CCP banner

Malka Kopell

Portrait of Malka Kopell

Malka Kopell is a Senior Facilitator and Mediator, with more than 30 years of experience helping local governments and state agencies create and implement effective strategies for community engagement. Ms. Kopell has developed and managed engagement processes along the “collaboration continuum,” ranging from gathering public input to working with key stakeholders to co-design and implement programs in the areas of water quality and sustainability, air quality, land use planning, transportation, recycling, public budgeting, neighborhood revitalization, downtown redevelopment, youth development, and public health.

Ms. Kopell’s recent Center projects include facilitating a task force of external and internal stakeholders convened by the California Environmental Protection Agency, the California Health and Human Services Agency, and the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., to inform the transition plan for the reorganization of the state Drinking Water Program. She also co-authored a benchmarking study on community engagement practices for the City and County of San Francisco. Currently, she is part of a statewide team of Center consultants working with diverse stakeholders to collaboratively implement the new California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act.

Ms. Kopell founded the nonprofit Community Focus in 1990 to facilitate more effective implementation of public policies by increasing community participation. She has also served as a program officer for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, developing and managing grants in the areas of conflict resolution, civic engagement and California governance reform, and was the founding managing director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University. She is the co-founder of Civity, a national initiative to train civic leaders to strengthen relationships across societal divides, and co-authored a paper for the Aspen Institute’s Forum on Community Solutions to define and describe a model of civic infrastructure for the 21st century.

 Ms. Kopell has a bachelor's degree from Stanford University in human biology and a master's degree in public health policy from Harvard University.