Introducing Our Emcees for NCDD Seattle

We’re thrilled to have two great NCDD members serving as our conference Emcees for NCDD Seattle: John Gastil and Susanna Haas Lyons. They’ll be providing you with familiar, friendly faces throughout the event, introducing presenters, making announcements and helping us transition between activities.

John Gastil is the Head of the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at Penn State University. Susanna Haas Lyons is a public engagement specialist, an AmericaSpeaks senior network associate, and a new mom (baby Judah is our youngest attendee!).

Here’s a bit more about them both…

Susanna Haas Lyons is a public engagement specialist who develops strategy and provides training for better conversations between the public and decision-makers. Bridging online and face-to-face methods, Susanna has worked on some of North America’s largest and most complex citizen engagement projects, including electoral reform in British Columbia, rebuilding post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, electronic health records for the US federal government, and the City of Vancouver’s transportation future. She is an AmericaSpeaks senior network associate, certified by the International Association for Public Participation and holds a masters degree from the University of British Columbia’s Institute for Resources, the Environment and Sustainability. Find out more about Susanna at

John Gastil is a professor in the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences at Pennsylvania State University. He received his Ph.D. in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994. He specializes in political deliberation and group decision making, and his books include The Jury and Democracy, The Group in Society, Political Communication and Deliberation, By Popular Demand, Democracy in Small Groups, the co-edited volume, The Deliberative Democracy Handbook and the forthcoming co-edited book, Democracy in Motion: Evaluating the Practice and Impact of Deliberative Civic Engagement.

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