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If you’re in the DC area or interested in relocating, this would be a very cool job!

Director of Online Engagement and Participation, AmericaSpeaks

The Director of Online Engagement and Participation will lead AmericaSpeaks’ initiatives to design, facilitate and organize online participatory processes that provide citizens and stakeholders with a greater voice in governance processes. The Director will be responsible for generating new projects through which AmericaSpeaks may engage the public online, representing AmericaSpeaks in discussions with federal agencies about how to use online methods to create a more open government, managing a group of online associates and partners to deliver online engagement programs, and forming and nurturing partnerships with other online innovators. The Director will also oversee the organization’s online and social media presence.

AmericaSpeaks seeks a candidate with deep experience in the field of online engagement and participation. Candidates should have a proven track record of leading online participatory processes.

AmericaSpeaks is a world leader in the field of citizen engagement and public deliberation. For more than fifteen years, AmericaSpeaks has helped citizens influence many of the most pressing issues facing the public, including the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site after 9/11, the creation of regional plans for the greater Chicago and Cleveland regions, and the development of a recovery plan for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. AmericaSpeaks’ mission is to reinvigorate democracy; we are doing this by developing innovative tools and a rich infrastructure for engaging citizens in our nation’s policy making process. For more information about AmericaSpeaks, visit http://www.facebook.com/l/25ce2;www.americaspeaks.org.

The Director will report to the Vice President of Citizen Engagement. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

Duties and Responsibilities

* Lead AmericaSpeaks’ initiatives to engage citizens and stakeholders in online participatory processes
* Work with other AmericaSpeaks’ staff to attract and develop new projects to engage citizens and stakeholders online, especially with federal agencies
* Form and nurture partnerships with other leaders in the field of online engagement to deliver projects and develop new innovations
* Form and manage a group of consultants who can assist AmericaSpeaks in delivering online engagement projects and online aspects of other engagement projects
* Oversee the content of the AmericaSpeaks website and social media presence, and work with AmericaSpeaks’ communications associate and interns to ensure that content remains dynamic and fresh
* Develop and manage an online innovations agenda for AmericaSpeaks to ensure that the organization remains a leader in the field
* Develop programmatic and budget protocols for the delivery of online deliberations and engagement processes to support business development and the delivery of programs by associates and other partners
* Work with the organization’s communications cluster on the marketing and branding of the organization

Knowledge and Skills Preferred for the Position

* Demonstrated track record of organizing, designing and facilitating online efforts to engage people in crowdsourcing, dialogue or other related online activities
* Familiarity with online current online platforms for engaging the public, like IdeaScale, User Voice, etc. and social media tools
* Familiarity with online organizing practices, including social network and blogger outreach
* Entrepreneurial skills and the ability to develop new business
* Strong preference for candidates who live in or are willing to move to the Washington, DC area
* A commitment and passion for increasing the voice of citizens in policy making and realizing AmericaSpeaks vision
* Excellent oral and written communication skills
* Strong interpersonal and communication skills
* Experience with directing large, complex campaigns or initiatives
* Strong management skills
* Willingness to adjust hours according to the demands of the job and travel
* Proven ability to meet multiple deadlines and balance numerous projects while maintaining a perspective on long-term goals
* Strategic thinking
* Basic web skills such as basic HTML, CSS and image manipulation preferred
* Familiarity with Salsa is preferred
* Familiarity with the field of deliberative democracy is preferred

To Apply
Resumes with a cover letter should be submitted to Joe Goldman at jgoldman [at] americaspeaks [dot] org with “Director of Online Engagement” in the subject line. All attachments should be in PDF or Microsoft Word format and titled as follows “Lastname_Firstname_
documentype”.

For more information about AmericaSpeaks, visit: http://www.facebook.com/l/25ce2;www.americaspeaks.org.

AmericaSpeaks is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage and value a diverse work force, and we seek diversity among applicants for this position.

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In an earlier post, I proposed that the upcoming AmericaSpeaks Town Meeting on the federal debt in Dallas on June 26 was a chance to facilitate a part of history. I can now report that it will be even easier to participate than I earlier reported. Some of you have expressed an interest, but the mandatory on-site training in Dallas on Friday afternoon before our big Saturday event was almost a deal breaker.

