current + recent projects
Providing strategic communications consultation, training, and capacity building to the WA State Department of Social and Health Services and helping the agency reframe the big issues facing Washingtonians, including its 2025 poverty reduction goal, the pressures of an aging population, and moving to a new model for case management.
Heading up ivoh, a global network of media makers leading the emergent movement in strength-based media. There I helped to expand ivoh's physical presence in selected cities and to engage media makers from all sectors in an innovative approach to storytelling that explores the strengths and potential of individuals and communities. Raised $250,000 to expand the organization’s media fellowship program, and led efforts to redesign the organization’s website, creating an open story bank for journalists.
In partnership with Mike Rispoli at Free Press and Stefanie Murray at the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University, I facilitated a 5-hour workshop on strengths-based media and Restorative Narrative in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Mike and Stefanie worked in close partnership with the community and created a space for media and community leaders to come together to identify and tell stories that moved beyond the boom or bust narrative to a fuller, more authentic representation of all that Atlantic City is and could be.
For the National Human Services Assembly, I helped to launch a multi-year initiative to deepen the public’s understanding of social issues while encouraging more vibrant civic participation. I was brought in to mobilize community and national leaders across the country to build capacity on this new research-based communications approach to messaging and storytelling grounded in a multi-disciplinary approach. With my team, we trained over 4000 nonprofit and public sector leaders on how to integrate this new narrative to increase their visibility and influence.
not too long ago
Worked with MIT’s Office of Sustainability on next-generation sustainability planning. Part of a team that provided high-level strategizing on how to move from an operations-focused program to transformative problem solving and systems thinking in higher education sustainability practices.
Founded and launched two offices of sustainability at LaSalle Bank and the University of Chicago. Developed a data-driven strategic sustainability plan aligned with institution outcomes, including over 100 metrics to track and evaluate progress against goals. Over three years of data collection we saw a significant decrease in the waste of natural resources, increase in alternative transportation, and cost savings from program and building efficiencies.
Positioned the United Way system as an important voice on Capitol Hill. Led capacity building efforts for United Way Worldwide’s 1300 state and local members, providing customized workshops around the country and aligning the network behind national advocacy priorities. Public policy gains included: federal assignment of “211” to human services information and referral; a 30% increase in Emergency Food and Shelter appropriations; and enrollment of 500,000 in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, a partnership with the Office of Senator Kennedy (D-MA).
Convened a broad coalition of national and grassroots partners for nationwide designation of the 3-digit telephone code, “211”, for human services information and referral (as a complement to “911”). Managed nationwide implementation of 211, including $500,000 in grants to support those efforts. Drafted legislation and secured bi-partisan support in Congress for $200 million in federal funding for building and sustaining a nationwide 211 system.