Christopher facilitating a workshop in Kenya

Testimonials from some clients

Our division engaged Christopher last year to lead Phase 1 of an unconventional IT strategic planning process. The goal was to define the strategic direction in a way that positively engage staff within the division and organization, and build broad-base support and momentum for the plan – which really meant individual and organizational change. Christopher is among the best partner I’ve ever worked with.
Until you’ve been through this kind of process, you don’t fully appreciate the real work and resources needed for large-scale efforts to be successful: The rigorous thinking and many conversations to get clarity and alignment; the building of each individual’s capacity in the process; the constant coordination and adjustments in order to leverage participants’ inputs and respond to what’s unfolding; and so much more. There are a lot of moving pieces and it can be wearing.
As our meeting designer, facilitator, guide, and mentor, Christopher consistently maintained a positive, supportive, and focused environment to sustain our work. He was as committed to our success as we were. He was mindful for the larger system within which we operated and helped us broaden our thinking; respectful and sensitive to our circumstances; flexible in finding solutions that worked for us; insightful in his observations; skillful in bringing others into the work; tactful in broaching difficult subjects or issues that need to be examined; and his rigor around communication enabled us to be clearer and more effective.
Like many organization, ours have ingrained patterns that are difficult to change. Christopher’s leadership and support have enabled us to develop a strategic plan and build the foundation for change – for which we remain appreciative.

Hoa Phan
Project Manager
IT Division Strategic Plan for SCVWD 2019

Christopher helped our organization develop our first Strategic and Action Plan by working with us over the course of three months, facilitating two one-week workshops for the organization’s management team and providing support remotely the rest of the time. We could not have hoped for a better facilitator - he was great at engaging all of the team members and making everyone feel they played a valuable and unique role in the process; he also helped us clarify and structure our thoughts while providing some instrumental input based on his extensive and varied experience. He was extremely dedicated throughout the entire process, and thanks to his support and attention to detail we now have a clear direction for the organization, as well as a Strategic and Action Plan that the entire team feels proud of and committed to.

Managing Director
National NGO in Gulf Region

Christopher facilitating a workshop in Kuwait

Christopher leading a FAO planning event in Indonesia
I have known and worked with Christopher Szecsey for over 28 years. Throughout that time, I have never ceased to enjoy and learn from the opportunities that I have to work with him. Christopher’s conceptual and practical understanding of successful participatory learning, planning, and action projects is unparalleled in my experience. Using his extensive knowledge of Appreciative Inquiry and other methodologies, Christopher is able to design and implement very successful and energizing short and long-term planning, team building, and organizational development projects that are of the highest quality and impact.
Christopher is a courageous facilitator, enabling the groups he works with to innovate and extend themselves to new levels of performance and results. Of special note are Christopher’s cross- and multicultural communications abilities – he is very much at home working with and facilitating groups throughout the world, in both urban and rural environments.
When I started my own consulting business in 2001, the Glen Price Group (GPG), Christopher was one of the first persons I turned to for advice, thought partnership, and collaboration. Since that time, Christopher has played a pivotal role in many of the most significant projects that GPG has undertaken. Samples of these include:
  • Alameda County Family Justice Center: Christopher designed and co-facilitated a process that brought together over 35 diverse partners to implement one of the nation’s first family justice centers, a multidisciplinary co-location of agencies providing comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse.
  • American Red Cross Tsunami Recovery Program: Christopher designed and co-facilitated an extensive strategic planning process for this $580 million dollar program, including work in Washington, D.C., Sri Lanka, and Indonesia.
  • UN FAO Community Fisheries Development: In conjunction with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, World Wildlife Fund, and American Red Cross, Christopher designed and co-facilitated a highly successful workshop series bringing together hundreds of local fisher folk, government officials, NGO leaders, and donors to design community responses to the devastation of the local fishing industry in Aceh, Sumatra, which was severely damaged in the wake of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Glen Price
Glen Price Group

Christopher brought wisdom, skill, and diplomacy to a large-scale change project with a government client. His excellent facilitation and design work helped create a productive, enjoyable, and effective work atmosphere with high-quality results. Christopher is one of the top practitioners of Appreciative Inquiry in the international development community. I enjoyed working with him on a team over a seven-month period; his insights, sensitivity, and leadership kept us moving forward with focus and attunement to client needs.

Patrick McNamara
Appreciative Inquiry Consulting

Thank you for your kind words [a]nd good wishes. It has been a pleasure to work with you, to learn about AI - and to watch the successful application of the method at our partners side. You have contributed substantially to the success of our program and I would like to thank you once again for your valuable inputs. Maybe our paths will cross again - and there may even be a chance for AI in my next assignment in Afghanistan, -lets see.
With warm regards,

Gisela Hayfa
Regional Health Program Director for Central Asia
GIZ (German International Cooperation)

Christopher is an outstanding facilitator, skilled with the unique and crucial capacity to guide a room full of individuals with disparate backgrounds, opinions, and goals toward one common and shared vision. In addition to his extraordinary talent for creating collaborators out of a room full of strangers, Christopher's extensive local, national and global expertise with nonprofits and NGOs is apparent through every interaction. Our organization hired him to facilitate strategic plan development - and we now have a strong and implementable plan - as well as a more unified team of board and staff who share a common mission, vision and value set to lead our social service organization into a brighter future. I highly recommend Christopher's work.

Katrina Thurman
Executive Director
West County Community Services

Thanks so much for all you have done (and continue to do) in support of our leadership team. I believe our work together with you has already strengthened our efforts to build a productive and supportive team. I also know that each of us is looking for ways to use appreciative inquiry in our work with our colleagues.

Mary Jane Burke
Marin County Superintendent of Schools
Marin County Office of Education

Thank you for being a part of our Superintendents' Retreat at Marconi Center last Thursday and Friday. Your involvement was timely, relevant and challenging. You did make us think and inspired us to continue to look for new ways of dealing with old and new challenges. An audience of educational leaders is not easy to please or engage. You did it with great sensitivity. humor and finesse. It is no wonder that you came so highly recommended.

Mary Jane Burke
Marin County Superintendent of Schools
Marin County Office of Education

Working with Curamericas in Raleigh, NC

Christopher's guidance with our Strategic Planning process is one of the best things that we could ever ask for. His perceptiveness and superb facilitation skills were key in leading a diverse group of staff and board members into a cohesive understanding and visioning that enabled us to create the organization roadmap for the coming years. He was able to illustrate his points with a wealth of concrete examples from his extensive personal experience. The Board Development workshops he conducted have established a strong base for optimal board performance. In addition, his understanding of the organization's mission and objectives allowed him to accurately share applicable articles and resources on a continuous basis. Personally, his insightfulness has benefited me as the Executive Director when difficult decisions needed to be made.

Jaime Carrillo, MD, MPH
Executive Director
Curamericas Global, Inc.

In 2009, Christopher Szecsey worked with our organization, RECOURSE Mediation Services, to establish a program merger with another community based organization Restorative Resources. I was immediately impressed with Christopher's level of professionalism, expert knowledge and his ability to keep both agencies focused on the difficult work of creating the partnership. Christopher provided a well thought through plan for the project, kept us to schedule and, because of his deep experience in organizational development, was able to coach us through the many challenges to achieve a successful outcome. He possesses a rare mixture of sophisticated expertise, superior communication skills and interpersonal sensitivity and humor that made our complex project a deeply satisfying and fruitful experience. I would highly recommend Christopher and personally would love the opportunity to work with him again.

Cate Griffiths
RECOURSE Mediation Services

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