Experience & Passion You Can Count On

Tanya Cruz Teller is a passionate, creative leader of systemic change processes founded on principles of personal transformation, collaborative partnerships, whole systems thinking and Appreciative Inquiry. As an Organisation Development (OD) practitioner her work is committed to a diverse, equitable and inclusive world through building great organisations.

She has 20+ years of experience as an innovative learning & management professional in international, organisational, and community development. She champions assets-based design in strategic planning, leadership development, & stakeholder engagement. Tanya’s career in the international OD and DEI arena includes her role as an expert panelist of the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks.

Tanya enjoys engaging large audiences, in 2019 she co-keynoted at the World Appreciative Inquiry Conference in France on the theme of Thriving Women, Thriving World and presented at the Forum on Workplace Inclusion in the USA. Additionally in 2020 she was scheduled to speak at the Association of Talent Development Annual Conference in the USA which was cancelled due to Covid. She also enjoys designing, facilitating and moderating conferences such as the 2019 Voices of Change in Johannesburg, South Africa, the 2018 Diversity Equity & Inclusion Futures Project conference as MC and lead co-designer at Princeton, USA and the 2017 International OD Association opening plenary interactive visioning session in Cape Town, South Africa.

With the current Covid19 pandemic, Tanya has harnessed her many years of combining participatory convening, coaching and culture work with technology to engage and build inclusive processes for organisations and stakeholders online. Moving in-person conferences, workshops and programs to virtual platforms has proven her innovation skills invaluable & cost effective.

Tanya is familiar with leading organisations from within as well as operating in multiple sectors. In her previous role as SA Country Director for the Synergos Institute, her mandate was to bring together government, business & civil society in partnerships that create a more equitable society in SA and the region. This work included convening the cross-sectoral Leadership and Innovation Network for Collaboration in the Children’s Sector. She was also formerly with the SA government, directing a leading-edge center of excellence in youth development practice for adults and policy makers to create an enabling environment and realise the youth dividend in the country and continent. Tanya helped steer the Learning & Development Community of Practice in Johannesburg, South Africa into an era of experiential learning events for which she was frequently the MC. In this role she introduced and facilitated the live engagement of a Twitter audience to expand the presence to include virtual delegates.

Prior to her work in SA, Tanya co-directed (with the co-founder) the national learning center of YouthBuild, a U.S. national non-profit organisation that supports a network of over 200 local youth development programs providing pathways to education, jobs, entrepreneurship, and other opportunities leading to productive livelihoods and community leadership.

Tanya has a Master of Intercultural & International Management and a Bachelor of Arts: Psychology & Sociology. She is a TAOS associate and an accredited trainer of trainers for the Center for Appreciative Inquiry.

Publications include:

D. Whitney, J. Cocciolone, C. A. Miller, H. Moon, K. Britton, A. Leon De La Barra, A. Koh, T. Cruz Teller, M. Ogawa (2019). Thriving Women, Thriving World: An Invitation to Dialogue, Healing and Inspired Actions. Ohio: Taos Institute Publications.

Cruz Teller, T. (2020). Inspiring Inclusion Using the Appreciative Leadership Lotus Model. In B. M. Ferdman, J. Prime, R. Riggio (Eds.), Inclusive Leadership: Transforming Diverse Lives, Organizations, and Societies. New York: Routledge.

Pronouns: she, her, hers

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