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Starla Sampaco is a Filipino-American columnist, keynote speaker, and host with a background in TV news. Currently, she is a contributor to Forbes and Harvard Business Review, and she focuses on teaching women and people of color how to advocate for themselves at work. As a speaker and corporate event host, she has shared stages with notable figures like President Bill Clinton and Janet Jackson. Links: Speaking reel | Hosting reel 

Previously, Starla was the main news anchor for Seattle's PBS channel, which garnered approximately 1.67 million viewers each week throughout Washington state and Canada.


As a Leadership Strategy contributor to Forbes, she writes a column on self-advocacy in the workplace, professional visibility, and the importance of taking up space. She also leads keynotes and corporate workshops for clients like Microsoft, AT&T, and the Society for HR Management (SHRM).

As an extension of this work, Starla taught graduate students at the University of Washington Communication Leadership Master's Program, where she developed a course on self-advocacy and professional visibility as an adjunct faculty member.


Starla has worked in TV and media for more than a decade. Prior to joining Seattle's PBS station, she covered Washington state politics as a legislative reporter for TVW and hosted a technology news show for GeekWire.

Outside of work, Starla enjoys cuddling her rescue dog (follow Dorito on Instagram!), listening to Taylor Swift, and reading culinary cozy mysteries. 

Speaking Reel

Speaking Services

Drawing from more than a decade in the media industry, Starla's keynotes and corporate workshops cover self-advocacy, professional visibility, and the importance of taking up space (especially for women and professionals of color).


Starla’s speeches are customized for each audience. In past talks, her audiences have learned how to: 

  • internalize and amplify their value,

  • grow their perceived credibility,

  • promote themselves (without being disingenuous or "too salesy"), 

  • pitch themselves for growth opportunities, and

  • navigate workplace power dynamics.

Additionally, she is available to moderate panel discussions and emcee conferences as a corporate event host . View Starla's hosting/emceeing reel here.

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Throughout my career, I’ve often been the “only” in many professional settings – the only woman, the only person of color, or the only millennial (the youngest) in the room.

Over the past decade, I have navigated these challenging power dynamics while building a successful career in media, despite being told I was “too young” to succeed in TV and "too ambitious."

These experiences taught me the importance of
advocating for myself and taking up space unapologetically. My greatest passion in life is sharing these skills and lessons with others, so they can thrive (not just survive) in their careers.

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