media release

AmericaSpeaks founder discusses regional citizen engagement

May 16, 2014

Robin Prest, SFU’s Centre for Dialogue, 778.782.7885,
Kamilah Charters-Gabanek, SFU Vancouver, 778.782.5151,

Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, AmericaSpeaks founder and former consultant to the White House Chief of Staff, will examine 21st century citizen engagement with Citizen Engagement and Political Civility, a public talk hosted by Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue on May 21.

In addition to her talk Lukensmeyer will be working with regional citizen engagement practitioners, the Centre for Dialogue and SFU Public Square to identify innovative ways to involve the public in government decision-making. There has been growing interest to include citizen voices in local, provincial and national decision-making, as demonstrated by recent controversies in Vancouver neighbourhood planning, regional Lower Mainland transportation funding, and national engagement around managing electoral issues.

Lukensmeyer’s work has included gathering public input on such issues as redeveloping the World Trade Centre post 9/11 and rebuilding New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

In 1995, Lukensmeyer founded AmericaSpeaks, an award winning non-profit and non-partisan organization that provides citizens and leaders with the tools to participate in public decision-making. She formerly served on the National Performance Review—a large-scale, bottom-up review project of the U.S. government, involving both the public and federal agencies. Lukensmeyer is currently the executive director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse.

The free public lecture begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, in the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. A short reception will follow. Registration is required.

SFU’s Centre for Dialogue uses dialogue to generate non-partisan and constructive communication. The centre partners with government, business and community groups to explore issues of public importance.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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