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Cristelle Blackford

Managing Partner
Oakland, CA

Cristelle (she/her) is a planner, facilitator and community engagement practitioner with an eye toward transforming harmful systems and centering lived experience. She came to this work through a firm belief that those impacted by a decision should play a central role in making that decision.

As Manager Partner at CivicMakers, Cristelle guides project teams, designs effective and inclusive engagements, and leads collaborations with clients, peers and community members. She brings 10+ years experience and expertise in project management, public participation and collaborative problem solving across sectors with a multi-disciplinary background spanning urban planning, affordable housing development, nonprofit program management, education and online services.

She has facilitated engagements at many scales, from City Council retreats to large public workshops and intimate co-design sessions. Her work spans disciplines, from homelessness, workforce development, land use planning, active transportation, climate action planning, economic development, digital privacy and public health.

She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and daughter. Together they enjoy making up new languages, singing songs, hiking in the redwoods, and impossible home improvement projects.

Cristelle Blackford

Managing Partner
Oakland, CA

Education + Certifications

  • MS, Community Development | University of California, Davis
  • BA, Comparative Literature | University of California, Berkeley
  • Planning & Techniques for Effective Public Participation Certification | IAP2
  • Strategic Planning, Systems Thinking and Design Thinking Certification | Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)


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