Michael Balaoing, Esq. drives leaders to define who they are, what they stand for, and how to lift others as you rise. He is Founder and CEO of Candlelion LLC, a global consulting firm that advises, by referral only, the world’s largest companies, iconic brands, startups, investors, philanthropists, next-gen entrepreneurs, nonprofits and foundations. For 25 years, he has been an expert in strategic communications, leadership development, philanthropy and corporate responsibility. He has personally coached and trained more than 30,000 people across 100 companies and 500 nonprofits. Trained as a public interest attorney, he has been adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University and New York University.
He has awarded over $500 million in grants and played key leadership roles in philanthropy: Entertainment Industry Foundation (Senior Vice President), Liberty Hill Foundation (Board Chairperson), Philippine Development Foundation (Board Secretary), California Volunteers (Chairperson), Women’s Philanthropy Institute (Advisory Council), The California Wellness Foundation (Program Director). He served as Board Secretary of the Council on Foundations and chaired the Diversity Committee, where he co-founded and launched in 2010 the flagship leadership program, Career Pathways.
Michael is a lifelong advocate of racial and gender equity and social justice. Born in Manila and raised in Los Angeles, he enrolled at Princeton University at age 16 and has taught students, faculty, and staff at a dozen campuses from Harvard and MIT to historically black colleges and universities. With a BA in International Relations from Princeton and JD from UCLA, his career and volunteer service have taken him to 300 cities, 50 countries, 45 U.S. states on 6 continents. He lives in Manhattan and may someday be the proud parent of a puppy or llama.