Well, good news!

We have the good fortune of living in just the right time zone which means that Dallas facilitators can get their dose of on-site training on June 26, the day of the event at 8:30 a.m.! Of course, that makes for a very early wake-up call for the Austinites who volunteer, but if you leave comments here looking for shared ride opportunities, you can alternate driving and sleeping on the way.

Here is a complete list of the training times. There are three sessions and each session has a couple of options to make it easy on your schedule. All session are conducted via telephone and all times below are in CENTRAL.

Session 1: Telephone (Choose ONE of the following)

  • Sun, June 13, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. OR
  • Mon, June 14, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. OR
  • Tue, June 15, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. OR

Session 2: Telephone (Choose ONE of the following)

  • Sun, June 20,  5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. OR
  • Mon, June 21, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. OR
  • Tue, June 22, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. OR

Session 3 Conducted on-site at the Dallas Convention Center (Choose ONE of the following)

  • Fri, June 25, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. OR
  • Sat, June 26, 8:30 a.m.

I’m still working on securing host housing in Dallas if you’re interested in coming in on Friday. It will make for a much more relaxing experience, but I wanted you to know that there are options for the early birds.

If you want to be a facilitator, you must apply here.

Participants can register here.

BTW, check out the Facebook event page for more info and tidbits related to the Dallas experience (again, you can register on the Facebook page, but this is NOT the same as registering for the event! To make life even more confusing, we have a Dallas newsletter. Sign up for our Dallas Newsletter updates.

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Acting Archivist of the United States Adrienne Thomas announced today the appointment of presidential historian Mark K. Updegrove as the new Director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. His appointment is effective October 11, 2009.

(View full press release…)

Biography

Presidential historian Mark Updegrove, who will become Director of the LBJ Library & Museum on October 11, 2009, will serve as the Library’s fourth Director in its thirty-eight year history.

Updegrove is an award-winning author with over two decades of leadership experience within top media and communications organizations including Time, Newsweek, and Yahoo.

Often called on by the news media to offer commentary on the presidency, CNN has called Updegrove one of the “country’s best presidential historians.” Most recently, Updegrove was interviewed for a news story about President Barack Obama’s sliding poll numbers on ABC’s Good Morning America on September 2, 2009.

Updegrove is the author of two books relating to American presidents:

  • Published in January 2009, Baptism By Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis examines eight presidents who took office in times of unprecedented crisis, how they dealt the burdens they inherited, the role of character in their leadership, and the lessons those men provide for President Barack Obama.

“Memo to President Obama: Read this book.”
The Associated Press, January 2009

“Updegrove’s gallery of greats should instill hope and confidence in our future.”
The New York Times Book Review, January 20, 2009

  • Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House, published in 2006, looks at the post-presidential lives of our modern presidents–Harry Truman through Bill Clinton–and includes exclusive interviews with former Presidents George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Gerald Ford. The book was awarded ForeWord Magazine‘s “Book of the Year” Silver Medal Award for Political Science.

“A lively and highly readable review of [the] post-Oval Office years of the United States’ last nine former chief executive & entertaining and illuminating.”
The Washington Post, October 15, 2006

“Highly recommended.”
The Library Journal, July 6, 2006

Updegrove has also written feature articles for American Heritage, The Nation, Time, and Worth, and has contributed op-ed pieces for numerous national and regional newspapers and websites.

Additionally, he conceived and co-developed “Time and the Presidency,” a multi-media program featuring Time photographs of President Franklin Roosevelt through Clinton, along with reflections from Time‘s Hugh Sidey. The LBJ Library & Museum displayed the program’s traveling exhibit in 2000.

Updegrove has been Director of Business Development at Rawle Murdy, a private communications firm. He has also served as Vice President and Head of Sales and Operations at Yahoo! Canada; Vice President and Publisher of Nickelodeon Magazine and MTV Magazine; U. S. Publisher of Newsweek; and spent eleven years in several leadership roles at Time, Inc. including Los Angeles Manager of Time and President of Time Canada, Time’s Canadian edition and operation.

