Contact the NCDD Team    

Feel free to contact NCDD if you would like to get involved, learn more, tell us about your work, suggest something we should add to the site, or for any other semi-legitimate reason. We’d love to hear from you!

Our mailing address: 114 W. Springville Road, Boiling Springs, PA 17007
(please make correspondence c/o Sandy Heierbacher, Andy Fluke or Joy Garman).

Phone: 717-243-5144

Email: ncdd @

The NCDD Team…

Below is a list of NCDD staff members and details about what each of us does. Members of NCDD’s phenomenal Board of Directors also contribute considerably to the organization, and are a vital part of the NCDD Team.

Sandy Heierbacher, Co-Founder and Director

After directing the first National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation in 2002, in collaboration with 60 individuals and 50 organizations representing the full spectrum of dialogic and deliberative practice, Sandy and her husband Andy (NCDD’s Creative Director) Co-Founded the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation, a group of 50 organizations who shared Sandy and Andy’s vision of strengthening and uniting the growing dialogue & deliberation community. As of November 2008, NCDD has over 1000 members. In addition to her work with NCDD, Sandy has consulted for such organizations as the Corporation for National Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Kettering Foundation in the areas of intergroup dialogue, public participation and deliberative democracy. Sandy can be contacted at sandy @

Andy Fluke, Co-Founder and Creative Director

In addition to creating and designing NCDD’s presence on the web, Andy Fluke designs all of NCDD’s print publications – including our 2004 and 2006 conference handbooks, the 2002 conference binder and our promotional material. Because of Andy’s vision and perseverance, is one the largest and most accessible websites in this field, boasting many interactive features. He can be contacted at andy @

Joy Garman, Office Manager

NCDD has grown from a Coalition of 50 in late 2002 to a Coalition of over 1000 six years later. Processing new members, coordinating & managing our databases and keeping on top of email was not often done in a timely manner since NCDD staff were so busy with various projects and conferences. Joy Garman was hired in February 2006 to make sure these vital administrative tasks do not fall through the cracks. Joy can be contacted at joy @

Polly Riddims, Logistics Coordinator of NCDD’s National Conferences

Polly (aka Laurie Bezold) is the Managing Partner of Fusion Partnerships, Inc., a nonprofit in Baltimore whose mission is to be a catalyst for justice and peace. Fusion offers facilitaiton and educational programs for schools, organizations, and communities that build unity and bring people together across lines of difference. Polly has managed the logistics with grace and style for all three National Conferences on Dialogue & Deliberation – and it looks like she’s up for more. Polly can be reached at lbezold @

Former Team Members…

Amy Lang, Happenings Blog Editor

The world of dialogue & deliberation is expanding rapidly, and Amy was hired to help us keep up with the constant influx of news, opportunities and resources we are committed to sharing with our members and visitors on our News & Perspectives blog on the main page of our site. Amy Lang is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions at the University of British Columbia. She wrote her dissertation on British Columbia’s groundbreaking Citizens’ Assembly process, and is currently doing follow-up research on the Ontario Citizens’ Assembly. Read about the results of Amy’s research at She can be reached at [email protected].

Kate Howard, 2006 Conference Manager

Kate was the conference manager for the 2006 NCDD conference. She is a skilled facilitator and is currently a graduate student at the University of Maryland. She has designed and facilitated numerous public involvement processes and civic engagement processes. She is particularly interested in interfaith, law enforcement, and race-relations dialogues, and in deliberative democracy. Kate holds a BA from Oberlin College, and hopes to return to Northern California upon completion of her Masters program.

Priya Parker, Mentorship Program Manager

Part of the New Practitioners Project, Priya Parker initiated the Mentorship Program to meet the needs of young people and others who are entering the dialogue and deliberation field. The mentorship program will pair new practitioners with more experienced D&D practitioners, scholars, and activists who are established in the field. Until recently, Priya Parker (priya.parker @ was the Program Director of the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue ( Priya is currently representing IISD in India, and recently served as the M.C. at NCDD’s 2006 conference in San Francisco.

Leah Lamb, Dialogue & the Arts Project Manager

In partnership with Americans for the Arts’ Animating Democracy Initiative, NCDD developed a web feature designed to help members of the dialogue & deliberation community strengthen their work by linking it to the arts. The feature includes descriptions of successful arts-based civic dialogue projects and links to artists who can work with D&D practitioners to bring the arts into their projects. Leah Lamb coordinated this project.  She also coordinated the arts component at NCDD’s 2006 conference in San Francisco. Leah (leahlamb @ is the director of Online Election Initiatives at Current TV.

Lars Hasselblad Torres, Dialogue Bureau Project Manager

In 2004 and 2005, Lars ran a scoping study to determine whether a “National Dialogue Bureau” was a feasible idea. The Dialogue Bureau, if developed, would supply journalists with a “one stop” destination for the collection of views held by ordinary Americans who engage in dialogue about current affairs. The Dialogue Bureau would create a network of leaders of dialogue and deliberation groups who are willing to speak with the media about the key findings and concerns of their group. The Dialogue Bureau would deepen media coverage of an issue while providing D&D leaders – and D&D in general – with increased publicity. NCDD is currently seeking funding to move forward on this idea. Lars Torres (lhtorres @ is a Researcher for AmericaSpeaks (, an organization that is well-known for its 21st Century Town Meeting model that engages large groups of citizens in public deliberation.

Karla Andreu, Dialogue Bureau Project Coordinator

Karla worked in collaboration with Lars Torres on the preliminary stage of the Dialogue Bureau project. She interviewed numerous dialogue and deliberation practitioners and public journalists in order to determine whether a Dialogue Bureau is needed and will be used by both parties, and how best to design such a Bureau. Karla has an impressive background in community organizing and social justice advocacy.

Evan Thomas Paul, New Practitioners Project Manager

Initiated by the young people and other new practitioners who attended the 2004 National Conference on Dialogue & Deliberation, this project focuses on meeting the needs of new practitioners in dialogue & deliberation. The project has created an email discussion list for new practitioners to share experiences and resources, and we are developing a mentorship program which will pair new practitioners with more experienced folks, and an internship clearinghouse which will help match new practitioners to established organizations and practitioners who can use their help. Evan Paul (evanthomaspaul @ is a student at the University of Missouri.

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