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Rod Githens, Ph. D.

Rod is a trainer and facilitator of the Technology of Participation. He facilitates the development of human and organizational potential through innovation, design, and strategy. This work matters deeply to him because he helps people, groups, and organizations bring out their best and attain the results they seek in the world. For the last 20 years, Rod has worked in organizations where he can provide a supportive, results-oriented approach, both as an internal leader and as a consultant. He’s worked extensively with clients in a variety of sectors: corporate, education, government, healthcare, military, and non-profit. In particular, clients and participants regard Rod for providing positive, supportive, and structured environments to move groups forward in attaining results.

Through his consulting work, Rod helps organizations to solve problems and seize opportunities by using:

  • Innovation and Creativity Processes
  • Strategy Development and Strategic Planning
  • Small- to Large-Group Facilitation and Action Planning
  • Stakeholder-Informed Program and Initiative Development

Employment History

  • Facilitator and Trainer, Kolbe Company/Sacramento Professional Facilitators
  • Founder, Githens and Associates LLC
  • Alexandra Greene Ottesen Endowed Chair, University of the Pacific
  • Associate Dean, University of the Pacific
  • Associate Professor of Leadership, Drexel University
  • Associate Professor of Organization Development, University of Louisville
  • Director, Online Workforce Development Project, National Research Center for Career and Technical Education
  • Coordinator of Online Programs, College of Education, University of Illinois
  • Human Resources Manager, Supervalu Inc
  • Employee Relations Manager, Supervalu Inc
  • Training Specialist, Hobbico, Inc.

Recognized Expertise

Rod has published work related to leadership and organization change in various outlets over the years, including 30+ articles in national journals, many blog posts, and numerous magazine articles. His work has been sought and quoted by national media outlets, including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN Business.


  • Ph.D., Human Resource Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Specialization: Organization Development and Change
  • Ed.M., Human Resource Development, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Graduate Coursework, Religious Studies, Chicago Theological Seminary
  • B.S., History, Illinois State University
  • B.S., Religious Studies Lincoln Christian College (dual degree with Illinois State)

Technology of Participation Experience

Has co-trained the following courses:
Technology of Participation Strategic Planning Online
Technology of Participation Facilitation – Leadership Online Intensive
Accelerated Action Planning

Has taken the following courses:

  • Technology of Participation Facilitation Methods – Leadership Edition
  • Technology of Participation Strategic Planning
  • Technology of Participation Secrets of Implementation
  • Technology of Participation Facilitating Conciliation
  • Technology of Participation Certification Skills Cohort

Has achieved the following designations:

  • Apprentice Trainer
  • Certified ToP Facilitator Candidate (80% complete)

Project Samples

Louisville Metro Police Department – At University of Louisville, led a team that implemented a leadership development program for officers and leadership. As part of that program, we offered degree completion pipleline for officers aspiring to serve in leadership roles.

U.S. Army – At University of Louisville, oversaw the on-post campus at Fort Knox. This work included coordinating with civilian, officer, and enlisted leadership to best meet military education needs.

California Community College Chancellor’s Office – leading a participatory policy-development process to comply with a state law calling for policy recommendations by June 2021 for the California State Senate. Leading a team of two facilitators, an attorney, and an economist, supporting a statewide Working Group.

University of the Pacific, Sacramento/McGeorge Campus – as the Sacramento leader for one of four academic units on the campus, collaborated in transforming the campus from being exclusively a law school campus to a comprehensive graduate campus. Served as a key campus leader collaborating with administration, faculty, and staff of McGeorge School of Law and other university units.

Norton Healthcare – Led a team that facilitated a systemwide change process to make Norton a national leader in learning and organizational agility, among regional healthcare systems. The team supported a senior vice president, who along with the CEO, had a vision of transforming the learning culture within this 13,000 employee, 40-location healthcare organization. Rod’s team was recognized for the excellence of this 18-month strategic change process, which won the top practitioner award for its participative processes and evidence-based practice by the Academy of Human Resource Development.

University of the Pacific, Benerd College – As an internal consultant, supported two deans in an organization development process that resulted in a turnaround of a school with chronic problems. By facilitating participatory processes, including the development and implementation of a new strategic plan, the unit regained its financial footing and gained clarity in its direction. As a result, the unit has drastically changed its academic offerings, to refocus within a very competitive academic program market.

Family Voices of California – Supported this non-profit organization in laying the groundwork to transform its signature program (Project Leadership) from a face-to-face to online format by facilitating virtual stakeholder engagement processes. This process included a clarity-building process among staff leadership, environmental scanning process, visioning with the Executive Council (board), and consensus-building process around the approach to cultural responsiveness. Concluded the first phase of the project, with stakeholders highly enthusiastic about moving forward. Pending foundation funding approval, will continue facilitating phase two, including a collaborative human-centered design process.

Claremont Lincoln University – Supported the university president in designing and conducting a needs assessment for determining whether to launch a new school within the university. The university board approved moving forward with phase two planning, which will include facilitating a participatory stakeholder design process for creating the school.

University of Louisville Online Learning – Supported the provost’s office in designing and facilitating a strategic planning process for reinvigorating online learning within the university. This strength-based approach included substantial participation from stakeholders in both the design and implementation of the process. Resulted in a substantial changes to the way the university viewed online learning in its mix of academic offerings.

Partial List of Other Clients

California Department of Public Health
California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
California State University, Sacramento
Caterpillar Corporation
City of San Rafael
County of Marin
Girl Scouts Heart of Central California
Maersk Sealand

Sierra College
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
Tribal Tech, LLC
U.S. Army
United Way of Stanislaus County
University of California, Davis
University of California, Los Angeles