Kathleen Zurcher

Kathleen Zurcher

Author

Kathleen applies organizational learning and systems thinking to large-scale system change in communities and non-profit organizations. Her special talents include designing and facilitating meetings, conferences, community engagement and planning processes; aspirational values-based strategic planning; and building organizational learning and systems thinking capacities in individuals, organizations, and communities. She describes her work as creating the future one community at a time.

Kathy partners with communities from Seattle to rural Kentucky to New York City, and everywhere in between. Her other work has been primarily on behalf of private and public non-profit organizations including Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative, Rural Dynamics, Inc, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Kresge Foundation, St. Paul-Ramsey Family Medicine Residency Program, Iowa Department of Education and Area Education Agencies, and numerous colleges and universities.

For eleven years Kathy held the position of Director of Program and Organizational Learning at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she established a major organizational learning capacity development program for the 200-person staff from Africa, Latin America, and the United States. She also worked with program officers to apply organizational learning and systems thinking principles to the design and implementation of major initiatives. Her previous positions include Senior Administrator and Education Director for the Department of Family and Community Medicine residency program at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center, Professor and Extension Leader for Organization Development for University of Minnesota Extension, Director of Faculty Development at Lehigh University, and high school teacher of English and Speech in Fox Lake, Illinois.

Kathy has published over two-dozen articles and monographs in journals such as The Foundation Review, Journal of Instructional Development, Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, and The Journal of Family Practice. Kathy holds an MS and PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an AB in English and the Teaching of English and Speech from the same institution.

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Acting and Thinking Systemically

In the summer of 2006, a group of local foundations supported the leaders of Calhoun County Michigan (population 100,000), in developing a 10-year plan …