Thursday, October 21, 2021

Kenneth A. Bleyer, J.D., Ph.D.

Kenneth A. Bleyer, J.D., Ph.D.

Ken is a Digital Outreach advocate and principal of the Civic Practice Group which he founded. Until 1998 he was an attorney who litigated cases at public meetings and in administrative hearings.

Dr. Bleyer has been a leader in the Digital Outreach movement and he has designed several methods, including web-based comment boards, to improve the quality of conversations about proposals submitted in the public arena. 


From 1988 to 1998 he was an attorney specializing in administrative law and legal communications. He was retained by four attorneys general, one U.S. Congressman, four county commissioners and dozens of municipal officials to provide advice and consultation about public meeting practices. In those 10 years, Dr. Bleyer managed or participated in hundreds of public forums and administrative hearings.

In 1998 Ken turned his attention to the issue of how opposition forms to projects. After spending years observing that most opposition groups are motivated by the need to be meaningfully included in public decision-making processes, Dr. Bleyer studied his assumptions in multiple public hearing environments and found statistically significant data showing that projects using participatory processes and interactive communications are more likely to be approved. This led him to the concept of “Digital Outreach,” which he proposed as an alternative to traditional PR schemes.

Dr. Bleyer holds a Ph.D. in public policy analysis from the University of Illinois in Chicago and is licenced to practice law both in the states of Illinois and Washington.

Background Election Judge (1982-1984)
ABA Moot Court National Champion (1984)
Research clerk for Justice R. Howertown, Fifth District Appellate Court of Illinois (1987-88)
On brief before the United States Supreme Court (1987)
USAF JAG Corps (1987-88)
Administrative Law Attorney (1988-98)
Adjunct Professor at John A. Logan College (1988-96)
Congressional Advisor (1990-98)
Special Assistant to four Illinois Attorneys General (1988-1998)
Certified Public Facilitator (2001)
Certified Public Participation Practitioner (2002)
Ph.D. in Public Policy Analysis from the University of Illinois at Chicago (2004)
Certified Professional Coach (2006-)


Digital Outreach projects in Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, Colorado, California, Texas, Indiana, Tennessee, Nevada, and Ontario
Civic Engagement projects at the local, state and federal levels in the United States and Canada

► 5 political campaigns
► 2 federal regulatory hearings
► 7 union campaigns
► 40+ pollution control facilities sitings
► 50+ zoning hearings
► 20+ special use cases
► 100+ community forums
► 20+ workshops on civic engagement processes
► 17 conference presentations on civic practice
► 8 cases as hearing officer

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