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About Alissa

Alissa Schwartz, MSW, PhD

I call my practice Solid Fire Consulting because the work I do and communities I support are both passionate and pragmatic, grounded and yearning. I offer meeting and retreat facilitation, leadership and team development, culture building and change, strategy crafting, and individual and small group coaching.

At the center of my work is the thoughtful, intentional space I hold for change-makers to dream and to take action: to experience a sense of expansiveness, to trust their emergent learning and innovation, to take risks, to practice interconnectedness, and to engage in inner work, all in the service of strategy and action that make the world a better place for all.

I draw upon multiple influences in my work, including complexity systems theory, a background in theater directing and improvisation, experience in research and organizational behavior, and my Eastern European Jewish cultural identity. I am inspired by and consider myself part of a contemporary and ancestral Jewish tradition of fighting for social justice, warmly hosting (and feeding!) people, and developing innovative, useful scholarship.

I have over twenty-five years of experience working in the non-profit sector, and much of my consulting practice is with organizations focused on human rights and equity, arts and culture, and children and youth. I am based out of New York City and work locally and internationally. I have worked with varied clients and settings, including foundations, universities, community-based groups, coalitions and networks, non-profits, and international organizations. Current and prior clients (non-exhaustive list) include: the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund; 92nd Street YM-YWHA; The Opportunity Agenda; and The United Nations.

I am co-editor and chapter author of a special issue of New Directions in Evaluation that is focused on the intersectionalities of evaluation and facilitation and hold a PhD from Columbia University, where I studied organizational psychology and behavior. I also have an MSW from the University of Washington and a BA from Wesleyan University.

Working collaboratively is key to making positive change happen, and I draw on the complementary skills, as needed, of many well-regarded consultants to meet my clients’ needs.



See my resume