Sonya Rudenstine

Sonya Rudenstine

Location: Gainesville, FL


Sonya is an executive coach who partners with clients to support them in uncovering their full leadership potential. She is a systems thinker who knows that none of us operate in a bubble. Her approach considers the complexities and nuances of the client’s environment—both professional and personal—to support them in constructing and implementing a mission-driven vision of leadership that aligns with their distinct values.

Sonya’s coaching is deeply influenced by her twenty-plus years of experience as an attorney and business owner. She spent her legal career primarily representing defendants on death row and children sentenced to life without parole throughout the American South. As a law professor, mentor, and trainer, she took what she learned in the trenches and applied it to effectuating equitable, systemic change in the criminal justice system. In doing so, she served as counsel in matters before the U.S. Supreme Court and numerous other appellate courts on behalf of institutions such as the American Bar Association, the Brennan Center for Justice, the Constitution Project, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. By working to forge partnerships in the legal community on behalf of her clients and in service of systemic change, Sonya developed a collaborative, creative approach to her leadership that she brings to her work as a coach in both corporate and non-profit settings.

In addition to coaching for AIIR, Sonya has her own executive coaching practice, Affinity Coaching, LLC, and serves as a facilitator for Emerging Women. Her clients include Hewlett-Packard, Kaiser Permanente, IMA Financial Group, the University of Florida's Collaboratory for Inclusive Entrepreneurship, and many others.

Niche Areas of Expertise

  • C-Suite
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Leaders in Transition
  • Strategic Thinking

Industry Experience

  • Education
  • Financial Services
  • Government
  • Nonprofit
  • Public Sector


  • English


  • New York University School of Law - JD, Law
  • Stanford University - BA, Political Science


  • Hogan
  • Leadership Circle Profile
  • AIIR Coaching Mindset Index
  • AIIR Team Effectiveness Survey

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