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Alumni Portraits

With OISE I Can have a sophisticated understanding of systems thinking.

By Trudy Sopp, PhD 1982


Hayden Thomas, PhD 1987 and Trudy Sopp, PhD 1982 with U of T Chancellor David Peterson (photo by Lisa Sakulensky)

The education I have received and the perspective I developed in my Sociology of Education studies, have prepared me to see the complexities of organizations and change interventions. I developed a unique ability to navigate organizational politics and a methodological approach and way of thinking to successfully implement major change initiatives. I owe it all to the education I received.  I was given the space and the support to be more applied in my studies and to find my contribution in the public sector.  It was the experience I gained working out my fellowship in the community, and the conceptual models I gained in the classroom, that prepared me to lead an internal Organization Development unit in the public sector and eventually create it as a Leadership Institute for an entire region that has its reach across the State of California. I am indebted to OISE for this.


Dr. Trudy Sopp is the Founder & Consulting Partner of The Centre for Organization Effectiveness. Established in 1993, The Centre is a Joint Powers Authority providing innovative management programs, training, forums and organization development interventions for over 110 public, non-profit and private organizations.

Since founding The Centre, Trudy has consulted to over 45 state and local elected officials, 50 City Managers, County Administrators, and CEOs throughout California, 25 boards and commissions, and numerous management groups in local and state agencies, cities, counties, healthcare organizations, water agencies, non-profit agencies, educational institutions and small, local businesses. In her work with these organizations, Trudy has coached them through their organizational transitions, the leadership requirements of their positions, and numerous critical decisions. Consulting to elected officials has been a unique contribution of Trudy’s work. In addition, the management academies she has facilitated since 1996, have reached over 2,500 participants.

Over the last several years, Trudy has consulted to the following organizations: San Diego County Airport Authority Board of Directors;  San Diego County District Attorney’s Office; SANDAG; San Diego Housing Commission; San Diego Downtown Partnership; Port of Los Angeles; UCSD Medical Center; San Diego County Water Authority; San Diego City Council and Mayor’s Office;  the Cities of Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas, Napa, Poway, Chula Vista, Rancho Cucamonga,  San Marcos, San Diego, Newport Beach, and Escondido; San Diego County Counsel;  LA County Employees Retirement System;  San Diego State University;  and State organizations such as State Assembly district offices,  the California State Department of Justice, the Department of Consumer Affairs, California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS),  Bureau of Forensic Services, and the Department of Fish and Game; DuPont; the Hudson Group.

Prior to founding The Centre, Trudy managed the City of San Diego’s Organization Effectiveness Program (from 1983-93) and the award-winning Diversity Commitment. These change efforts received recognition from the League of California Cities, Rutgers University Productivity Council, and the San Diego Business Journal.

Trudy received her Ph.D. (’82) in Sociology from the University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, where she specialized in planned change and organizational intervention strategies.  Frequently an invited guest speaker at conferences, Trudy’s presentation topics include: Organizational Power and Politics; Cross-Generational Issues; Managing During These Challenging Times; Executive Protocol; Board Governance.; and Creating a Respectful Work Environment.

Trudy co-authored numerous articles over her career in Western City magazine, HR Magazine, National Civic Review, and ICMA’s Creative Personnel Practices book.