Ian McDonell


Practice Areas


Ian has been conducting process facilitation for nearly thirty years. He began his training while at Agriculture Canada and for several years conducted stakeholder consultations for reviews of animal health, plant health, pesticides, laboratory services, fertilizers, seeds and food safety programs.

Subsequently Ian accepted the role of Executive Director, North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO). Ian’s facilitation skills were relied upon by groups of regulatory scientists, researchers, environmental advocates, individual producers and national associations in assessing risk and developing risk management measures for safe trade in agricultural and forestry products.

Ian’s facilitation skills were also recognized at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in Rome, Italy, as he was frequently called upon to facilitate expert working groups to resolve controversial issues during revisions to the International Plant Protection Convention and International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures.

More recently as an Associate of the Intersol Group, Ian has conducted facilitation in various strategic planning and problem-solving activities with public and private sector clients. He is also currently involved in a two year training program for a group of health care professionals in Saudi Arabia in preparation for International Association of Facilitators certification.

A long time student of process facilitation, Ian is particularly interested in client engagement, divergent-convergent thinking, rational and experiential aims, and culture change in organizations. Ian has undertaken numerous learning activities including:

  • Synectics – a group creative problem solving process
  • Kepner Tregoe-Problem Analysis and Decision Making
  • Six Thinking Hats to creative problem solving – Edward de Bono
  • Certificate in Conflict Management – University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada
  • Facilitation Professional Development – Intersol Group, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • International Association of Facilitators conferences and seminars
  • International Cohort of Facilitators mentored by Barbara Mackay, (IAF hall of fame)
  • Cross-cultural negotiations (Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean)

Ian has worked in more than fifty countries during his career, is fluent in English, French and Spanish and is very sensitive to cultural differences and their impact on communication and negotiation.

He was born near Silver Lake, Ontario, Canada, in a log cabin he built himself.