Cristelle Blackford

Cristelle Blackford

Partner & Chief Engagement Officer
  • Oakland, CA

Cristelle is a public involvement specialist and IAP2-trained facilitator who applies human-centered design principles to help organizations more effectively collaborate, listen, and co-create solutions to their shared challenges.

As Chief Engagement Officer at CivicMakers, she has supported public agencies across California to effectively engage diverse community groups, decision makers, and staff in a range of planning, evaluation, and implementation projects that build consensus, engender ownership, and create change.  She has 10+ years experience in project management, community outreach, and collaborative problem solving across sectors.

Before joining CivicMakers, Cristelle worked as an urban planner and community engagement consultant for PMC, helping agencies across California listen more effectively to their communities. Among many projects, she emboldened a rural community in the Central Valley to conduct their own neighborhood outreach, designed a multi-method transit rider satisfaction survey for the City of West Hollywood, and facilitated a year-long community-wide visioning process for the City of Morro Bay.

She honed her project management and communications skills at Google, where she spent five years working to improve account security and expand Google Earth Pro features with user input. Cristelle also worked in the nonprofit sector, where she applied her project management skills to affordable housing development, nonprofit capacity building, and community organizing at TNDC and LISC.

Cristelle received a Bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley, a Master’s of Science in Community Development from UC Davis, and is an IAP2 certified facilitator. She sits on the Board of Directors for the Women’s Building in San Francisco and is co-founder of the nonprofit Princess Zev – Books for Kids.

She lives in Oakland where she enjoys hiking in the hills with her husband and daughter, long bike rides, and weekend yoga classes.

Education + Certifications

MS, Community Development | University of California, Davis, 2013

BA, Comparative Literature | University of California, Berkeley, 2006

Planning & Techniques for Effective Public Participation Certification | IAP2


Board of Directors, the Women’s Building

Board of Directors, Princess Zev – Books for Kids

Select Projects

SF Shines, Program Evaluation & Implementation, Project Manager

City of Hayward, Strategic Plan, Engagement Lead

City of Fremont, Smart City Action Plan, Project Manager

City and County of San Francisco, Public Voice Civic User Testing Program, Project Manager

City of Thousand Oaks, Municipal Budget Engagement Program, Project Manager


Contact Cristelle