There are three people in my career that I’ve relied on, and Daniel is one of them. Daniel is someone I entrust with the more difficult problems that I deal with.

I just think he’s the whole package. To me, he’s the best of what the field is. He’s the best of what the field aspires to be.

He’s so smart! He’s just so smart. And kind. You get a sense that he’s there for you, he’s not there for his own self.

He can stir up a system in the way it needs to be. He really is about creating change. There’s no task too big or too small. And he does it all with the grace and approach and elegance.

I’ve used him as kind of an extender of our staff competencies when either the work was so strategic, or so political, or so charged, or so difficult that it really required someone of his stature and capacity to manage. I bring him in to take on the most strategic, difficult clients.

I asked Daniel to be there, knowing I could rely on him – knowing he can read the room, he can read the need of the client, he can go in there and assess. He never compromises the integrity of the project or the initiative. He can be strategic, and he can also be extremely tactical. He can think at the highest level and go right down to the nitty-gritty of what has to be done to get things operationally moved along. He comes at the work where the work dictates what needs to be done – not his own ego.

Daniel has an uncanny capacity to take a whole range of ideas in a room, find the common ground, and synthesize them into a theme. In a group of 400 people, he can get all the data, put it together, it shows up on the screen, and he puts out a summary of what it adds up to that’s sharp, focused, insightful, and gives people a way to move to next steps. His diagnostic capacity is magnificent. And he moves beautifully between the interpersonal, the structural, and the personal. He can work in all realms.

He’s highly efficient and highly focused. And he’s highly organized and structured, so there’s always a framework, but it’s a framework that comes out of the data rather than out of his own theories. That’s what’s different about Daniel and other consultants. Others come in, they have the answer before you have the question. Daniel lets it emerge from you, the client, and then finds the right intervention that’s customized to your need.

I love tossing ideas around with him and designing together with him. He finds a way to work, to partner with you as a colleague. I can throw an idea out, and Daniel finds a way to put shape and structure to it. I can do what I do best, which is really be a visionary, to think and just dream. And he’ll lasso it right down into a strategy.

And with others who are very good with data and detail, I’ve seen him do the exact opposite, where he moves them to what does this mean for next step? He’s always challenging you to go next step, next step, next step. On the ground implementation.

– Richard Woodrow, DSW, Clinical Associate Professor, NYU School of Medicine and Former Executive Director, Organizational Development and Learning, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City

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