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Donna M. Buchanan, Ed.D.


I believe in people and possibilities. 

I passionately leverage every ounce of my expertise and tenacity to help institutions navigate change to provide equitable access to quality education to all students.  

Professional Summary
Strategic. Practical. Agile. Effective.

Dr. Donna Buchanan has over 20 years of experience helping higher education organizations systematically accomplish mission-driven goals. Certified in change and transition management, she has led complex projects for academic, administrative, and research units.


Dr. Buchanan uses Crucial Shift's proprietary change management model to help leaders organically leverage inclusion to ensure people, systems, programs, policies and resources are working effectively and in sync to achieve their mission. She specializes in organizational change management, professional development, conflict mediation and initiative implementation that builds not-destroys-a culture of trust, community and effectiveness.

She has taught strategic planning, change management, project implementation and anti-bias strategies to leaders at all organizational levels and across industries.  She has taught college courses and professional development workshops in leadership development, human development. diversity and business management to administrators, educators and social service professionals from around the world. 

Dr. Donna Buchanan has worked for, or consulted for, organizations such as the University of Southern California, Cañada Community College, Western University of Health Sciences, Pacific Oaks College, Tacoma Community College, Tacoma News Tribune, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, L.A. Leadership Academy, KCPQ-13 FOX,  and Western Region Council on Black American Affairs.


Dr. Buchanan has earned a BA in Sociology from Loyola Marymount University, an MA in Cross Cultural Human Development and Teaching Adults from Pacific Oaks College and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern California.

Word Around Town

"I am so pleased and so impressed by your ability to see what I (we) don't - and our trust in your approach paid off. " College President


Change Management    Transition Management    Conflict Mediation  Diversity Training Cross-cultural Communication    Cross-gender Communication    Strategic Planning   EEO Sexual Harassment Compliance Training  Investigating Employee Misconduct

Professional Presentations

  • Keynote Address: Leading Change - Skyline College Integrated Planning Leadership Summit - Skyline College

  • Strategic Change Management - Yuba Community College District Chancellor's Cabinet

  • Keynote Address: Strategic Change Management: Equitizing an Institution - Skyline College Equity Institute - Virtual

  • Leading Change - California Community Colleges: Recovery Roadmap with Equity as a State System. (NAPIC, National Asian/Pacific Islander Council; NCBAA,  National Council on Black American Affairs; NCCHC, National Community College Hispanic Council. Affiliates of AACC).- Virtual

  • Keynote Address: How Can We Systematically Manage Disruption in a Turbulent World?  California Community Colleges Association for Occupational Education - Virtual.

  • Leading through Change. State of California Office of the Chancellor and Western Region Council of Black American Affairs Leadership Institute -Virtual

  • Practical Strategies for Structural Anti-racism Change in Higher Education. Crucial Shift Consulting Virtual Webinar Series

  • Strategic Planning in Higher Education. HERS Institute (Higher Education Resource Services). Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA and University of Denver, Denver, CO

  • How is an Undergraduate Engineering Program Uniquely Positioned to Create a Diverse Workforce through the Recruitment of African American Students? A Faculty PerspectiveICEE (International Conference on Engineering Education). Coimbra University, Coimbra, Portugal

  • Change Management and Process Re-engineering: Changing the Way Facilities Technicians Obtain Parts & Materials. WACUBO (Western Association of College and University Business Officers). Denver, CO

  • Facilitating Diversity Conflict in the Classroom: A Case Study. NCPCR (National Conference for Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution). Albuquerque, NM

  • African American Child Development in a Socio- political Context. NBCDI (National Black Child Development Institute) Leadership Conference Presenter. Seattle, WA

Professional Development Workshops


  • What Should Deans Consider as they Manage Change? Five Common Hindrances to Navigating Disruption in Higher Education. ACAD. St. Petersburg, FL

  • Managing DEI Change. Canada College. Redwood City, CA 

  • What is the Role of Transformational Leaders in Higher Education? University of Southern California Women in Management. Los Angeles, CA

  • Leadership in Higher Education. USC Alumni Association Presenter. LA., CA

  • Turning Ideas into Action. USC Women in Management.  LA., CA

  • Membership Satisfaction/Marketing. USC Alumni Association Presenter. LA, CA

  • Time Management. USC Department of Colorectal Surgery Physicians and Staff. Santa Barbara, CA

  •  Strategic Planning. USC Institute for Genetic Medicine. Los Angeles, CA

  • Updating the Mission/Vision. USC Department of Colorectal Surgery Physicians and Staff Annual Retreat. Santa Barbara, CA

  • Teaching for Eternity: Cultural Competence for Teachers.  Los Angeles Leadership Academy. LA., CA

  • Managing Conflict Faculty Retreat. Los Angeles Leadership Academy. Santa Barbara, CA



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