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The mission of Public Engagement Associates is to help improve the quality and effectiveness of community and stakeholder engagement on critical local community and regional policy and planning issues.


Public Engagement Associates exists to help:

  • Public officials and other decision-makers understand what their constituents want and need through effective strategy and dynamic engagement;

  • Key stakeholders foster effective coordination collaboration on issues that matter to them; and

  • Residents amplify their voices to be heard on key policy issues.

Three principals lead our PEA teamSteve Brigham, Kim Sescoe, and Hala Harik Hayes – each has 20+ years of experience leading major public engagement efforts in the Washington, DC region and around the U.S.

The team began working together in 1999 for the national nonprofit, AmericaSpeaks, designing, organizing, and facilitating large-scale engagement efforts for mayors, governors, regional planning directors, foundation leaders, and national and international nonprofit organizations on a wide range of policy and planning issues. These issues included healthcare reform, juvenile justice reform, social security reform, regional transportation planning, mental health, youth obesity, land use, comprehensive plans, and strategic economic development plans, among others.

Since 2014 PEA has been dedicated to helping decision makers engage people- residents and stakeholders - on the important public issues that impact their lives. Our more than 60 years of combined experience in civic engagement strategy provides clients with high quality, cost-efficient, and flexible tools tailored to their needs. Every project is unique and PEA’s goal is to deliver the right size approach, ranging from intimate team and stakeholder meetings, to large-scale, in-person or virtual town halls.


Public Engagement Associates values diversity, equity, and inclusion as core to who we are and how we serve our communities. Our commitment to these values is unwavering – across all of our work around the country. They are central to our mission and our impact. We know that having varied perspectives helps generate better ideas to solve the complex problems of a changing—and increasingly diverse—world.  

Inclusion is how we unleash the power of diversity. We strive to foster belonging and empowerment at work. We create relevant designs for policymakers to reflect the communities they lead.  We listen and engage with diverse communities. And we value teamwork with our associates, facilitators network, and suppliers.

“Thanks to your team for making the Summit a phenomenal unqualified success. It was incredibly well organized and executed.”
- Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent C. Gray, District of Columbia

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