We are a group of consultants, educators, and practitioners committed to high quality communication in public forums to produce innovative connections and outcomes in our communities.


Shawn Spano, Ph.D.

PDC President and Senior Consultant
Shawn Spano is one of the founding members of the Public Dialogue Consortium. Shawn has over 20 years of experience working with city government and public organizations, including multi-year projects with five different municipalities. Shawn is a specialist in designing and facilitating stakeholder meetings, training workshops, public forums, and off-site retreats with executive staff, elected officials, middle managers, commissions and boards, and local residents. In addition to his consulting practice, Shawn is a Professor in the Communication Studies Department at San Jose State University. He teaches courses and conducts research in organizational communication, small group communication and public dialogue. He has published numerous articles and chapters, including the book, Public Dialogue and Participatory Democracy.


Linda Blong

PDC Senior Consultant
Linda Blong has worked with the Public Dialogue Consortium since 2009. She brings twenty-five years of experience working with public agencies at the state and local levels within and outside of California. Her experience and expertise includes large and small group facilitation; community engagement; participatory planning processes; professional development design and implementation; collaborative learning and communities of practice; collaborative management strategies; personal and organizational development; interpersonal and group communication; program evaluation; systems change; and project management.

In addition to consulting with PDC, Linda serves as Senior Project Specialist at the Napa County Office of Education and as Program Leader and faculty for the Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement Certificate Program at Kansas State University.


Jennifer Mair

PDC Executive Director
Jennifer Mair joined PDC in 2009 to assist in organizational planning and development, and to work toward quality public engagement in our communities.
She brings ten years of experience facilitating public discussions and training facilitators in communities, on campuses and in classrooms. She has extensive experience working in corporate, small business, non-profit, educational, and state and local government environments. Jennifer has organized, designed, and facilitated public discussions focused on diversity, contentious state and local issues, and enhancing community engagement. Jennifer coordinates online platform engagement, social media efforts and messaging, and working with clients to maximize engagement via social media strategies. She holds a Dialogue, Deliberation and Public Engagement Certificate from Fielding University.

Jennifer also works as a facilitator, mediator and project manager with the Center for Collaborative Policy at California State University, Sacramento. She previously taught communication studies and community engagement strategies at San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, and Skyline College.


Keiva Hummel

Junior Consultant
Keiva Hummel works with Public Dialogue Consortium as the Social Media Coordinator, and skillfully facilitates conversations during meetings and events. During her time with PDC, she has worked with community members, students, and government employees from the City of Milpitas, Half Moon Bay, San Bruno, and the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District; with a focus to ensure that voices from the community were represented and the community’s wishes reported back with detailed accuracy.

Keiva also works as Communications Coordinator with the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), a network of thousands of practitioners and innovators in public engagement, dialogue, and deliberation. She graduated cum laude from San Francisco State University with a B.A. in Communication Studies, Minor in Global Peace, Human Rights and Justice Studies, and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution Studies.


Isabella Guzman

Junior Consultant
Isabella Guzman has over eight years of language experience ranging from small community groups to large-scale governmental agency contracts. Whether it’s interpreting for Spanish-speaking community members in town hall meetings or featured as the voice for official training videos in Francophone Africa for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Isabella has bridged communication in diverse industries and communities. In addition to her career as language consultant, Isabella’s work in local and international community initiatives have equipped her with the skills necessary to connect with others across diverse backgrounds, as well as effectively utilize digital tools to manage campaigns. Isabella’s experience includes small to mid-size group facilitation, advocacy, community organizing, and collaboration with local and international policymakers.