Kathleen Wiseman

Founder and President, Working Systems Inc.

Kathy Wiseman is a family wealth/family business advisor whose work is based on Bowen family systems theory. Her 30-year professional experience is focused on being a strategic thought partner, educator to individuals, couples, family enterprises, family foundations, family offices, and families of wealth. She works with lawyers, wealth and philanthropic advisors, trust officers and financial professionals as they meet the challenges of a family’s participation in decision-making.

She has gained an appreciation for the challenges and solutions individuals and families encounter in their working relationships with family and a respect for people’s ability to adapt creatively. Her perspective is one of a “business anthropologist.”

Ms. Wiseman received an undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from The George Washington University. She was appointed to the faculty of the Bowen Center in 1994.

She is founder and president of Working Systems Inc, a consulting firm located in Washington, DC and Santa Fe, New Mexico, co-founder of Navigating Systems, a rigorous educational forum dedicated to bringing family systems thinking to professionals who serve families. She is a past president of the Family Firm Institute and leads their Research and Education Foundation.


Family Foundation CEO Retreat

Posted on February 12, 2021 by Betsy Erickson, Janine Mason, Michael Smith, Tina Runyan, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Bari Katz, Rob Reich, Shaady Salehi, Carmen Rojas, Diana Scearce

The role of a family foundation CEO is unique, often bridging generations of family members, community leaders, staff, advisors, and partners. Expectations can be challenging to meet and boundaries are sometimes vague and ever-changing. Success in this role requires a cadre of specialized leadership skills, particularly in these divisive and dynamic times. This 3-day virtual retreat, designed for both new… Read More