Shannon Polly & Kathryn Britton

Award-winning Non-Fiction Author


About Shannon Polly & Kathryn Britton

Shannon is one of the first 150 people in the world to earn her Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) degree at the University of Pennsylvania under Dr. Martin Seligman, and helps organizations and employees leverage their strengths for higher performance. She is a leadership development consultant, facilitator, speaker and coach and CEO of DC based consultancy, Shannon Polly & Associates.

Shannon facilitated for the U.S. Army’s Master Resiliency Training program where she has trained over 1,000 Army sergeants in psychological resilience. She is the co-founder of Positive Business DC.

She is a contributing author (alongside Dr. Martin Seligman) to European Handbook of Positive Psychology (2013), and the author/editor of the recent book: Character Strengths Matter: How to Live a Full Life (2015) which has been endorsed by Dr. Seligman as well as countless other psychology luminaries.

Shannon is an honors graduate of Yale College, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and the Georgetown Leadership Coaching Program. You can visit the non-profit at and her site at
Kathryn Britton is an Associate Editor for PPND and co-editor of the three books in the Positive Psychology News series.
Kathryn practices applied positive psychology in as many ways as she can imagine. She coaches people through her company, Theano Coaching LLC. She speaks to churches and business groups about gratitude, discovering and exercising strengths, resilience, motivation, and other aspects of positive psychology in the workplace. She also has her own blog titled Positive Psychology Reflections.

Kathryn is an adjunct instructor at the University of Maryland, co-teaching Project Team Management in the Project Management department in the Clark School of Engineering.

Kathryn’s particular interests in positive psychology are informed by nearly 30 years experience as a professional software engineer. She was a technical leader and master inventor. Her name is on 20 patents issued so far — more in the works. She was also an active advocate for women in technology, serving on the program committee for an IBM North Carolina Women in Technology conference for 6 years. After graduating with the first MAPP class in 2006, Kathryn spent 9 months before retiring from technology as a “positive organization advisor” in her company. She found that there are many things people can do on their own to make work more satisfying and engaging. Some of these are reflected in the paper she published on her PPND series, Taking Positive Psychology to Work. Certain aspects of positive psychology make perfect sense in business settings and are not hard for people to learn and apply.

Kathryn’s coaching expertise is based on at least 20 years experience mentoring individuals and groups of individuals. She came to coaching because it is an ideal profession to apply what she’s learned from people and about positive emotion, resilience, intrinsic motivation, and character strengths to make a positive difference in the world.

Kathryn received her BA in English from Stanford, Master degrees in Library Science and Computer Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and MAPP degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a founding member of the Centre of Applied Positive Psychology (CAPP) and a charter member of the International Positive Psychology Association.


Books by Shannon Polly & Kathryn Britton