(916) 481-4488 [email protected]

Melinda Czaia

Melinda Czaia, MA


Melinda Czaia is an experienced consultant with over 25 years of worldwide professional level leadership experience in international development management, training facilitation and capacity building. She has senior level management experience in for profit and non-profit organizations, in multi-sectoral areas, and has carried out work in more than 20 countries. She works with organizations to accurately assess needs and desired outcomes, and designs and delivers participatory facilitations and trainings, that are motivating and applicable in the participant’s workplace. 

Employment History

  • Principal, Facilitator/Trainer/OD Consultant – Melinda Czaia Consulting
  • Training Consultant – Balancing Life’s Issues
  • Training and Capacity Building Consultant – Management Systems International
  • Director of Programs – Global Citizens Network
  • Director of Training and International Programs – The Center for Victims of Torture
  • Deputy Director/Master Trainer – Entrena, U.S. Peace Corps Training Center, Honduras
  • Program Officer, USAID International Participant Training – World Learning
  • Trainer, Small Business Development Management, American Cultural Exchange
  • International Account Administrator, The Pillsbury Company, Finance-Foreign Sourcing

Competency Areas

  • Facilitation of strategic planning, action planning, consensus workshops
  • Experiential training design and delivery; multi-sectoral, leadership development, employee development, team-building.
  • Training of Trainers
  • Organizational development and capacity building; non-profit, for-profit, government
  • Project/program design and development
  • Project management
  • Assessment, monitoring, evaluation
  • Community development projects
  • International development programs
  • Intercultural and cross-cultural training


  • Master’s Degree, International Development and Non-profit Management – School for International Training, Brattleboro, Vermont
  • Bachelor’s Degree, International Relations – University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Bachelor’s Degree, Spanish – University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • ToP Facilitation Mastery – Institute of Cultural Affairs/Top, Minneapolis
  • Focus Group Facilitation, Principles-based Evaluation – Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute, Minneapolis
  • Leadership Circle Facilitation, Lean In Together, Minneapolis

Professional Associations

  • National Technology of Participation (ToP) Network
  • American Society for Training and Development
  • DevEx

Professional Certification and Awards

  • American Psychological Association, Humanitarian Program of the Year
  • Completion of Technology of Participation Mastery Program

Publications and Presentations

  • Effective Communication
  • Effective Meeting Facilitation
  • Building Successful Teams
  • Conflict Management
  • Performance Evaluations
  • Giving Effective Feedback
  • Leadership for Women
  • Building Resiliency
  • Managing Change
  • Coaching
  • Diversity in the Workplace
  • Dealing with Challenging People
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Non-verbal Communication
  • Strategies for Integrating Gender Issues in Training Programs
  • Local Partnerships – Sustaining Impacts and Exit Strategies

Project List

  • Developed training program for domestic abuse defenders – Partners for Women’s Equality/Pop’Noc, Guatemala.
  • Facilitated action planning for annual community event – Lyndale Neighborhood Association.
  • Facilitated action planning of annual Tour de Cure fundraiser event for American Diabetes Association
  • Facilitated 3-year legislative and community development strategic planning for Minnesota Council of Latino Affairs.
  • Facilitated 5-year strategic planning for Medtronic – large medical device organization’s legal department.
  • Facilitated strategic planning for The Men’s Center, an organization dedicated to men’s well-being and counseling.
  • Facilitated strategic planning for Young Non-profit Professional Network.
  • Facilitated strategic planning for The Retreat Center – an organization dedicated to providing community retreat services.
  • Facilitated project and action planning for annual conference, for Minnesota International NGO Network.

As organizational development consultant for Balancing Life’s Issues – an Employee Assistance Provider, provided training and facilitation to over 50 organizations on topics including Effective Communication, Effective Meeting Facilitation, Building Successful Teams, Conflict Management, Performance Evaluations, Giving Effective Feedback, Leadership for Women, Building Resiliency, Managing Change, Coaching, Diversity in the Workplace, Dealing with Challenging People, Emotional Intelligence, Non-verbal Communication, Avoiding Burnout, Effective Leadership.

As Director of Training Services for the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT), conceived, developed and oversaw all aspects of training services and international programs. Programs focused on organizational and capacity building for the treatment of medical and psychological implications of political, oppression-based torture on international victims and communities.

Conceived, developed and oversaw CVT’s first overseas centers/programs, which provided treatment, training, and capacity building interventions for 6,500 refugees and refugee para-professional counselors annually in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, and which won the American Psychological Association’s Humanitarian Award.

Created and launched The International Capacity Building Project (ICB/PATH), funded by USAID, and The National Capacity Building Project providing technical assistance, training and grants to 15 human rights/torture treatment centers internationally, and 35 centers in the U.S.  Led the National Consortium of Treatment Centers, and developed and led first International Conference on Torture Treatment in the U.S.

