Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer


Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer

Sunday, March 28th, 2010 - 12:49

Dr. Lukensmeyer is the founder and former President of AmericaSpeaks. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse at the University of Arizona. Under Carolyn’s leadership, AmericaSpeaks has earned a national reputation as a leader in the field of deliberative democracy and democratic renewal. She and AmericaSpeaks have won a number of awards, including two from the International Association for Public Participation (2001 and 2003), the Organizational Development Network’s Sharing the Wealth Award (2006), a Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) award for best practices, a Distinguished Service Award from the Federal Managers Association for Outstanding Leadership (1994), and a Best Practice Award from the National Training Laboratories Institute (1993).

Prior to founding AmericaSpeaks, Carolyn served as Consultant to the White House Chief of Staff from November 1993 through June 1994. In this capacity she ensured that systematic thinking was part of the White House’s work on internal management issues and on government-wide reform. She also served as the Deputy Project Director for Management of the National Performance Review (NPR), Vice President Al Gore’s reinventing government task force. From 1986 to 1991, Carolyn served as Chief of Staff to Governor Richard F. Celeste of Ohio. She was both the first woman to serve in this capacity and, at the time of her appointment, the only Chief of Staff recruited from the professional management field. Carolyn also led her own successful organizational development and management consulting firm for 14 years, working with public and private sector organizations on four continents.

Carolyn’s work at the National Institute for Civil Discourse focuses on integrating research and practice to support and enable: a congress and executive branch capable of working to solve big issues facing our country; a public demand for civil discourse and a government that works in the best interests of the country as a whole; and media that informs and engages the public. More information on this important work can be found at:

Carolyn earned a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University and completed postgraduate training at the internationally known Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. She is affiliated with the American Management Association, National Training Laboratories, Organization Development Network, and the Organization and Management Division of the American Psychological Association.