Updegrove graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1984. He and his wife, Evie, have two children, Charlie, 9, and Tallie, 3. The Updegrove family will be moving to Austin from Charleston, South Carolina.

Please join me in welcoming Mr. Updegrove and his family to the

LBJ Presidential Library and to Texas!

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In July, the Secretary of Health and Human Services announced that the federal government expects to initiate a voluntary fall vaccination program against the 2009 H1N1 flu virus. The CDC will help state and local health organizations develop the vaccination program and are working to decide the scope of the program for vaccinating Americans against the novel H1N1 pandemic influenza virus.

In this web-based dialogue the public will discuss, deliberate, and offer input as the CDC considers whether to take a “full-throttle” or a “go-easy” approach to mass vaccination, or a moderate approach somewhere in-between?

WebDialogue registrants are expected to participate on both days of the two-day dialogue. They must be willing to complete a pre- and post-knowledge survey, respond to a poll on the second day, and provide feedback through an evaluation at the conclusion of the dialogue.

Register to participate! Select a dialogue and click on the link below:

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[edited 8.7.09 to correct typos I made to Carolyn’s letter. Sorry, Carolyn!]

Carolyn Lipka from West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, North, in New Jersey, one of our researchers who worked with Barbara Cline, received 1st place in the National History Day senior individual documentary category for her documentary:  “Legislation By Johnson:  Man and Moment.”  She received a gold medal and the History Channel Prize of $5,000.00; she has sent us a DVD of her documentary.

It’s easy to see why she won! Unfortunately, copyright laws prohibit me from posting her winning video, but trust me when I say that her documentary is a testimony to the importance of this event and the LBJ Library’s annual participation every February. Check out the extensive resources made available by the LBJ Library’s Education Specialist who does a yeoman’s job every year as host of the Central Texas Region History Day Competition!

Here are some snippets from her letter to LBJ Library Archivist Barbara Cline notifying her about winning the prize.

In my time at the LBJ Library I learned more than in the entirety of my other research.  I was afforded the opportunity to interview Luci Johnson; I was granted access to innumerable boxes of original archives, including daily diaries and oral histories.  One of my favorite things to do while I was there was looking through the extensive collection of political cartoons…”

“The taped conversations of Lyndon Johnson are a truly unique resource, but one which can be overwhelming.  Your assistance, in particular, helped me make sense of the voluminous recordings.  They wound up forming a vital part of my documentary.  My experience working with a generous and extremely knowledgeable staff of dedicated archivists such as your self gave me a great appreciation for the work of the LBJ Library…

“Because I am now aware of the great and important work of the Library, I plan on making a contribution to the LBJ Library.  I have used many research facilities over the past several years, and I came away from the LBJ Library with a feeling of gratitude that I was able to experience it.”

“I really appreciate all that you have done for my project, and I hope you enjoy ten minutes all about the immensely complex, fascinating giant that was Lyndon Johnson.”

Congratulations Carolyn. Please come back anytime and keep making those documentaries. We expect to hear more great things from you in the future!

Anyone else out there want to use our resources to tell a story? Check out our resources for researchers.

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July 26 marks the anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s tribute to Lady Bird Johnson for her environmental conservations efforts.

Join the Wildflower Center on Sunday, July 26 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in honor of Claudia Taylor “Lady Bird” Johnson and all she has done for our nation’s treasured environment. Admission will be free for visitors during extended hours this Sunday and visitors will receive free seed packets.

This sounds like a very fun day for the whole family. Here’s a sample of activities:

  • Docent-guided tour of gardens
  • Make Eco-pots to take home and plant
  • Origami crafting in the McDermott Learning Center with artist Joan Son
  • Book signing with authors of “Lone Star Wildflowers” and “Hummingbirds of Texas”
  • Kathi Appelt reads her children’s novel, “Miss Lady Bird’s Wildflowers.”
  • All Day Lady Bird achievement and art exhibit including a seldom-displayed Norman Rockwell portrait
  • Lady Bird videos in the auditorium
  • Premier of 2009 Franz Sculptured Porcelain Collection of Blooming Bluebonnets in the store.

