I’m a writer, consultant, essayist and musician based in Rockville, MD.
I’ve worked in the civic arena for many years. I only work with organizations that hold a public trust. Some recent highlights:
- I’m an Associate of the Kettering Foundation — I write many of their issue books for public deliberation, and other publications
- With the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, I helped design and lead a multi-day workshop for first-time political candidates, teaching them how to win within a framework of ethical decision making
- For Everyday Democracy, I worked to develop a long-term strategic plan, wrote a well-regarded discussion guide on poverty, and helped design a new online tool for sharing and building dialogue guides
- For the Northwest Area Foundation, I wrote materials to disseminate groundbreaking poll results on main street attitudes toward poverty. I also have written a number of evaluations and reviews of various NWAF programs, including Prevailing In The Long Run, a review of the first phase of the foundations’s Horizons program.
- With The Harwood Institute, I helped design and deliver tools and experiences to support deep change among a cohort of public broadcasters across the country, and have helped design and evaluated every Harwood Public Innovators Summit
- I founded Rockville Central, one of the few community-generated information sources in the third-largest city in Maryland, which has become a must-read for the town’s leadership
I contribute occasionally to Pajamas Media, where my role appears to be to infuriate comment-writers (one recently said an article was a “load of horse-hockey” and, better still, another called me “bonkers”), and I also sometimes appear in The Christian Science Monitor.
You can see all my published articles here.
Work history-wise, for those who care about such things: I was senior project manager and then director, external initiatives at The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation and vice president for public policy at the Institute for Global Ethics. I was on the staffs of then-Controller of California Gray Davis and Congresswoman Jane Harman, and also as deputy California campaign manager for the National Health Care Campaign (yes, the first Hillary Care) and as state government relations representative for Northrop Grumman Corporation. I have been a lobbyist for alternative transportation, and I successfully helped change the state vehicle codes in all of the Pacific states to make the world safe for electric bicycles. You read that right.
I’ve spoken at the National Press Club, the Brookings Institution and the Chautauqua Institution. Chautauqua was a lot of fun because the weather was nice. Brookings was a bit of a dud. I’ve written and co-written lots of articles and op-ed pieces, which have been in places like The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Foundation News and Commentary, Campaigns & Elections, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. And I contributed a chapter on the ethics of citizenship to a little book called Shades of Gray (Brookings Institution, 2002).
I got my B.A. in comparative literature from U.C. Berkeley. So I am definitely qualified to read books. I don’t know why, but I am listed in Who’s Who in America. Well, I used to be, I have not checked in a couple of years.
I was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Detroit, went to school in Berkeley, met my wife in LA, moved to Maine, and now live in Rockville, Maryland with my incredible wife, Andrea Jarrell, and two children.