Tara Montgomery / Founder & Principal

Tara is a trusted change leadership advisor, academic practitioner, and social entrepreneur who strives to connect the dots between healthy people and healthy democracies, bringing consumer and citizen perspectives to conversations about culture change in health care and other complex systems. Tara is driven by optimism about the power of collaboration to solve the world’s most challenging problems. Over the past two decades she has convened and partnered with academic, cultural, scientific, and nonprofit institutions to lead strategic initiatives to advance public health, education, sustainability, and social change.

Following a decade in academic publishing (first as a publisher at Routledge and later as editorial director at Fathom, Columbia University’s online learning start-up), Tara joined Consumer Reports, the world’s largest nonprofit consumer organization. As a senior leader focused on Health Impact, she developed strategies to improve the health and wellbeing of consumers, advocated for transparency and accountability in healthcare, led a team of researchers and journalists, secured millions in grant funding, and launched the public engagement campaign for Choosing Wisely with the ABIM Foundation. 

In 2017 she founded Civic Health Partners, an independent consulting practice working with purpose-driven organizations to develop trustworthy leadership and public engagement strategies. As an EMCC-accredited coach at the Senior Practitioner level, Tara integrates executive coaching methods into her practice. She works with leaders to reflect on the intersection of empathy and evidence and supports them through the development of ethical approaches to build public trust. Her research on the role of trust in the US leadership response to COVID-19 informs her advocacy and coaching efforts to galvanize more trustworthy systems leaders. She recently spent six months with Médecins Sans Frontières supporting mentoring and coaching programs.

Tara speaks and writes about the future of health and the role of trust in achieving a more just and equitable health system. Her work on trust has appeared in JAMA, JMIR, BMJ Opinion, and the AMA Journal of Ethics podcast. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Specialties, where she chairs the Public Member Caucus and serves on the Executive Committee and the Ethics and Professionalism Committee. As an advisory board member, she participates in the Coalition for Health AI, ABIM Foundation Building Trust Patient Advisory Committee, the Advocacy Collaborative of the National Patient Advocate Foundation, the Lisa Schwartz Foundation for Truth in Medicine, and Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. Tara was the 2023 recipient of the Benjamin Shimberg Public Service Award.

Tara was educated at Kings College London and holds an Executive Mastère Spécialisé® in Consulting and Coaching for Change from HEC Paris and Saïd Business School, University of Oxford. Her professional thesis research explored how successes/failures around trust relate to successes/failures of leadership through the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic–and attempts to identify what leaders can do to regain trust in institutions and support our recovery. It identifies seven opportunities to improve leadership preparedness for future public health crises and their related complex systemic challenges.

Tara is an Executive in Residence at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford, where she collaborates with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, facilitates workshops for MBA students on impact leadership, and contributes practitioner insights to graduate and executive programs in healthcare leadership. She is also an Adjunct Lecturer in Health Communication at Tufts University School of Medicine.