Speaker Bio

Nicole Dessain

DisruptHR Chicago
Nicole Dessain, M.A., PMP, CPT is a talent management and HR “nerd”. She loves to blow up long-held beliefs that stop us from preparing our organizations for the future of work. Nicole feels lucky to have had an amazing corporate HR and consulting career that she has recently turned into her own start-up, talent.imperative, a talent experience design consultancy. Her second, not-for-profit business, DisruptHR Chicago, was launched in 2016 and has inspired more than 1,100 HR and business leaders in the Chicago area.

Nicole is a former head of talent strategies and Accenture management consulting executive with a rich history of bringing innovative thought leadership and an entrepreneurial approach to elevating leading organizations’ talent practices to the next level. She has successfully quantified the value talent brings to organizations and led strategies that resulted in “Best Places to Work” designations for her clients. Throughout her career she has worked with organizations across sizes, countries, and industries.

Nicole loves to share her passion for talent by writing and speaking about it. She is a co-author of Springer's "Handbook of Human Resources Management" and a HuffPost contributor where she features stories about innovators at the intersection of strategy, culture, and talent.

Nicole has been quoted in the Chicago Tribune, HR Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Talent Management Magazine. She has presented to live and virtual audiences including DisruptHR, SHRM, ERE, TLNT, and ISPI. Nicole serves as a mentor in Northwestern University’s “Master’s in Learning & Organizational Change” program. 

Nicole earned her Master’s degree in International Information Management at the University of Hildesheim in Germany and completed Executive Education at the University of Chicago – Booth School of Business. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), a Human Performance Technologist (CPT), an IDEO U certified human-centered designer, and a Certified Equine Guided Educator (CEGE).