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Date: April 28
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Place: The LBJ
Presidential Library 10th floor Atrium

2313 Red River Street
Austin, TX 78705-5702

Come and meet new and long-time members of Texas Forums and reminisce with your colleagues and Texas Forums co-founder Dr. Betty Sue Flowers about the forums, events, research, receptions, and workshops we have enjoyed over the past six years .

If you are new to Texas Forums, this will be a great opportunity to socialize with our members and to learn more about our work.

Bring your memories and photos. We’ll provide the fun and the food.

Register here to make sure we have enough food!

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Logo

Date: May 15, 2009
Time: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Place: LBJ Presidential Library and Museum
FREE, BUT REGISTRATION REQUIRED

In
1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, a landmark law that profoundly changed how citizens can learn about their government.

On May 15, 2009, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, and the LBJ School of Public Affairs of the University of Texas
at Austin, in co-sponsorship with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, will co-host this free, one-day conference with speakers and panelists interacting simultaneously, through videoconferencing, in Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C.

The topics to be covered will include:

  • Innovations in fiscal transparency online
  • Technologies for monitoring legislation and spending
  • The “right-to-know” agenda for the 21st century
  • Innovation in the states
  • The future of “i-government”
  • Citizen participation online
  • How technologists can help

This event is meant for public sector managers and leaders, elected officials, nonprofit advocates, technologists and developers, and citizens interested in transforming government with new online tools.

President Barack Obama’s “Day One” action, on January 21, 2009, emphasized his commitment to open and free government information, spelled out in his Freedom of Information Act Memorandum, the very first order the new President issued from the White House.

Already there is an explosion of new tools on the Internet to access government information in innovative ways.

The one-day conference, “Open Government on the Internet: A New Era of
Transparency,” will look at these developments through the eyes of nationally prominent speakers and the participation of the audience.

Featured speakers include

  • Bill Bradley, The Hon. Former Senator
  • Vivek Kundra, White House Chief Information Officer
  • Susan Combs, Texas State Comptroller
  • Ellen Miller, Sunlight Foundation Director

For more information and to register…

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I know that numbers alone do not always measure impact and in this case none of the numbers really mean a hill of beans. (I am really put off by those twitterers who engage in contests to see who can get more people to follow them, for example.) Still, it’s fun to look at the numbers every so often. Here are a few from Texas Forums:

181 – number of people following LBJnow twitter (not huge, but still…)
1369 – number of updates LBJnow has twittered
312 – number of posts to the Texas Forums Blog since October 2006
1,451 – largest number of views of TF blog in one month
1.097 – number of Texas Forums photos online at Flickr
62 – number of videos uploaded to our site at youtube

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On February 18, Dr. Betty Sue Flowers, director of the LBJ Library announced her resignation. The full post is below, but what is particularly relevant to the readers of this blog is Dr. Flowers’ leadership in establishing Texas Forums as an initiative of the LBJ Library six years ago.

It was October 2002 when I walked into her office to discuss deliberative forums as a possible offering for the LBJ Library. In true “Betty Sue fashion”, she only needed to hear two sentences before proclaiming, “yes, these forums will be one of the legacies of the LBJ Library. They are a direct fulfillment of one of the presidential libraries’ missions: to foster civic engagement.”

Just a few weeks later, I was privileged to enjoy a Sunday brunch at the Old Pecan Street Cafe with Betty Sue and four high-powered women. We discovered a common concern over the lack of opportunities for citizens to participate in the political conversations about important and, often, divisive issues that affect our every day lives. Out of this common concern, Texas Forums was born in January 2003.

If you recall the time, we were in the early stage talk about going to war in Iraq. We launched forums on Americans’ Role in the World in partnership with KLRU and were overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to learn to moderate and participate in these difficult conversations. A sentiment expressed by many participants went something like this, “I know what I believe, but I desperately want to engage with those who think differently. I don’t want this to divide us. I want to reach out and understand.” People did not necessarily change their opinion about the war. But they did reach a new understanding and empathy for those who thought differently. That’s quite a legacy.

