Marla Crockett is a public engagement coach from Chevy Chase, MD and a certified coach with The Harwood Institute. She came to this work following a long career in public broadcasting, primarily in Dallas, where she worked as a news anchor, producer and news manager. Her desire to more authentically report on local communities led to her involvement in civic journalism, a national reform movement that put the public at the center of news coverage, especially during political campaigns. The Harwood Institute was a major intellectual influence as Marla innovated ways to help elevate community concerns and voices in local and statewide debates.
After leaving Texas, Marla became a certified dialogue and deliberation practitioner through Fielding University in California and worked with the Kettering Foundation in Dayton, OH on projects designed to enhance the public's influence with Washington officials. She organized and coordinated a Kettering learning exchange with public stations that wanted to utilize community engagement to improve their news coverage. Marla served on the board of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD) for six years, including three as its chair. NCDD is a national network comprised of practitioners who work with communities on their toughest problems.