Caroline Noelle Walsh

Researcher, Author, Comic, Coach, Athlete, Veteran, Art Instructor

Caroline is a leadership researcher and leadership coach, specializing in ethical leadership, leadership development, and and the art of genuine communication. Beyond her scholarly pursuits, she has added an engaging dimension to her profile as the author of the delightful comedic memoir, "Fairly Smooth Operator." Adding to her vibrant repertoire, she imparts her comedic wisdom as a standup comedy instructor, collaborating with the Armed Services Arts Partnership to spread laughter and creative expression.


Caroline's primary focus lies in the realm of ethical leadership. She spearheaded a qualitative study that delved into the perspective of ethical leadership as perceived by lower-ranking individuals within the military. This study gained recognition through presentations at both the US and European chapters of the International Society of Military Ethics and the Society of Business Ethics.

At present, Caroline is researching the ethical leadership perspectives embraced by CIA leaders to cultivate an atmosphere of integrity within the organization. Her study sheds light on the intricacies these leaders navigate, skillfully balancing the multifaceted tensions inherent to intelligence operations. 

Caroline's research passion extends to fostering inclusive governance. Her involvement in a study centered around the diversity of transnational NGO boards speaks to her dedication to amplifying voices across a spectrum of backgrounds. Her contributions encompassed facilitating data collection and analysis.


Sometimes you have a decision or direction you want to explore in your life, but you may find yourself going in circles without moving forward. Caroline supports clients in their career or life decisions and managing the unknown that comes with change. She and her clients talk about all sides of the person and issues and uses assessments to support self-knowledge and pattern recognition.

Art and Comedy.

When people ask why I joined the Coast Guard, I respond that I was 22, blond, and fit. In most military services that is guaranteed sexual harassment. 

Why not join the one with the ocean breeze?

(see full story in her book: available on Amazon)

Caroline is a PhD student in the University of San Diego's Leadership Studies program.  She is a Coast Guard and CIA veteran who also instructs comedy courses for the Armed Service Arts Partnership.

Caroline grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio before heading west to play soccer at California State University Monterey Bay. She graduated with a bachelors degree in Psychology from California State University Channel Islands and earned her master's in Homeland Security from Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine while she was enlisted on active duty. 

She became an officer in the Coast Guard Reserves, supporting a deployment to Guantanamo Bay, before focusing on her career at the CIA.

Her Leadership Studies research interests include enhancing ethics and integrity within organizations,  applying organizational theories to better onboard technical personnel in large organizations, and analyzing programs that assist military veterans' development during their ongoing transition to civilian life.

Caroline resides in Encinitas, California with her dog. 

Check out her books & social:

Instagram: @Carolinenoelle_art