Council Oak staff have a passion for good government. With an eye toward maximizing effectiveness, we bring a mix of strategic planning, neutral facilitation, policy analysis, internal and external communications and training to our clients. We have been privileged to support some of the most innovative and transformative activities currently underway in the federal government.


President & Chief Acorn

Linda always has an eye on the big picture. From community engagement to policy development, she will help you understand the why – so you can effectively manage the what and how. No matter your focus – local projects, team dynamics, or national policies – Linda will help you fill in the details to create your masterpiece. In her downtime, Linda can be found at the rink, in the garden, or painting crew oars.


Analyst, Facilitator & Resourceful Generalist

Need scientific or technical information translated into language that can be consumed by a wider audience? Looking for someone to guide your workgroup through developing a product or planning a meeting? Look no further than Sarah. When she’s not at her computer, she can be found planning her next trip, volunteer refereeing on the soccer field, or heading to a concert in DC.


Senior Facilitator & Team Builder

Justin is an active listener always on the lookout for opportunities to connect people, concepts, and solutions in new and creative ways. Whether it’s integrating stakeholder 
input or working to bring out the best in diverse teams, he can help you clarify and meet your goals. During his downtime he
can be found painting landscapes along the Anacostia River in Washington DC and in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.


Writer & Analyst

Will brings his background in Public Policy, excellent research skills, and a strong dedication to analytical thinking to promote the Council Oak vision of creating a positive long-term relationship between government and the public. When he’s not working, Will is busy getting lost in nature, reading, or writing poetry.


Senior Facilitator & Jill-of-All-Trades

Do you wonder how a certain policy or process can lead to better decisions or outcomes? Liz loves helping teams meet their goals, and will do anything she can to help. When she’s not doing that, she can be found exploring her home state of Maine’s mountains and waters, supporting the Girl Scouts, on a conference call, or in the garden.


Senior Consultant & Sense Maker

Pat has had the privilege of helping many clients find their way forward through challenging and bewildering territory. He blends facilitation skills, analytical capabilities and technical insights to bring clarity to issues and inspire collaborative action. When not at his desk, Pat can be found in the hills of charlottesville Virginia walking with his dog, exploring history, and pursuing creative endeavors.


Writer & Analyst

An adaptable and detail-oriented generalist, Julia is there behind the scenes taking up any and all tasks to help teams meet their goals. From writing and editing to research and documentation, Julia is there to get the details right. Outside of work, she can usually be found outdoors with her dog, baking, or running.


Creative Guru & Graphic Designer

If you need to organize information visually and creatively – Cindy is on the job! With more than 20 years at the helm of her own studio, Marlin Design, she has partnered with Council Oak in their mission to make information make sense. When she’s not on the hunt for the illusive “magic” graphic, Cindy enjoys cooking, snuggling with her dog, traveling and spending time with her ever-frenzied family.


Policy Analyst, Facilitator
& Problem Solver

The saying “still waters run deep” comes to mind in describing Greg’s approach to helping his clients achieve better results. He actively listens, puts together the right team, and helps communicate complex data in plain language. Away from work, Greg enjoys seeking out the best tacos in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, taking his dog for walks in the rain, and tending his fledgling bonsai collection.


Communications Professional

Everyone loves a good story. Michelle is here to make sure it’s yours! With over 30 years’ experience as a professional storyteller and most of that time spent in marketing and communications, Michelle
is an expert in getting people engaged, inspired, and equipped to take action.
In her spare time, she writes fiction, explores the sights near her home in southwestern New Mexico, and relaxes with her husband and cats.


Writer & Analyst

Andreea is a detail-oriented writer, editor, and researcher. Applying an interdisciplinary, systems-based approach, she will help your team synthesize raw data, research, and stakeholder input to craft cohesive and compelling narratives. Outside of work,
she is most likely to be found on a yoga mat, reading a book beside Maryland’s creeks, or attending a concert in the DMV area.