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 nineteen years, Leighninger has worked with public engagement efforts in over 100 communities, in 40 states and four Canadian provinces. He is a Senior Associate for Everyday Democracy, and serves on the boards of, the National School Public Relations Association, The Democracy Imperative, and the Participatory Budgeting Project. Leighninger has advised a number of foundations, including the Knight Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Mott Foundation, Bertelsmann Foundation, Whitman Institute, newDemocracy Foundation, and the Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement affinity group. He has worked with government agencies and national associations on their public engagement strategies, including the National League of Cities, American Bar Association, International City/County Management Association, Alliance for Children and Families, NeighborWorks America, Centers for Disease Control, Grassroots Grantmakers, CFLeads, Environment Canada, and the League of Women Voters. Leighninger’s 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. Two of his recent publications, Planning for Stronger Local Democracy (National League of Cities, 2011) and Using Online Tools to Engage – and be Engaged by – the Public (IBM Center for the Business of Government, 2011) provide practical suggestions for aspiring democracy-builders.