In her role as Senior Vice President at MDL Partners, Dr. Beth Offenbacker is a Coach, Consultant, and Advisor who brings extensive corporate, nonprofit, and public agency experience. Her expertise is in Career Coaching for individuals, and in Stakeholder Engagement management effectiveness for organizations. Her expansive portfolio includes local, state, regional, national, and international projects across several industries.
Beth co-designed and leads the Green Career Workshops for the global nonprofit Leaders in Energy, a 4,500+ member organization of clean energy and sustainability professionals in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. She also serves as Director of Training & Development for Leaders in Energy. To date, more than 175 people have participated in the popular LE Green Career Workshops. In addition to her work with LE, Beth uses her Green Career Map™ in providing one-on-one and small group coaching to individuals seeking to enter or move up in the green industry.
Beth is one of a small number of management consultants who provide capacity building for engagement within the organizational setting.
She has more than 20 years’ experience working with and advising public agencies, private firms, and nonprofits/NGOs on a broad variety of stakeholder processes, projects, and issues. Her work includes projects in the areas of stormwater management, watershed planning, sewers, parks and natural resource management, environmental issues, civil design, public transit (bus, rail), transportation (bridges, roads), tunnels, pedestrian/biker pathways, and land use planning.
In addition, she has 10+ years of instructional experience working with junior and senior leaders, and more than 7 years of higher education leadership and administration experience.
Prior Experience, Education, and Professional Service
Prior to establishing her firm, Waterford, Inc., in 1996, Beth’s work experience included positions with the federal sector, the electric power industry, a professional trade association, and a marketing firm. She served as Associate Director for Social Media and Engagement with the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs in Old Town Alexandria from 2012-2015.
Beth designed and delivered classroom instruction as an adjunct faculty member with the Virginia Tech School of Public and International Affairs and the American University School of Communications, and she also served as Chief Learning Officer with the online training provider, PublicDecisions. She has designed and led workshops, sessions, and training seminars for community nonprofits, professional conferences, and stakeholder groups, from small groups to sessions with more than 100 participants. Beth is fluent in delivering classes and programs via live streaming and in blended formats (a combination of face-to-face, asynchronous tools such as Canvas, and/or live streaming as well as webinars).
She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at the State University of New York at Brockport and a master’s degree in public communications at American University. A graduate of Virginia Tech’s Center for Public Administration and Policy, Beth’s doctoral dissertation focused on the practice of public participation in 12 countries (Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Cote d’Ivoire, Mexico, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, and the United States). Her coaching training is from the Co-Active Training Institute, and she holds a number of certifications in emotional intelligence tools.
Beth is past chair of the American Planning Association’s International Division and a founding member of the World Town Planning Day Online Conference. She participates in several “green” organizations or initiatives, including the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and its Sustainability Committee, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Citizen Science Association and the European Citizen Science Association, Leaders in Energy, and the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment, among others. She is also an active Toastmaster and a frequent speaker at professional development meetings and nonprofit workshops.
Beth follows trends and practices in engagement through the International Association for Public Participation (Lifetime Member), and through scholarly and practitioner journals and conferences. She is an active volunteer with the Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria and she resides in South Arlington, Virginia.