Heather Hansen

Global communications specialist, author of Unmuted.


Thinkers50 Radar Class of 2024.


Has lived abroad over half her life across 5 countries.


Holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.


Intrigued by the intersection of language, culture, and identity, Heather studies how these factors impact our relationships and success in global teams. She helps executives and leaders show up, speak up, and inspire action in a changing world. Heather is on a mission to empower global voices to contribute to conversations that matter in business, politics, and life. Only through conscious, confident, and connected communication, she argues, can we achieve our collective potential and peacefully solve the world’s greatest challenges. Heather speaks up against micro-inequities related to language and accent in international teams, and helps companies build a culture of communication where every voice is heard.


Founder of Singapore-based communication training and consulting firm, Global Speech Academy Pte Ltd, Heather’s talks and training courses on language, communication, and people skills have encouraged leaders across four continents to improve their communication skills and human relationships. Heather is also an External Industry Expert in Communication for the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School’s Executive Education programs. Heather is currently pursuing a PhD in Linguistics at Nanyang Technological University Singapore where she is researching the impact of accent bias on multi-national/lingual/cultural organizations.


Unmuted: How to Show Up, Speak Up And Inspire Action (Bloomsbury, 2022); Powerful People Skills: How to Form, Build, and Maintain Stronger, Long-Lasting Relationships (Marshall Cavendish, 2009); ‘2 Billion Voices: How to speak bad English perfectly’ (TEDxOdense, 2018); ‘How to speak Bad English‘ (NPR Rough Translation Podcast, May 2021); ‘Accent bias is an unchecked signal of racism in the workplace’ (Quartz, June 2021); ‘Unmuted Leadership‘ (Social Responsibility at Work Podcast, August 2022) ‘The Unmuted Framework’ (Remote First Podcast, May 2022); ‘How Multicultural Companies Can Help Each Team Member Find Their Voice’ (A Seat At The Table Podcast, May 2022); ‘Accent Bias & Privilege – Let’s Talk About It’ (Diverseek Podcast, June 2023).

NATIONALITY: American in Singapore

Media picks


Unpacking the core skills of communication and human connection.”

Stuart Crainer & Des Dearlove, Thinkers50

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