When we truly listen to each team member, when we recognize our own imperfections, and when we honestly appreciate each person’s contributions, our teams will flourish.

Melissa Segal, LCSW, is an experienced facilitator and manager with strong skills in human resources, strategic planning, and employee and organizational development. As a licensed clinical social worker committed to creating workplaces designed for success for all, her work fully integrates principles of open communication, respectful dialogue, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. For over 20 years, she has provided professional development and training to staff, faculty, trainees, board members, and volunteers. She frequently facilitates sessions on effective mentoring, supervision, micro-aggressions, inclusion, white privilege, honest conversations, and ally training, among others. She also works with small work groups to improve communication and thus increase productivity and group functioning. In her practice, she often uses restorative justice principles.


  • Over 20 years providing professional development and training for staff, faculty, trainees, and volunteers
  • Over 20 year supervising professional staff and managing administrative functions
  • Over 15 years working in community non-profits
  • Over 8 years working in higher education with faculty, staff, students and postdocs


Duke University, Bachelor of Arts
University of Pennsylvania, Master of Social Work


As an army brat, Melissa quickly learned how to join new groups and how to help create welcoming spaces for all. Her early experiences led her to launch her career in social work, during which she served in the fields of women’s health, teen parenting, adolescent foster care, sexual abuse, and substance use disorders. Over the years, she created educational programming; provided individual, couples, and family counseling; and facilitated a variety of support and educational groups. Twenty years ago, she entered administration, and she has since helped establish and build new initiatives and educational programs; managed daily operations, finances, and human resources; and implemented professional development and training. In recent years, she has served as the Executive Director of a local non-profit, an Associate Director of a new Duke Initiative, and the Senior Business Manager of a basic science department at Duke.


Melissa Segal is one of Duke’s most highly rated speakers, as demonstrated by her perennially outstanding evaluations. Workshop attendees praise her warmth, empathy, knowledge, and respect for different cultures, viewpoints and lived experiences. It’s evident how much thought and preparation go into her workshops, which are tailored for each audience. She is a compassionate listener who creates a safe and supportive environment, even via Zoom, so that attendees are able to open up and share their concerns. From an administrator’s perspective, she is also a joy to work with: she is open to implementing ideas and suggestions, she is easygoing when things go awry (as they often seem to do during COVID); and she brings the highest standard of professionalism to her work. Most importantly, Melissa does this work because she believes in fostering positive change in people’s lives. Her sincerity and commitment are reflected in everything she does. I feel very fortunate to work with Melissa.


Melissa is a phenomenal speaker and facilitator. She has a natural talent for reading the room, making people feel comfortable and safe, and digging into difficult topics, all in a way that facilitates meaningful conversations and personal growth. Reviews for her sessions are universally positive. Attendees repeatedly comment on her ability to create space for deep growth and change. We have had strong demand for continued sessions with her. Melissa is extremely easy to work with; she is professional, prompt, and gracious. I can’t recommend her enough!

Kathryn Dickerson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Duke university