Michele Holt-Shannon is the director and co-founder of New Hampshire Listens at the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy. For over 30 years, her work on and off campus has focused on community problem-solving, increasing engagement in the decisions that impact people’s lives, and bringing skills and support for navigating conflict and controversy. Michele is known for her skill in facilitating groups, coalitions, and learning exchanges. She is the lead designer and facilitator of a program in NH that has had over 450 participants in 20+ cohorts sponsored by the Endowment for Health. She works to bring people together across perspectives and backgrounds to solve problems and create equitable solutions for their communities. Michele is consulted on navigating controversial community issues, addressing racial equity, and fostering cultures of authentic engagement and belonging. Recent projects include critical incident response in public schools, New Hampshire’s Civic Health, statewide conversations on the American dream and NH’s kids, mental health and substance use, community-police relations, and water sustainability.
Michele is a Senior Associate with Everyday Democracy and a 2018 Better Selves Knoll Farm Fellow. She is a graduate of Leadership New Hampshire, Class of 2013. Michele is a middle child from a mixed politics family. Her dog Pluto walks her daily.
She earned her MA in higher education and human development from Bowling Green State University, an MTS in world religions and theological studies from Boston College, and a BS in biology and psychology from the University of Alabama.