Lynne M. Kolze
Principal, Deliberate Democracy, LLC
651-353-4539 | |


Civic engagement, public participation, and civic governance consultant with 32 years of government experience. Assisting local government professionals and active citizens in reimagining ways in which to work together collaboratively to address complex public problems and to govern for the common good.

Skills and Expertise

Civic Engagement ConsultingCivic Governance ConsultingTeach/Coaching
Project ManagementWritingPublic Speaking

Professional Experience

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) | Saint Paul, MN

Pollution Control Specialist, Senior and Principal Planner (1990-2018)

Fulfilled a variety of positions and leadership roles:

Watershed Coordinator (2017-18)

  • Managed the Kettle River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Worked with county staff to develop strategic plan for engaging citizens in the watershed project.
  • Coordinated development of and co-authored, Addressing Lakes in Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies, a guidance document for local officials.
  • Served as Watershed Division lead on the review of a major Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Coordinated staff comments for numerous drafts of the document, working closely with environmental review staff.

Civic Engagement and Civic Governance (2008-2017)

  • Selected to serve as staff liaison to Minnesota’s Clean Water Council Civic Engagement Subcommittee.
  • Authored a Minnesota Legislative Report on the need for greater public involvement in watershed projects.
  • Through public speaking at conferences and meetings, made the case statewide and in western Wisconsin for the need for greater civic engagement in watershed projects.
  • Developed and tested a set of tools and approaches for engaging citizens in watershed projects, resulting in improved public participation and better outcomes for local government officials.
  • Developed and managed Minnesota’s first pilot project to test the efficacy of a new Civic Governance framework in watershed management. This successful pilot has since been expanded to Wisconsin.
  • Managed and assisted in the development of a University of MN Civic Engagement online curriculum for watershed professionals.
  • Served as Civic Engagement consultant to the Saint Croix River Basin Team, resulting in the civic engagement training of over 20 professionals and the initiation of a Civic Governance Pilot Project in the Basin.

Training Coordinator for the Watershed Division (2005-2007)

  • Coordinated and developed a comprehensive training program for staff and local government professionals on the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program, including a dozen training modules and accompanying manual.
  • Developed, tested and improved materials by working closely with staff experts and other professionals.

Environmental Review Project Manager (1998-2005)

  • Led agency environmental review teams and authored MPCA Environmental Assessment Worksheets (EAWs) for public review. EAWs analyzed the environmental impacts of a variety of large-scale development projects, including wastewater treatment facilities, animal feedlots, landfills, manufacturing facilities, sewer extensions, etc.
  • Compiled technical information, worked closely with experts and private consultants, then translated information into a document that was distributed for public review and comment. Responded to public comments and concerns, concluding in the development of a Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Order for each project.
  • Planned and conducted public meetings to inform citizens about proposed projects and presented controversial projects to MPCA’s Citizens Board for their final approval.

Comparative Risk Project Manager (1995-1997)

  • Developed, organized, and managed the agency’s first Comparative Risk Project through a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Led and coordinated all activities of agency work group, stakeholder advisory committee, and regularly advised agency managers about the project.
  • Co-managed use of a Citizens Jury™ process as a way to gather key information about the public’s concern regarding 12 key environmental problems.
  • Planned and executed a 4-day workshop for diverse stakeholders to gather additional input for the project.

Rule Development Coordinator (1995)

  • Coordinated all facets of a process to revise state regulations governing animal feedlots, including public outreach, implementing Minnesota Administrative Procedures Act requirements, and facilitating strategic planning and dialogue among agency staff.
  • Developed communication strategy, made public presentations, and authored publications regarding the rule revision process.
  • Administered a $500,000 county feedlot grant program.

Minnesota River Civic Engagement Coordinator (1990-94)

  • Created, managed and facilitated a model citizen participation effort that led to the development of an action plan for restoring the Minnesota River. This plan continues to provide the foundation for river clean-up activities today.
  • Organized and led public outreach events including public meetings, open houses, conferences, focus groups, news media interviews and speeches for a wide variety of audiences.
  • Developed numerous public information and education materials about the Minnesota River, including brochures, and a monthly newsletter, which were widely distributed.
  • Initiated and led a Total Quality Management (TQM) team focusing on the need for a new way of managing water quality, resulting in a shift to a basin management approach in the MPCA’s Water Division programs.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, DC and Chicago

Environmental Protection Specialist/Planner (1987-90) – Headquarters, Washington, DC

  • Co-developed and coordinated national environmental policies, strategies and guidance documents related to management of nonpoint source (NPS) pollution.
  • Coordinated EPA’s review and approval process for state NPS Assessment Reports and Management Programs required under the Clean Water Act of 1987.
  • Initiated and developed successful NPS information and education materials, including poster campaign, brochure and citizen’s guide to protecting lakes and rivers from NPS pollution.

Special Assistant to the Water Division Director (1985-87) – Region V, Chicago

  • Coordinated the Director’s annual Management by Objectivesplanning process and Division accountability system.
  • Completed, edited, and distributed the Division’s Mid-Year and End of Year reports.
  • Served as liaison between the Water Division, other EPA offices, and the six states which comprise Region V EPA.
  • Developed reports and informational materials for presentation to EPA’s Regional Administrator.


Master of Public Affairs, Environmental Policy| Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs | Bloomington. Full scholarship awarded.

Bachelors of Science, Water Resources Management and Natural Resources Management| University of Wisconsin College of Natural Resources | Stevens Point


  • Deliberate Democracy, LLC Blog Posts
  • Civic Governance Case Studies, Minnesota Active Citizenship Initiative, 2018
  • Civic Governance Case Study, Minnesota Active Citizenship Initiative, 2015
  • Civic Engagement and the Saint Croix River, Citizens League Common Ground Newsletter, 2012
  • Civic Engagement as a Key Strategy for Restoring and Protecting Lake St. Croix, 2009
  • Restoring our Waters, A Starter Guide for Your TMDL Project, 2010
  • Legislative Report on Civic Engagement in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Development, 2009
  • Setting the Course for Improved Water Quality: A Total Maximum Daily Load training program for local government leaders and other water resource managers (MPCA multi-module set, includes PowerPoint™ slideshows and accompanying guide), 2009
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