Launched Minnesota statewide training and awareness program on the medical, psychological and behavioral implications of torture for physicians, mental health professionals and school staff.

Provided organizational assessment of torture treatment and human rights center in Katmandu, Nepal. Process included interviews and group meetings with program staff, executive directors, financial management staff, board, and clients.

Provided organizational assessment of torture treatment and human rights center in Lima, Peru.  Process included interviews and group meetings with program staff, executive directors, financial management staff, board, and clients.

Provided assessment of torture treatment and human rights center in New Delhi, India.  Process included interviews and group meetings with program staff, executive directors, financial management staff, board, and clients.

Provided assessment of torture treatment and human rights abuses in Moscow, and St. Petersburg, Russia.  Process included interviews and group meetings with community services, hospital staff, human rights leaders, program staff, and clients.

Provided assessment of human rights abuses and treatment services available in Guinea and Sierra Leone, in refugee camps, and villages.   Process involved interviews with community leaders and organizations, international humanitarian assistance providers, refugees, community at large, international aid agencies, and UNHCR.

Developed and implemented a comprehensive strategy for treatment program in Guinea and Sierra Leone for torture survivors, and an accompanying training and capacity-building program to assure sustainability by hiring and training local refugees and community members to provide services and oversee the program.

Carried out a program evaluation on training program for community-based interventions for gender-based violence in Guatemala.

As Master Trainer/Deputy Director for U.S. Peace Corps, Honduras, developed, oversaw and delivered pre-service training programs for over 160 U.S. Peace Corps volunteers a year.  Training included Technical, Cross-Cultural, and Language components in the fields of Natural Resources, Education, Health & Child Survival, Water & Sanitation, Small Business Development, and Hillside Farming.  Trained in selected topics; supervised 20 trainers, coordinators and staff nurse; developed, managed and monitored program design; and design and implementation of Training of Trainers program. Conducted program and trainer evaluations; hired staff; designed and facilitated international development components including Community Analysis, Cross-Cultural, Group Building, and Gender in Development; arranged, supervised and conducted pre-training field research and assessments at collaborating municipal, community and NGO sites throughout Honduras.

Carried out assessment of community needs in 16 communities throughout rural Honduras for U.S. Peace Corps.  Process involved community engagement meetings, individual stakeholder interviews and focus groups. 

Provided training to 500 Peace Corps Volunteers over three years in Honduras on Community Development Practices, Gender in Development, Cross-cultural Understanding, and Diversity.

Provided training to 30 multi-sectoral trainers over three years on Training the Trainer, Adult Learning Methodology, and Community Development.

As Program Officer – Central & Eastern Europe for World Learning in Washington, DC, developed and managed over 150 USAID-participant training programs, with budgets totaling over $1.5 million, to address the economic and political reforms for professionals from Central and Eastern Europe.  Programs included banking, small business development, governance, public health, and community development.  Responsible for: assessing program objectives and participant needs; designing and coordinating programs;

As Program Specialist – Entrepreneurs International for World Learning, Washington, DC., designed, coordinated and managed over 50 USAID-participant training programs for small business entrepreneurs from South America, Africa, the South Pacific, Asia, and the Middle East.  Programs consisted of on-site, practical training with U.S. businesses in the areas of handicrafts, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, mining, clothing manufacturing, food processing, and the service industry, among many others. 

Client List

Local, State and Federal Government

  • MSI/USAID- Nicaragua – Training and capacity building of Civil Society Organizations
  • MSI/USAID – Mexico – Training and capacity building of judicial reform
  • Dakota County, MN
  • Ramsey County, MN
  • City of Minneapolis, MN
  • City of Apple Valley, MN
  • City of Woodbury, MN
  • City of St. Paul, MN
  • City of Rosemount, MN


  • Partners for Women’s Equality/Pop’Noc, Guatemala
  • Lyndale Neighborhood Association 
  • Joyce Preschool
  • American Diabetes Association
  • Minnesota Council of Latino Affairs
  • The Men’s Center
  • Young Non-profit Professional Network
  • The Retreat Center
  • Minnesota International NGO Network

Health & Medical Institutions & Affiliated Organizations

  • Mercy Hospital
  • Allina – St. Francis Regional Medical Center
  • Cortec
  • Opportunity Partners
  • Crestomathy
  • Thomas Allen
  • Allina
  • Auburn Homes
  • Netgain
  • Walker Methodist
  • Aeon
  • Mains’l
  • Neighborhood Health Source
  • The Courage Center
  • Northeast Contemporary Services
  • Living Well Disability Services

Other Organizations

  • College Property Management
  • Nilssen’s
  • Verizon
  • Medtronic
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Prudential
  • Eaton
  • Famous Dave’s
  • Visions
  • Angie’s
  • Ever Green Energy
  • Sports Radar