Irene van der Zande

Founder, Kidpower International

National Advisory Board

Irene van der Zande is the Founder and Executive Director of Kidpower International, the global nonprofit leader in personal safety education for all ages, teaching skills for strong relationships and the prevention of harm.

Through Irene’s leadership and collaboration since 1989, Kidpower has earned an outstanding reputation for providing effective and empowering safety leadership, positive communication, advocacy, bullying and abuse prevention, and self-defense programs across the US and around the world.

Kidpower now serves millions of children, teens, and adults, including those with special needs, through its workshops, partnerships, and educational resources. Kidpower lessons have been presented in over 20 languages, across six continents.

As Kidpower’s expert lead author, Irene has placed time-tested life-changing knowledge and skills into the hands of parents and professionals worldwide through her many articles, videos, cartoon-illustrated Safety Comics, and books. She is the co-author of the Amazon best-seller, Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels, which features Jim Thompson and Positive Coaching Alliance in the chapter, The JOY of the Game, Reclaiming Youth Sports.

Irene is supporting PCA by sharing her safety leadership and child protection expertise, including partnering with PCA to create our Protecting Youth Athletes from Sexual Abuse videos and handouts and providing content for our PCA Development Zone Resource Center. To learn more about Kidpower’s training and educational resources, visit