Dr. Alise Cortez is the Chief Purpose Officer at Alise Cortez and Associates (management consulting specializing in meaning and purpose) and Chief Ignition Officer at Gusto, Now! (a multi-lingual e-learning platform with well-being and leadership courses). She is also an inspirational speaker, social scientist, author, and host of the Working on Purpose radio show. Having developed her expertise within the human capital / organizational excellence industry over the last 20 years, she is focused on helping companies, leaders, and individuals across the globe to live with “gusto” and make the most of their one, precious life. She is the author of Purpose Ignited: How Inspiring Leaders Unleash Passion and Elevate Cause, and the Curator of Passionately Striving in “Why”: An Anthology of Women Who Persevere Mightily to Live Their Purpose.

Today Dr. Cortez is focused on enabling organizations to lead from purpose and create cultures of meaning that inspire impassioned performance, meaningful engagement and fulfillment, while encouraging a devoted stay within the organization. She has helped develop and transform thousands of managers and executives in their leadership along the way. She also helps companies “visioneer” by facilitating meaningful exchange among all stakeholders for an integrated and dynamic strategic future. For individuals, Dr. Cortez facilitates an online global community and various retreats to enable people hungry for a more meaningful and purposeful life to create it for themselves.

Alise began her human capital career in 1998 as a staffing professional at Analysts International and corporate recruitment consulting at VoiceStream/T-Mobile while simultaneously pursuing her doctorate degree. Her experience includes HR System implementation and change management consulting at Hewitt Associates and PepsiCo, and employee engagement assessment and consulting at the Center for Talent Solutions. She co-founded and served as VP of Sales & Marketing at Improved Experience, a consulting firm that offered online feedback solutions and research for the Human Resource and Recruiting industry. Dr. Cortez served as a Consultant for Insigniam, a management consulting firm specializing in breakthrough, innovation and transformation. She taught various Psychology courses at the University of Phoenix and Communication and Professional Seminar courses at Southern Methodist University as an Adjunct Faculty Professor. These accumulated experiences inform her practice helping companies with an array of human capital needs from recruiting, onboarding, employee training and development, change management, leadership development, and organizational transformation and now serve as foundation on the meaning and purpose focus she brings today.

 After completing a Bachelors in Liberal Studies and a Masters in Liberal Studies (focusing on International Relations with South America), Alise earned a PhD in Human Development from Fielding Graduate University.  Fascinated with how people choose and experience their work, her research and dissertation illuminated a fresh perspective on meaning in work and its relationship to personal identity.  In a large post-doctoral research investigating meaning and work and identity qualitatively interviewing 115 men and women aged 18 to 80 from 20 industries, she built on this doctoral research and discovered 15 “Modes of Engagement” that help individuals understand their unique relationship to their work.

 In addition to her Modes of Engagement research, Dr. Cortez’s work is informed by an education grounded in Humanistic/Positivist psychology and Existential Psychology’s Logotherapy. Alise has lived in Spain and Brazil, and traveled extensively across Western Europe, South America, and parts of Asia and Oceania. She is conversationally comfortable in Spanish and Portuguese and has some language ability in French and Italian. She strives to steward individuals and companies to reach their higher potential and the expression of their unique talents and creativity. She is constantly working to awaken and realize her own potential and absolutely delights in guiding and inspiring clients to do the same. She endeavors to enjoy a full life with frequent travel outside the US, hosting gatherings with good food and beverage, and being an active leader in her Dallas community.  Alise has served on the following Boards in Dallas: YMCA at White Rock (past Chairman of the Board), Lakewood Service League (past President and fundraising Event Chair), Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation (past Needs Assessment Chair), Dallas Staffing Association (past VP of Professional Development and Diversity), and the Dallas Running Club (past Co-Race Director).



