meet Sarah

Sarah van der Burch

Senior Consultant

Sarah van der Burch is a senior consultant at culture-shaping firm Senn Delaney, a Heidrick & Struggles company. Sarah works with clients in the Asia Pacific region. Years of experience of working both inside organizations, and supporting them externally, provides Sarah with a unique perspective and broad understanding of working with leaders.

Her view is that because certain things are true of all people and all organizations, the process of shaping cultures has a constant set of principles. These principles of the vitality, continuous learning and direction and purpose define the simplest approach to developing people and building cultures that combine flexibility with stability. Sarah's work to create healthy, high-performance work environments where people thrive has an honest and caring approach that her clients both appreciate and trust.

Watch a video of Sarah describing her long tenure at Senn Delaney and her work with clients in the Asia Pacific region


Since joining Senn Delaney in 1989, Sarah has led a significant number of engagements with global companies, including T-Mobile, Hitachi Data Systems, CIGNA, GlaxoSmithKlein, Waste Management and Nortel Networks. She leads all facets of the client engagement, from coaching the senior team to the transfer of competency process and the creation of self-managed union work teams. The depth of these relationships allow Sarah to closely partner with clients, supporting them in shaping the overall culture and leadership while transferring competency to the organization.

Before joining Senn Delaney, Sarah worked in commercial banking for Nomura Securities in both New York and Japan. Her primary focus was the creation of a global leadership team; however, her first assignment was to create a performance-based, team-focused, incentive compensation plan for senior traders and salespeople. After launching the plan successfully, she then created the leadership development operation, working closely with the chairman and the global business heads to ensure aligned outcomes.

Prior to working on Wall Street, Sarah lived, worked and studied in Japan. She studied traditional Japanese art and language while working with companies to prepare their executives for working in the U.S. Before moving to Japan, Sarah directed a state-wide community education and leadership development program for Native Americans in rural Alaska.

Sarah did both her graduate and undergraduate work in education at Mills College in Oakland, California. She also attended the University of Texas in Austin where she studied natural sciences. She holds advanced certificates in both Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Health Realization.
Culture Drives Performance Image