Deb headshot 2018 (blk-wht2)Deborah Maher

Experienced Organizational Consultant                 My work is informed by the philosophy and methodology of Appreciative Inquiry, it serves as my underlying “operating system”, primarily in the public and nonprofit sectors. 

 I am passionate about helping  leaders move their organizations in the direction of their compelling visions.   I offer strength-based organizational consulting to support collaborative and learning cultures that inspire initiative taking, innovation, risk taking and enlivened engagement.   

I am currently based in Arizona after a recent move from the Oregon coast. While in Oregon I had the opportunity to work with small towns, nonprofits and city agencies.  Prior to my move to Oregon I  lived and worked in Washington D.C. and Baltimore for nearly 27 years gaining broad experience with complex systems change and City economic development for major public sector re-development projects such as Inner Harbor Redevelopment.

                                                                           Client List (Partial)                             Arizona

  • Pima County Health Department
  • Child and Family Resources, Tucson
  • Tucson Airport Authority
  • Greater Tucson Leadership Program
  • Southern Arizona Legal Aid
  • Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona 


  • Mt. Angel Abby Foundation, Salem
  • Newport Youth Development Coalition
  • Oregon Catholic Community Services
  • Coos County Public and Mental Health
  • The Ford Family Foundation
  • Coos County School District
  • Southwest Community College
  • Oregon METRO (Portland)

Washington D.C.

  • White House CIO (Chief Information Officer) Council
  • Communities Together Inc. (nonprofit housing corporation)
  • Department of Justice, Justice Management Division
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • General Services Administration
  • National Geospatial Agency
  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation  

Professional Interim Executive Director                           Vitalyst logo                                     I am part of a cadre of trained nonprofit Interim Executive Directors, sponsored by the Vitalyst Health Foundation of Phoenix.  I bring years of experience in organizational change and nonprofit consulting along with a wide range of resources available through Vitalyst and my colleagues.  In addition to serving as an interim Executive Director, I also can provide board training to enhance the skills of board members.

BoardSource-CGT-Logo-Small  Board Governance Training                                                  I am certified by BoardSource, a nationally recognized organization that builds the capacity of nonprofit organizations throughout the US and the world.  I provide organizational assessments, board training, and uniquely designed workshops for staff and boards. 

ICF logo    Leadership Coaching                                                                                           As a certified ICF (International Coach Federation) Coach, I help individuals chart to achieve their desired dreams.  I utilize the core principles of the Coaches Training Institute that values the whole person, evokes transformation, sees clients as creative, resourceful and whole and allows whatever presents itself in a coaching session as relevant.   

cwru formal logo black tag      Strength-Based Strategic Planning                                        I am a certified Appreciative Inquiry practitioner from Case Western University where I was trained by David Copperrider, the co-creator of AI.  My work is highly interactive, creative and fun and moves people into possibility thinking.   I weave in the latest in organizational change methodologies, neuroscience, storytelling and even improv.  My work is creative, engaging and fun and most importantly my clients often gain greater than expected outcomes.

Creative meeting design and facilitation                                                            I have worked with the Center for Creative Emergence and am adept at “whole brain” facilitation which means I ask people to use their right brain intuitive and creative thinking as much as their left brain rational thinking. In addition, I have studied with Crowley and Company to gain graphic facilitation skills to capture group meetings so that the work of a group becomes visible to everyone.

MBA, Loyola University, Baltimore, MD
Masters in Public Administration, San Diego State University
BA Political Science, San Diego State University

Certifications                                                                                                  Professional Interim Executive Director,Vitalyst Health Foundation                          Governance Trainer, BoardSource
Leadership Coach, International Coach Federation
Appreciative Inquiry, Case Western University
Project Management Professional, Project Management Institute
Whole Brain Facilitation, Center for Creative Emergence Graphic
Facilitation, Crowley, and Company


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