Specialties Include
  • Viisioneering Stakeholders for Greater Purpose
  • Articulating Company Purpose

  • Developing Inspirational Leaders

  • Strengths-Based Teams

  • Grab Your Gusto: Well-Being from the Inside Out

  • Meaning-Infused Culture

  • Employee Engagement


Why Choose Alise
  • 20 years of experience in the human capital industry, including talent acquisition, employee learning and development, employee engagement, leadership development, and talent retention, culture assessment/change, and organizational design and development
  • Research-grounded subject matter expert in meaning and purpose
  • Inspirational, uplifting message and masterful delivery
  • Language talents in English (native), Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Italian


What Alise Cortez and Associates do / specialties
  1. Speaks to enlighten, enliven, and empower her audiences to go after the life and work they so deeply desire
  2. Catalyzes personal, professional, and leadership transformation that increases effectiveness, improves relationship for deeper connection, and increases the impact of results
  3. Procures and engages dynamic thought leaders on her radio podcast to help listeners across the globe more meaningfully and productively connect with their work
  4. Creates and provides useful and effective tools and resources that help people access possibility, growth, and higher levels of performing and leading


Certifications and Affiliations


What Clients Are Saying


I have worked with Alise Cortez for two years on our Women in Leadership Forum – a networking event focused on addressing issues facing women in Pharma. Alise has been an absolute pleasure to work with on this project; her friendly and professional manner instantly engages attendees and puts the room at ease.  A skilled moderator, Alise worked extensively with our panelists pre-event to ensure everyone felt comfortable with the agenda points and led the discussion seamlessly on the day of the event – not an easy task! It’s a privilege to work with Alise and I very much looking forward to our continued collaboration.
Tara Dougal

Head of Content, UBM

Alise is a captivating speaker with outstanding insights about Employee Engagement. She’s a tireless and dedicated researcher who is able to present complex ideas in direct and understandable language. Her infectious energy and wisdom about human relationships is reflected in the great work that she does.
Mark Snyder

Regional Leadership Forum Facilitator, Society for Information Management

If you’re looking for a motivational speaker for your event … or an invigorating bolt of lightning to inspire your team … no one I know “brings it” quite like Dr. Alise Cortez. If you want to inspire your team or audience with a deeper sense of purpose, and get people believing in not only their abilities to do ore, but increase their passion to DO more… then talk to Alise.
Shawn Anderson

#1 ranked Author in "Motivation" and "Self-Help" and Founder, Extra Mile America

Quite possibly the sole catalyst in my drive to push forward and accomplish my current endeavors in the field of psychology. She is extraordinary with an uncanny ability to inspire and spark change. I highly recommend anyone in the position to witness her skills to do so!
Kevin Hall

Former Student

“I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Alise Cortez for over a decade. Her ability to create new understanding in the management/leadership development arena and apply that into scintillating classroom experience is unparalleled! I highly recommend her and her work and partner with her at every opportunity!
Michael Rochelle

Manager, Leadership Consultant, CRM Associates

Alise delivered an engaging and customized Keynote Speech to rejuvenate our group of dedicated career services professionals from the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex Area Consortium of Career Centers at the end of a long recruiting season.  She inspired great discussion around the meaning of our work and generated a renewed mission for each individual to reconnect with their individual source of positive energy.  Alise has a captivating spirit that is contagious. She was the best speaker for our professional development event.
Alicia T. Love, M.A., M. Ed

Assistant Director, Employer Relations at Southern Methodist University, President of DFW Metroplex Area Consortium of Career Centers

Alise spoke at my firm’s women’s leadership group.   Her topic of engagement and retention was spot on to what we needed and was delivered in a way that motivated everyone in the room.  Alise is passionate about what she does and was relatable to various levels of professionals attending the program.   She encouraged participation and got results, which is typically a challenge with a room full of accountants.  I would highly recommend Alise as a presenter and would gladly bring her in for future programs.
Susan Powell

Partner, Whitley Penn

Great presentation skill and keeping the attendees engaged. I have taken 2 sessions with you and I have to say you keep it real and very interesting.
Monica Swafford

Manager, IT BVM Sales and Marketing Business Analysis, DIRECTV

Renaissance woman. Helping people. Intelligent radio discourse. Expert in a field of “Working on Purpose”. Multi-lingual, broad academic background, lived overseas. Impeccable style.
Paul Garrett

Testing and Assessments, Center at Austin Community College

Alise Cortez brought her strong presence and formidable skills to San Antonio. She moved the needle not only for the corporate side of things but impacted our foundation’s talented committee. She finished with a big bang by training a diverse group of youth at Restore Education, one of our preferred partners. I witnessed the awakening as it unfolded which was palpable not to mention the ROI it will bring on all three trainings! Thank you Alise Cortez you are a dynamo.
Martha Barnes

Founder, Full Force Foundation

Alise Cortez PhD

Alise facilitating a Strengths workshop with college students in Madurai, India December 2014.


