Matt Leighninger is the Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC), an alliance of the major organizations and leading scholars working in the field of deliberation and public engagement. 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 seventeen years, Matt has worked with public engagement efforts in over 100 communities, in 40 states and four Canadian provinces.
Matt is a Senior Associate for Everyday Democracy, and serves on the boards of e-democracy.org, the National School Public Relations Association, and The Democracy Imperative. He has advised a number of national associations on their public engagement strategies, including the National League of Cities, NeighborWorks America, Centers for Disease Control, and the League of Women Voters. Matt has also been DDC’s representative to LogoLink, a network of civil society organizations in the Global South.
He has written for publications such as The Christian Science Monitor, The National Civic Review, Public Management, School Administrator, and Nation’s Cities Weekly. His first book, The Next Form of Democracy: How Expert Rule is Giving Way to Shared Governance—and Why Politics Will Never Be the Same, traces the recent shifts in the relationship between citizens and government, and examines how these trends are reshaping our democracy. He is a graduate of Haverford College, and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University.