Tonio Verzone 

Learning Architect.   Process Designer.   Change Facilitator. 

The people, wilderness, and spirit of Alaska have shaped Tonio's approach to learning, change, and empowerment. Tonio has been profoundly impacted by rural and indigenous communities around the world. His first facilitation project involved working with 'untouchables' (Dalits) in rural India to create a participatory water use plan. Tonio's proudest moment was when the villagers signed their name on a document that represented their collective work to solve their own problems. His specializations include organizational development, adult learning, K-12 education, community participation, social-emotional intelligence, design, and mindfulness training. 

Tonio's formal education has taken place at Alaska Pacific University, Columbia University, Pepperdine University, and the Upaya Zen Center, but his primary education has come from sitting, listening, and working with everyday people. Tonio has spent the last twenty years as an educator and facilitator in communities around the world.  He has lived and worked in Vietnam, India, Bangladesh, Lao, Mongolia, Iceland, China, Guatemala, and Ecuador. Verzoneā€™s domestic experience includes working extensively in rural Alaska and Appalachia, as well as urban education in New York City and Washington, DC. Tonio has taught at the middle school, high school, vocational, and university level. He regularly works alongside schools in Alaska and across the United States, as well as with non-profits, tribes, and community groups. His personal passions include skiing in the Alaskan backcountry, creative design work, and traveling to learn about unique cultures and destinations. Tonio is currently based below the Chugach mountains in Anchorage, Alaska.



  • Organizational Development, Pepperdine University
  • MA International Educational Development, Teachers College, Columbia University
  • BA Environmental Science, Alaska Pacific University
  • Upaya Zen Center
  • Learning Forward Academy
  • Technical Assistance Academy, Education Northwest 
  • DC Teaching Fellow


  • Warrior Training, Margaret Wheatley
  • Courage to Teach, Center for Courage and Renewal
  • Design Thinking, School for Visual Arts
  • Cognitive Coaching
  • Adaptive Leadership
  • National School Reform Faculty Facilitator
  • Differentiation Institute, University of Virginia
  • Participatory Research Management, Participatory Research in Asia
  • Highlander Research and Education Center
  • Community Organizing, Midwest Academy


  • U.S. Fulbright Scholar                  
  • Learning Forward Chidley Scholar
  • Freeman- Asia Scholar
  • Morris K. Udall Scholar
  • NSEP Boren Scholar
  • Rotary Cultural Ambassador Scholar
  • NSEP Boren Graduate Fellow
  • Gilman Scholar