Betty Sue learns about One Latop Per Child from Joshua Gay at the We are All Actors event

Betty Sue learns about One Latop Per Child from Joshua Gay at the We are All Actors event

Texas Forums is not just a program of the LBJ Library to Betty Sue. Deliberative forums and a connection to the Kettering Foundation were already a legacy of the LBJ Library under Harry Middleton, long-time library director, and former staff member and close confidant to President Johnson. Betty Sue built on this legacy and moved civic discourse out into the community –  real and virtual. Long before President Obama drew WOOTS from the civic participation and open government junkies and threw the Washington bureaucrats into a frenzy with his talk of transparency, participation and collaboration, Betty Sue saw the connection between transparency and authentic public discourse. Almost three years ago she was assembling resources to enable Texas Forums and Silona Bonewald (League of Technical Voters) to assemble an amazing roomful of talented technologists committed to transparency in government that would enable people to be responsible, pro-active, and engaged citizens.

She wove together extensive networks of organizations concerned with issues – Texas Health Institute and the Center for Health and Social Policy, for example – and demonstrated how their mission to address difficult issues could be better achieved by engaging the public in civil discourse in partnership with Texas Forums. The list of organizations that have partnered with the library as a result of her vision for Texas Forums is long, but I will research our history and post them later so that you can appreciate the scope of her vision.

I know that many of you will want to send your regards and good wishes to Dr. Flowers and join me in thanking her for her vision and leadership. You may do so in the comments section of this blog where they will be collected for her to enjoy well into her next adventure.

_________________________________________________________________

LBJ Foundation Logo

AUSTIN, Texas-Dr. Betty Sue Flowers, director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum since 2002, is leaving that post effective May 22, 2009, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation announced Feb. 18.

“After seven wonderful years at the LBJ Library and Museum, I have decided to move on to other adventures and opportunities,” Dr. Flowers said.

“It’s been such an honor and pleasure to serve as the director of this flagship presidential library, and I’m sure I would have been happy to continue serving into the indefinite future. But it’s always been my philosophy that it’s good for an institution to adapt to new leadership-and for a leader to face new challenges.”

Tom Johnson, chairman of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, said he is grateful for the wonderful leadership Dr. Flowers has provided at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum. Johnson applauded the distinction, class and loyalty she has displayed as director.

“Dr. Flowers has earned the respect and the admiration of our board, her many colleagues in the entire presidential library system, historians and scholars who use the Library, and The University of Texas community,” Johnson said. “We will be cheering the next chapter in the accomplished life of Dr. Betty Sue Flowers.”

Johnson praised the many initiatives launched during Dr. Flowers’ tenure at the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, including the Presidential Timeline of the 20th Century project, a Web-based resource that opens to the public the rich archives of historical documents and artifacts from the nation’s presidential libraries. Johnson said the project “will serve future generations with an amazing collection of historical information about U.S. presidents and the times they experienced.”

Other initiatives undertaken during Dr. Flowers’ seven years as director include the release of recorded phone conversations from the Johnson administration; activities commemorating President Johnson’s 100th birthday; the tribute to Lady Bird Johnson; and repair of the LBJ Plaza at the Library and Museum.

Dr. Flowers said: “Thanks to the generous support of the LBJ Foundation, many of my dreams for the Library and the reputation of its great president have come true.”

Dr. Flowers became director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum in 2002. Before that, she was the Joan Negley Kelleher Centennial Professor in the English Department at The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a Piper Professor and a member of the University’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers. During her tenure at The University of Texas, she also was associate dean of graduate Studies and director of the Plan II Honors Program.

Dr. Flowers is a native Texan with degrees from The University of Texas and the University of London.

Dr. Flowers was a consultant for the nationally televised series “The Power of Myth” and a host for the radio series “The Next 200 Years.” Her 10-part television series, “Conversation with Betty Sue Flowers,” aired on the Austin PBS affiliate, KLRU.

About the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation

The Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation is responsible for managing gifts that benefit two institutions at The University of Texas at Austin-the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.

As one of only 12 presidential libraries in the country, the Library was established to preserve and make available for research the papers and memorabilia of President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

The mission of the School is to prepare graduate students for leadership positions, to organize public policy research, to provide continuing education for professionals, and to foster community involvement.

For more information, visit www.lbjfoundation.org.

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