Director, Governance & Community Resilience
GETTING TO KNOW DEBORAH
Beyond your job title, please explain your role at Creative.
As practice area director, I am responsible for developing and managing Creative’s governance and community resilience portfolio. Much of governance work entails cross-cutting, meaning I also work with other practice areas in my division and others where their work intersects with, or is implemented within, a governing framework.
What drew you to the company?
I met Pablo Maldonado years ago and became aware of the work Creative was doing in conflict, conflict management and conflict prevention. Since then, I have had the opportunity to do more work in this area, including a fragile state study for the World Bank. I also had worked more in the area of governance instead of local government and had wanted something new. When I was looking for a change in career paths, I turned to Creative to see if there were any opportunities that fit my skill set.
Describe the work environment at Creative?
Creative’s work environment is comfortable, friendly and open. Since you spend so much time with the people you work with, it’s good to have this type of camaraderie. I like it and it ends up being fun.
Do you have a favorite, unique or fascinating country where you have worked?
I have worked in more than 30 countries so to try to narrow this to one favorite is difficult. That being said, I think India is at the top of my list given its complex society, densely populated cities and highly educated, while also completely uneducated, citizenry. The challenge of navigating this environment to bring about effective local government remains one of my most interesting experiences. Ironically, when I left international development work in 2002 to return to city management in the U.S., I transferred the lessons I had learned from India to the U.S.
When I’m not working, I sew, read, take weekend trips on the old U.S. highways or listen to music.
Economic development, change management, city planning, civil society development, conflict prevention
AbD, Cleveland State University | MPA, Central Michigan University | BA, Central Michigan University
Excellence in Leadership, Michigan City Management, 2005 | Innovation Award, Michigan Municipal League, 2004
The Urban Institute, 2007 – 2013 | City of Saginaw, Michigan, 2003 – 2004
“Creative’s work environment is comfortable, friendly and open. Since you spend so much time with the people you work with, it’s good to have this type of camaraderie. I like it and it ends up being fun.”