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Maureen Zappala

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Impostor Syndrome

Confidence & Competence


Confidence is NOT Rocket Science: How to Overcome the Self-Doubt of Impostor Syndrome

Leadership is NOT Rocket Science: How to Turn Your Superstars into Supernovas

Rethinking Impostor Syndrome:

Understanding & Addressing Impostor Syndrome in the Workplace

Keynote & Workshop Topics

Video Experience




Maureen Zappala, an award-winning speaker, author, and founder of High Altitude Strategies, shows successful high-performers how to overcome the hidden self-doubt of the Impostor Syndrome.


A native of NYC, she has a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, and she spent more than 13 years at NASA's Lewis Research Center in Cleveland (now Glenn Research Center) conducting aircraft engine research.


Yes, she is a rocket scientist!

She became the youngest and first female manager of NASA's Propulsion Systems Laboratory, a jet engine test facility. Despite stellar credentials and impressive accomplishments at NASA, the annoying Impostor Syndrome was her constant companion, causing her to think, "I'm not as smart as everyone thinks I am, and they're going to figure it out."  This led to a passion for showing others how to silence those destructive voices that hinder success and create secret shame. 

Maureen teaches others to match their confidence to their competence so they have more influence. Audience members have called her strategies "game-changers."

Her clients include AT&T, Merck, Freddie Mac, Boston Scientific, Rea & Associates, University of South Florida, and Parker Hannifin. 

In 2009 and 2020, she was in the top 10 of 30,000 contestants in the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking contest. She is the author of four books including "Pushing Your Envelope: How Smart People Defeat Self-Doubt and Live with Bold Enthusiasm." She co-authored (with Jack Park) "Buckeye Reflections: Legendary Moments from Ohio State Football" (yes, she's an Irish Buckeye!)

Her hobbies include fitness, college football, decorating, and sewing. After 35+ years in Cleveland, Ohio, Maureen moved to Las Vegas in 2019. She still can't find her winter coat, and that's just fine with her. 



"Maureen was a huge hit with our attendees! She had great energy, stories, and humor as well as practical strategies that will help immediately. Impostor Syndrome is a real problem among engineers, and Maureen gave us a solution." 

Dr. Kenneth Lui 


“Thank you on behalf of our all participants for your truly inspiring and transformative session! It was so informative and really has kept many of us thinking."

Kristine Najaar

Merck Pharmaceuticals

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