Vice President for Public Engagement and Director, Yankelovich Center, Public Agenda
Matt Leighninger, Vice President of Public Engagement & Director of the Yankelovich Center for Public Judgement, leads Public Agenda’s work in public engagement and democratic governance.
Previously, Matt was the Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC), an alliance of major organizations (including Public Agenda) and leading scholars working in the field of deliberation and public participation. The DDC represents more than 50 foundations, nonprofit organizations, and universities, collaborating to support research activities and advance democratic practice, in North America and around the world.
Over the last twenty years, Matt has worked with public participation efforts in over 100 communities, in 40 states and four Canadian provinces. Matt serves on the boards of e-democracy.org, the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2USA), The Democracy Imperative, and the Participatory Budgeting Project, and is a Senior Associate for Everyday Democracy.
Matt has written for publications such as The Huffington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Christian Science Monitor, The National Civic Review, Public Management, Zócalo Public Square, and Public Administration Review. He authored The Next Form of Democracy and co-wrote Public Participation in 21st Century Democracy with Tina Nabatchi.
Matt led a working group that produced a model ordinance on public participation; and developed a new tool, “Text, Talk, and Act,” that combined online and face-to-face participation as part of former President Obama’s National Dialogue on Mental Health. He has also assisted in the development of Participedia, the world’s largest online repository of information on public engagement. Matt holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University.