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Keiko Hirano attended Keio University, graduating from the Department of English and American Literature in the Faculty of Letters. After working for the advertising company McCann Erickson-Hakuhodo (now McCann Erickson Japan Inc.), she joined a training company where she worked in project management and organization. In 1997, communication seminars held at this company eventually led to the establishment of Coach 21 Co., Ltd., and Hirano was involved with this process as a founding member.
Hirano began her career as an executive coach, at the same time being involved in the creation of coach training programs and the training of coaches in various countries, including in Korea, China and the United States. In recent years, Hirano has worked on the Leadership Development Program, dealing with Japanese people newly posted to foreign countries, as well as foreign nationals posted to Japan.
After its merger with Coach21 in 2011, Hirano became a director at COACH A and in July 2014, Hirano became a managing director. Today, she continues her work with overseas coaches and coach associations, training local coaches to use COACH A’s methods in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the US. She is also engaged in the design and development of a web-based support system, which provides various tools and services for coaches worldwide.


Hirano’s coaching expertise lies in several areas, including the improving communication skills, self-management, and transitions for expatriates. She also provides leadership development coaching for C-suite executives. Hirano has led a considerable number of training workshops and seminars in Japan and worldwide, focusing especially on teaching coaching ethics and the core coaching competencies specified by the ICF.
In addition to her coaching activities, Hirano also serves as a global liaison in the coaching industry. Active on the coaching global scene, Hirano served on the board of directors of the International Coaching Federation from 2002-2004 and has been on the board of directors of the Japan Coach Association since 2001.
Hirano is also a writer, contributing articles about coaching to a variety of publications including a weekly email magazine, “Weekly Global Coach” (distributed by COACH A) and a popular information website “All About” (Official Guide on Coaching).

In 2018, she received the Circle of Distinction from the International Coach Federation (ICF) as one of the “6 people who contributed most to the development of the global coaching industry.