Tatyana Fertelmeyster is a founder and principal of Connecting Differences, LLC, a boutique consulting company that provides leadership and team effectiveness consulting, training and coaching for corporate clients, academic, governmental and nonprofit organizations. Tatyana is a faculty of the DEI Coaching Center for The Forum on Workplace Inclusion where she coaches leaders and high-potential professionals with special concentration on developing their effectiveness and resilience. She also coaches executives in personal, cultural and work-related transitions.

Tatyana is a faculty at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC), as well as Winter (WIIC) and Qatar (QIIC) Institutes. Courses she teaches include Experiential Facilitation Skills; Personal Leadership: Interculturalists Practicing at our Highest and Best; It May Be Something Else: Challenges and Dilemmas of Intercultural and Diversity Work; Counseling Skills for Intercultural and Diversity Professionals; Negotiating Conflict across Worldviews; Dealing with Difficult People, Difficult Issues, and Difficult Moments; and Methods and Tools for Identity Exploration.

During her tenure with the Jewish Child and Family Services of Chicago, Tatyana worked as a family worker in refugee resettlement, a mental health counselor, and a director of Cultural Competency Programs. In that leadership position, she was responsible for overseeing a number of statewide projects that served refugees from over 30 different countries in various life skills education programs. Tatyana was involved in program and curricula development and training of professionals working with refugees nationwide. She co-authored “Life Skills Education for Pre-Literate Populations: Facilitator’s Toolkit.”

Tatyana is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor with extensive experience in working with individuals and groups on issues of cultural transitions, adjustment to changes and losses, relational dynamics, and personal growth. She is certified to work with the following training/coaching models:

  • Cultural Detective™
  • Emotional Intelligence and Diversity™
  • Personal Leadership™
  • BrainSkills@Work™
  • Triaologue™

She is certified to administer and interpret the following assessment tools:

  • Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). As a licensed counselor, she is highly qualified to interpret the results of the IDI to both groups and individuals. She served as a consultant in the process of translating IDI into Russian.
  • Intercultural Conflict Style Inventory (ICSI)
  • Cultural Orientation Indicator (COI). Tatyana is certified by the Training Management Corporation as a Coach Practitioner to use COI for individual and team coaching.
  • Global Competencies Inventory (GCI) and the Intercultural Effectiveness Scale (IES). Tatyana is certified by Kozai Group to use both instruments with individuals, teams, and large groups.
  • BrainStates Management™ Self-Assessment. Tatyana is certified by the BrainSkills@Work™ to administer the self-assessment and Conduct BrainStates Management™ Training


  • “The SAGE Encyclopedia of Intercultural Competence” (Author of two entries)
  • “Building Cultural Competence: Innovative Activities and Models” (Author of an activity)
  • “Cultural Detective Russia” (Co-author)

Tatyana holds an MA in journalism from Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, and an MA in guidance and counseling from Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, Ill. She pursues ongoing professional development in the areas of intercultural communication, diversity and inclusion, leadership, group dynamics and mental health.

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Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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