Kirsten Kuhlmann

President & Owner

Kirsten’s adventuresome spirit and passion for unlocking the potential in people and organizations is evidenced by her career as a corporate executive, nonprofit leader and management consultant. As a corporate executive prior to assuming the helm at Cliff Consulting, Kirsten was charged with leading several large organizations through major strategic pivots.

As COO, she navigated the first online luxury consignment store as it scaled from 15 to 60 staff members in a period of six months. She also was Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Chief Technology Officer of the University of Phoenix as they launched the new business of “education as a service.” There, she helped lead the 1,500-plus-person Apollo Technology organization, developing strategy, establishing business operations and operational rigor, and driving organizational focus to deliver the new business and guarantee repeatable success.

For 15 years, Kirsten lived and worked in Europe, where she helped The Gap establish a strong foothold in the European market and grow from eight stores to 220. She helped transform PUMA from a sports company to an athletic lifestyle and fashion brand, taking it from an $800 million overall valuation to $3 billion, thanks in large part to her work to increase the brand’s retail sales and division. In addition, she restructured the European business from nine subsidiaries into one and set up a tax-efficient structure; led an initiative to re-engineer product development processes, gaining a 20 percent increase in retail and wholesale turnover; and established a partner-franchise program to accelerate sales with limited capital investment.

In her free time, Kirsten advocates for and supports women’s leadership initiatives, dabbles in art and adores her two dogs who live with her in Berkeley. She holds bachelor’s degrees from Tulane University in international relations and German.