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Dialogue with Valerie Lemmie: Making space for citizens to act on the issues that matter most
Community members have an important role to play in naming the issues that affect them and in co-creating solutions. Yet civic engagement processes can all too easily force residents to look at problems from the perspective of government policies and structures in ways that create barriers to participation. How can governments create more intentional space to surface issues and enable local problem solving? And how can they place citizens at the centre of this conversation in ways that harness the energy and knowledge that community members offer?
Join Valerie Lemmie, Director of Exploratory Research at Kettering Foundation at the SFU Centre for Dialogue’s annual Bruce and Lis Welch Community Dialogue for a free public dialogue examining the complementary roles that citizens and governments can play in co-producing solutions to the problems that matter most.
About Valerie Lemmie
Valerie Lemmie was welcomed back to the Kettering Foundation in May 2014 as the director of exploratory research. In 2005, Lemmie was a scholar-in-residence at the foundation and wrote about the value of public administrators working collaboratively with citizens in naming, framing, and acting on wicked community problems.
An adept strategic thinker with more than 35 years of experience in solving complex problems and controversial issues, Lemmie joins the foundation after a distinguished career in public service. She served as city manager for the cities of Petersburg, Virginia and Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio; commissioner on the Public Utility Commission of Ohio; and district director and acting chief of staff for Congressman Turner (Ohio’s 10th District). Most recently, Lemmie directed the Eastern Interconnection States’ Planning Council, an initiative designed to evaluate transmission grid development options throughout the Interconnection. Lemmie has also served as adjunct professor at Howard University and the University of Dayton and as a fellow at the Center for Municipal Management at George Washington University.
Lemmie has served on numerous boards, including Dayton History, Initiatives of Change, National Academy of Public Administration (where she is an elected fellow), House of Representatives Committee on Urban Redevelopment, and President Clinton’s Greenhouse Gas Advisory Committee.
A published author and speaker on public policy and utility regulatory issues nationally and internationally, Lemmie received her BA in political science and urban sociology from the University of Missouri and an MA in urban affairs/public policy planning from Washington University.