• I believe true leadership has nothing to do with position.

    A leader is anyone willing to step forward and help.

    Maybe you’re committed to creating change – but you aren’t sure how or where to begin. Start your journey here.

Take Your Organization To The Next Level

Session Themes and Keynote Topics

Shipwrecked: Rebuilding Lives After Disaster and Displacement

This is a practitioner story. Over a decade ago, we responded in Houston to Katrina by welcoming over 200,000 neighbors to Houston. Since that time I have been on a quest to understand the very best of practical, regionally based responses to displaced people. Because everywhere --- there are people arriving in cities holding aspirations to earn, learn and belong.

You Can’t Build on Broken: A Framework for Community Change

Learn a ground-breaking appreciative approach to transforming organizations, communities and cities based on what’s working and what’s strong. I’ll show how to begin the transformation with a new set of questions: What are we like when we are at our best? What gives energy and life to our work? What makes it feel like home? What are our core strengths and how do we employ them to tackle our toughest challenges?

Creating an Effective Welcome: Cities as On-ramps to Opportunity

Welcoming newcomers is a creative process. A constant flow of people to our cities requires us to be swift, creative and grounded in our approaches. To be effective, we must keep our service goals simple and based upon the aspirations of arriving groups of people. We must focus on the universal aspirations--to earn, learn and belong.

Figure It Out Leadership: An Evolutionary Approach

As new information and ideas rush toward us, challenging old systems and accepted ways of working, how do we lead best in this time of rapid learning and accelerated change? Evolutionary or “Figure it Out” leadership principles will help leaders know where to use their time and energy, guide their use of resources so they are moving toward what’s new and next.

Speaking Engagements

Executive Leadership Academy Brisbane, Australia
Multi-year engagement with Executive Leadership Academy. Facilitated strategy sessions with Australian business, non-profit and government leaders to shape their strategies and create program designs for community change that are strength-based and welcoming.
Forum Fluchtlingshilfe (Refugee Assistance Forum)Hamburg, Germany
At the invitation of the Mayor of Hamburg and the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Family and Integration, delivered keynote to 1,500 attendees at European Refugee Assistance Forum.
World Appreciative Inquiry Conference Johannesburg, South Africa
Led sessions on appreciative inquiry in disaster recovery and asset-based community development at International Conference.
Bromford Annual Conference Birmingham, England
Delivered keynote to 1,000 attendees at annual housing conference centered around the story of working with immigrant communities to build Baker Ripley community center.
White House Salon Meeting – Building Ladders of Opportunity Washington, DC
Met with President of the United States Barack Obama to provide insight and offer advice on programs such as the President’s Promise Zone Initiative.
Investing What Works for America’s Communities Washington, D.C. / Dallas, TX 
Delivered keynote on people transforming communities and shared best practices for community development to philanthropists and non-profit leaders.
Brookings Metropolitan Opportunity Series Washington, D.C. / Houston, TX
Participated in a two-part convening of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Opportunity Series. Brookings experts set out to discuss metro opportunity framework and study key research findings. Identified innovations in community development and shared how these innovations can be scaled in other metro regions. Attendees included David Erickson, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Joe Neri, CEO of IFF, Robin Snyderman, Metropolitan Planning Council.
Rockefeller Foundation/Bridgespan Group Roundtable on Suburban Poverty New York, New York
Participate in a roundtable to address the issue of suburban poverty. The convening brought together high impact leaders to explore questions of suburban poverty, the causes and drivers of poverty, and potential solutions and interventions, and long term outcomes. Angela Blanchard’s contributions to the discussion led to an external document published by the Rockefeller Foundation on suburban poverty, feeding into long-term funding decisions for the foundation.
City Lab: Urban Solutions to Global Challenges New York, NY
Participated in discussions around urban ideas and innovations that are shaping metro centers around the world. Attendees included global city leaders, mayors and government officials, urban theorists, scholars, artists, and other key voices, in a series of conversations hosted by The Aspen Institute, The Atlantic, and Bloomberg Philanthropies.
Clinton Global Initiative: Community Investing Work Group New York, NY
Served as an expert on innovative investment approaches that grow local economies, promote thriving neighborhoods, and expand opportunities for financial and social returns. Attendees included mainstream investors and national and community financial institutions with foundations, nonprofits, and government representatives. 
New America: World Refugee Day Washington, D. C. 
Provided a deeper look into the vital role cities like Houston have played in welcoming and integrating refugees into communities. Other panelists included Her Excellency Dina Kawar, Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Jana Mason, Senior Advisor in the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 
World Energy Cities Partnership Global Conference Houston, TX 
Delivered keynote to 300 mayors and energy industry professionals from around the world on how the public and private sectors can work together to provide on-ramps to opportunity in their communities.
p4 Conference: Pittsburgh, PA
Invited by the Heinz Endowments to deliver keynote at conference which tapped the expertise of leaders from across the country. Speakers included government officials, nonprofit innovators and policy consultants who joined 600 local civic and community leaders in discussing ways to transform Pittsburgh into a sustainable city.
Kresge Foundation: Inequality in America's Cities
Invited by Kresge Foundation to participate in panel discussion on the seemingly intractable, difficult problems facing urban America and how to solve them. The conversation focused on racial, economic, and social inequities — from historical roots to contemporary effects — in major U.S. cities and what can be done to improve conditions for all who live in America’s cities.
New America World Refugee Day, Washington, D.C.
Angela was a part of a panel which took a deeper look into the world's 21.3 million refugees and the vital role that America has played in providing support to front-line states that house the vast majority of the world's refugees. The panel explored how refugees do not just come to America, but rather resettle in cities and become integral members of their communities. 
Business Innovation Factory 10th Anniversary, Providence, RI
Shortly after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Angela's talk at BIF centered around lessons learned from the storm.
Teach For All, Bogota, Colombia
Angela presented to more than 450 participants from across the Teach For All network, along with critical global education partners and experts, to reflect on the theme of Appreciative Community Building.
Shipwrecked: Rebuilding Lives After Disaster and Displacement
This is a practitioner story. Over a decade ago, we responded in Houston to Katrina by welcoming over 200,000 neighbors to Houston. Since that time I have been on a quest to understand the very best of practical, regionally based responses to displaced people. I do not distinguish between people displaced by war and political oppression and those cast out of their homes by fire and flood. Because our role and our responsibilities did not differ based upon where people came from or what tossed them ashore. The challenge was the same; to find a way to make them a part of the unfolding regional story. To search relentlessly for what worked best after disaster and displacement. This search and response carried us through multiple waves of incoming refugees and immigrants, allowed us to respond to multiple floods and hurricanes. And resulted in invitations to places from Brisbane to Amman. Hamburg to Charlottesville. Because everywhere --- there are people arriving in cities holding aspirations to earn, learn and belong.
Ready to Work Together?