Group as a platform for her coaching business, which grew out of her pro bono coaching practice. She has mentored and coached a wide range of leaders in fields from technology to law and from health care to education. In addition to her professional engagements with heads of school and other C-suite executives, she enjoys working with emerging leaders and professionals who are transitioning into new leadership roles.

In 2021 Sidra expanded the scope of The Baobab Group by taking on consulting projects and facilitating virtual gatherings for service-oriented organizations. Drawing on expertise in team building, change management, leadership development, and inclusion practices, The Baobab Group can help your organization strengthen the alignment of mission with practice. We can help you do more good for those you serve.

Our Core Values

Authenticity, empathy, and exploration guide everything that we do at The Baobab Group.

Authenticity matters. We approach situations and navigate the world in ways that reflect our principles, personalities, perspectives, and truths. “Keeping it real” is not something we do; it’s who we are. It is also what we expect from our clients. To our partnership, we ask clients to bring their authentic selves and genuine needs.

Empathy is a guiding principle that underpins all of our interactions. Our commitment to empathy means that we actively listen to our clients, respecting their unique needs and challenges. We offer support that is both compassionate and nurturing. We endeavor to create non-judgmental spaces for individuals and teams to explore and grow.

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Exploration is inquiry in action. As curious doers, The Baobab Group poses lots of questions and considers myriad possibilities as we pursue solutions and resolutions that align with your mission. We believe in the power of curiosity and we embrace culture of exploration.

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Wisdom is like a

baobab tree —
no one individual
can embrace it”

Akan (West African) Proverb

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The Baobab Group is committed to contributing to the common good; facilitating the success of women and people of color in professional spaces; and supporting policies and practices that promote equity for all.