NCDD is happy to announce the recent addition of three new members to the NCDD Board of Directors. Hollie Cost, Brad Rourke, and Sagacity Walker joined the board in January and will work with their fellow board members and staff over the next several years to guide and support the organization.
We also want to give a sincere thank you to our outgoing Board members, Simone Talma Flowers and Betty Knighton, who worked tirelessly over the last six years to help NCDD through transitions and developments and helped offer their enthusiasm, vision, and sage wisdom to our staff. We can't thank them enough for all of the hard work they put in over the years. Thankfully, they will remain active members of the NCDD network.
We could not be more excited to welcome our newest members to the board! We encourage you to join us in thanking them for taking on these new roles and to learn a bit more about them below.
The New Members of the NCDD Board of Directors
Hollie Cost is the Assistant Vice President for University Outreach & Public Service at Auburn University. Hollie has over 25 years of teaching experience, serving as a Professor of Special Education at the University of Montevallo, and Stephen F. Austin State University as well as a special education teacher at Loachapoka Elementary School. During her two-term tenure as the mayor of the City of Montevallo, Alabama the city completed over $10 million in capital projects including a complete Main Street renovation, a 167-acre park development and the construction of a new city hall. Hollie’s civic priorities include inclusivity, sustainability, health and wellness, education from cradle to career, and increasing the civic efficacy of local youth. She is a graduate of Leadership Alabama, serves on the board of directors for the National Issues Forum Institute, National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation and the David Mathews Center for Civic Life and is a partner in Keys to the City Community Coaching firm. She has a Ph. D. and master’s degree in Special Education from Auburn University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Brad Rourke is a program officer at the Kettering Foundation. His work includes studies of naming and framing issues in public terms and of how people make decisions and work together on shared challenges in communities. In addition to serving as executive editor of issue guides since 2010, Rourke has written and cowritten a number of Kettering reports and articles, including Developing Materials for Deliberative Forums. His essays and op-ed pieces have appeared in publications such as the Washington Post and the Christian Science Monitor. He contributed a chapter on the ethics of citizenship to the book Shades of Gray (Brookings Institution, 2002). Prior to joining the foundation, Rourke was president of a public issues firm serving the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, founder and publisher of local online news source Rockville Central, director of external initiatives at The Harwood Institute for Public Innovation, and vice president for public policy at the Institute for Global Ethics. He has served on the staffs of then-controller of California Gray Davis and then-US representative Jane Harman. Rourke serves on the boards of Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement and the National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation. He received a BA in comparative literature from UC Berkeley and an MPA from American University.
Matthew Sagacity Walker is a program designer and facilitator focusing on community engagement and youth development. Sagacity is currently the Program Manager at Everyday Democracy where he designs community trainings and provides coaching on group facilitation and community organizing. Sagacity is also a Senior Associate with The Creative Discourse Group; a collective focused on racial equity and supporting organizations build more equitable practices. A graduate of University of Hartford, he worked as a Field Researcher for the university’s Center for Social Research where he co-designed program evaluations and long-term studies. As a group facilitator, he has collaborated with various Connecticut based organizations and institutions. Sagacity facilitated community organizing trainings in several states; Ohio, Delaware, Iowa, and Maine to name a few. He has also facilitated community dialogues on various issues, particularly education, policing, and racial equity. With a background in management, youth programming, education, program evaluation, and small group facilitation, Matthew Sagacity Walker continues to work on local and national initiatives in hopes to contribute to more equitable, just, and informed communities.
We are so pleased to be working with this amazing Board and hope that you will join us in honoring their commitments to playing such key leadership roles in our field! You can learn more about all of NCDD's Board by visiting the Board of Directors page.