Media Links

Diane McClay endorses Dr. Cortez’s book, Purpose Ignited: How Inspiring Leaders Unleash Passion and Elevate Cause


 Interview with publisher Alison Jones of Practical Publishing about the book Purpose Ignited and why I wrote it


Talking with Brent Stewart of the Everybody Matters Podcast and the Barry-Wehmiller Company about leadership and reflecting on a purposeful year in 2020

Everybody Matters Podcast: Dr. Alise Cortez and a Purposeful Year in Review – Bob Chapman’s Truly Human Leadership

Talking with John Golden of Sales Pop about how to inspire yourself and others at work

 How to Inspire Yourself and Others at Work (video) by Alise Cortez – SalesPOP!

Alise’s interview with Hugh Ballou talking about the opportunities the COVID pandemic has to help leaders reinvent the workplace 


Interview with Dr. Wanda Wallace – Inspirational Leadership and the Importance of Leading from Purpose


Interview with Judy Hoberman, Host of Selling in a Skirt – Being Engaged at Work and Why It’s Important to Business Results


Interview with Silke Schwarzkopf, Executive Producer / 2nd Act TV on You Tube, Living a Fulfilled Life, Finding Passion and Meaning in Life after 50

http://bit.ly/2mFn5Jc or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv21qz2XLTQ&t=41s

Interview with Silke Schwarzkopf, Executive Producer / 2nd Act TV on You Tube, Finding Passion and Meaning in Life After Going Through Divorce

http://bit.ly/2lz1zpd or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOfWNNugVHg&t=84s

Interview with Silke Schwarzkopf, Executive producer / 2nd Act TV on You Tube, Following Your Dreams After 50


Kimberly Davis, Founder of OnStage Leadership and Author of Brave Leadership, wrote this blog about Alise’s leadership: A friend blogged about my leadership: https://onstageleadership.com/blog/2015/11/23/thankful-for-leaders-of-leaders/

Kimberly Davis, Founder of OnStage Leadership and Author of Brave Leadership, wrote this blog about Alise’s view on value and recognition to engage employees: https://onstageleadership.com/blog/2014/06/05/do-they-know/

Interview with Irma Vargas, Be Brilliant – Enjoy the Journey with Alise Cortez (Strengths-Based Leadership): http://www.rhgtvnetwork.com/media/311964

Interview with Joy Schwartz, Exploring Life and Career Transitions  http://www.oneideaaway.com/tcv010-exploring-life-and-career-transitions-with-alise-cortez/

Interview with Stephanie and Anna Scheller, Sales and Talent Recruitment https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/black-belt-selling/e/50428446?autoplay=true

Interview with John Sumser of the HR Examiner, Finding Meaning in Work https://www.hrexaminer.com/hrx-big-ideas-radio-episode-2-finding-meaning-in-work-with-alise-cortez-phd/ 

Interview with Chris Dyer of TalentTalk, Mobilizing Talent to Catapult Performance, Alise being interviewed about Working on Purpose: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/209-TalentTalk-27264179/episode/alise-cortez-and-edgar-papke-27505846/

Interview with Sarah Webb of Plaid for Women, Engagement and Purpose at Work https://podfanatic.com/podcast/plaid-radio-by-plaid-for-women/episode/plaid-radio-episode-6-dr-alise-cortez

Women’s Leadership Conference with Alise Cortez speaking on Women Taking Charge of Their Lives (no audio): http://www.cornerstoneleague.coop/wlc_cortez.html

Book citation in Joyce Lain Kennedy’s Cover Letter for Dummies


Interview with Jean Oursler, Get More Results https://b2btv.tv/get-more-result-tv-with-jean-oursler-and-guest-alise-cortez-s2e4/