Yulia Barnakova


Office Location: Philadelphia

Phone: +1 610.7171000

Yulia Barnakova is a principal in Heidrick & Struggles’ Philadelphia office and a member of the Heidrick Consulting Practice. She focuses on working with clients to transform their business and talent strategies to adapt to increasing uncertainty and changing market dynamics.

Yulia has worked within many facets of strategic planning, leadership development, and organizational transformation. She helps organizations push the boundaries of their own thinking and see the world differently. Her work includes developing strategic plans that are adaptive to changing market conditions, aligning talent agendas to evolving business priorities, designing customized executive development programs, and leading stakeholder communication strategies for change management efforts.

She teaches, speaks, and writes on the topics of strategic leadership, critical thinking, decision making, innovation, and effective communication. Her articles have appeared in such publications as chief learning officer and American Management Association’s MWorld, including Chief Learning Officer and American Management Association’s MWorld including “Slow Down to Speed Up:  Four Ways to Think Strategically Even with No Time” and “Women as Strategic Leaders: The Need and the Critical Skills.”

She has contributed to DSI’s research featured in the Harvard Business Review article, “Strategic Leadership: The Essential Skills,” and summarized in the book, “Winning the Long Game: How Strategic Leaders Shape the Future” by Steve Krupp and Paul Schoemaker.

Yulia has worked with Fortune 500 clients across many industries, including healthcare, financial services, energy, telecommunications, media, transportation, retail, and consumer packaged goods. In addition to her client work, she also co-leads the digital products and online course development efforts within her team.

She was previously a principal at Decision Strategies International, a global strategy and leadership development advisory firm. Before that, she was the head of marketing at a consumer products start-up within the Wharton Venture Initiation (VIP) Program. She speaks Russian, French and Arabic.


Yulia has a master’s degree in communication with an intercultural focus from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s degree in finance and international business from Villanova University. 

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