Living her teenage years in Mexico, Nancy was a high school junior when she traveled with classmates to take her SATs in Mexico City, shortly before the 1968 Olympics. The city was quickly engulfed by student protests against government actions to forcibly remove poor citizens, which turned violent. Having the presence of mind to keep Nancy and her classmates from trauma and fear, the school’s headmaster spent the next two days talking about all that democracy could be—while teaching them about Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Bobby Kennedy, about America's tradition of citizen engagement, about civil rights and women’s rights.
It sparked in Nancy a lifelong passion for participatory democracy. Advocating fresh thinking to intractable problems while challenging the outdated orthodoxies of America’s political parties, Nancy worked with Third Way's internal and external customers teaching collaborative problem solving approaches, strategy design, and innovation processes. Senator Tom Carper says "When I see Nancy at the front of the room I know it means hard work ahead!"
Nancy's commitment to an engaged democracy has taken her from organizing civil disobedience campaigns against nuclear weapons to advising groundbreaking advocacy organizations to running leading nonprofits. She is the former Managing Director of the Tides/Tsunami Fund. As Principal in Groundwork Strategies she led executive-level consultancies with the University of California Berkeley, the National Park Service, the CA Coastal Conservancy, and many others. Nancy has advised groups from Japan to Nicaragua to New Zealand on the practices of collaborative design. She was instrumental in formulating the founding vision and mission of Third Way.
A believer in lifelong learning who has attended both the Stanford Design School and Switzerland’s international business school IMD in recent years, Nancy loves live music, hiking, and wilderness camping. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, near her children and large extended family. When she leaves Third Way Nancy plans on becoming a mask maker.
Follow Nancy on Twitter @Nancy_HaleTW
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