The Center would like to thank the following volunteers who gave their time and expertise to review pages for the 2020 Federal Report Card. You have made the world a little clearer.
David Lipscomb (lead judge), Vice Chair of the Center for Plain Language, is also a board member of the International Plain Language Federation. He also serves on the working group developing ISO standards for plain language. Earlier, David founded Redpen21, a writing consulting firm that worked with Kellogg, Fannie Mae, the American Red Cross, the EPA, and dozens of other top organizations. Inside academia, David is Assistant Professor of Teaching at Georgetown University, where he serves as Director of the Writing Center. He began his college teaching career at Columbia University, where he also earned his PhD in English Literature.
Ginny Redish (team lead) is one of the founders of the Center for Plain Language. The author of Letting Go of Words: Writing Web Content that Works, Ginny has taught and consulted for four decades. She was project director of a federally-funded plain language project in the late 1970s, the first director of the Document Design Center through the 1980s, and a pioneer in usability and user experience design. Even in “semi-retirement,” Ginny enjoys helping turn gobbledygook into information that people can find, understand, and use. Ginny holds a PhD in Linguistics from Harvard University.
Annetta Cheek (team lead) is a founder and former Chair of the Center for Plain Language. She led the effort for the 2010 Plain Writing Act and developed the Federal Report Card to measure its success. After writing government regulations in her early career, Annetta became chief plain language expert on Vice President Al Gore’s National Partnership for Reinventing Government, as well as chair of the interagency plain language group PLAIN. Currently, she is Chair of the International Plain Language Federation and helping steer the working group developing ISO standards for plain language. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Arizona.
Beth Landau (team lead) is a writer, editor and educator who makes complex information engaging and accessible to a wide variety of audiences. She is a plain language specialist and the owner of BEL Writing Services, which offers professional writing and editing services and workshops. She also coaches writers working on narrative nonfiction theses and manuscripts. Beth is an active Center for Plain Language volunteer and doesn’t intend to stop any time soon. She has an M.S. in Education from Walden University and an M.F.A. in Creative Nonfiction from Goucher College.
Casey Mank (team lead) is the co-founder of Bold Type, a certified women-owned training firm. She designs workshops, webinars, and coaching for professionals so that they can write more clearly and effectively at work. Casey joined the Board of the Center for Plain Language in May 2020. She teaches writing at Georgetown University’s School of Nursing and Health Studies and McDonough School of Busines. She has a master’s degree in English from Georgetown and a BA in English from Muhlenberg College.
Grace Aldridge Foster (team lead) is the co-founder of Bold Type, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that provides writing training for professionals. She has worked with organizations including Biogen, the DC Public Education Fund, the U.S. Special Forces, and the Smithsonian Institution. Before, she led university writing centers and worked in editing. Grace teaches professional writing at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. Grace has a master’s degree in English and a certificate in the Engaged & Public Humanities from Georgetown University.
Chip Crane, a former board member of the Center for Plain Language, served as Federal Report Card Lead from 2015-2017. A communication coach and trainer, Chip provides regular training for the Department of Homeland Security and the Institute for International Finance, and he has served the FDIC, the Departments of Labor and Justice, Englewood Lab, and the National Governors Association. He also teaches professional writing and literature at the University of Maryland, and he previously directed the Writing Center at his alma mater, the United States Naval Academy. Chip holds a PhD in English from Catholic University and an M.A. in Teaching Writing and Literature from George Mason.
Mary Hanson is a former journalist, federal communicator, and retired Navy Captain. As Media Director for the National Science Foundation, she created and led a nationwide network of university communicators dedicated to clear communication and earned the “Webby Award” for the NSF website. As a Navy public affairs officer, she educated taxpayers about military priorities and advised admirals and generals on the principles and practices of free speech. Mary also served as Communications Director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She earned her BA and MA in Mass Communication.
Kathy Kinsner is Senior Manager of Parenting Resources at nonprofit ZERO TO THREE. She has worked as a teacher, a kids’ TV producer (3 Emmys and an NAACP Image Award), and a creator of educational materials for parents, teachers, and children. Kathy is passionate about education equity and enjoys developing resources that make research accessible to every audience. She holds master’s degrees in education (Bowling Green State University) and TV, radio, and film (Syracuse). After more than 30 years as apartment-dwellers in Manhattan, Kathy and her husband are enjoying life as first-time homeowners in a college town in southeastern Ohio.
Danielle Robbio has experience across communications, public relations, and health policy. As a communications manager at ZERO TO THREE, she creates communications that motivate and inspire action on issues that affect young children and families. Previously she led research to inform communications strategies for clients at an award-winning public relations agency and simplified complex health services research for non-expert audiences at AcademyHealth. Danielle graduated cum laude from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in health science and a minor in Spanish.
Natalia Matveeva is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies (Corporate Communication) at the University of Houston-Downtown where she teaches a variety of courses including government communication, small groups, business and professional speech communication, and intercultural communication. Her co-authored edited collection (with Dr. Godwin Agboka), titled Citizenship and Advocacy in Technical Communication, was published by Routledge in 2018. She has also published in peer-reviewed journals that include the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, and Technical Communication Quarterly. She earned her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University.
Beth Martin is the User Experience Lead in the Office of Communication at the Federal Aviation Administration. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Maryland Institute College of Art, where she teaches UX Design.
Joseph D. Siddall is Supervisory Editor in the Audit Leadership and Support Operations and the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General. He leads the agency plain language program and has trained Federal employees from all levels and backgrounds, including auditors from other agencies.
Melissa Kargiannakis, is the Founder and CEO of skritswap – a start-up that swaps complex jargon into easy-to-understand, plain language. Melissa has won the Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada, an award from the Queen of England, and the Top 20 Most Innovative Companies in Canada. Earlier, she published her Master’s research on health tech. She also enjoys singing opera and snowboarding.
Carolyn Hinkley is a former reporter and newsletter editor with years of experience in public information/public affairs at the local and federal government levels. She has edited countless newsletter articles, annual reports, award ceremony materials, web postings and social media copy. She currently works as the Web Enterprise Manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, providing guidance on digital and printed communications products on renewable energy and energy efficiency. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in information and communication technology.
Sharon Archer is a Procurement Analyst at the Department of Energy, where she is a member of the Plain Language Working Group, editor of the DOE Acquisition Guide, and the agency Industry Liaison. She also serves on FAR teams that draft federal acquisition regulations. Sharon was a Contracting Officer and policy writer for the National Archives and Records Administration and U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she provided annual training for the acquisition workforce. She is published in Contract Management and is a Certified Professional Contracts Manager. Sharon holds an MBA from The Ohio State University.
Paul Aterman (lead compliance judge) is the Chairperson of the Social Security Tribunal of Canada, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Plain Language. He leads the tribunal’s initiatives on plain language, which are part of a broader plan to promote access to justice. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of Canadian Administrative Tribunals. Mr. Aterman holds an undergraduate degree from Oxford University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto. He is a member of the Ontario Bar.
David Lipscomb (lead judge overall, and assistant compliance judge), Vice Chair of the Center for Plain Language, is also a board member of the International Plain Language Federation. He also serves on the working group developing ISO standards for plain language. Earlier, David founded Redpen21, a writing consulting firm that worked with Kellogg, Fannie Mae, the American Red Cross, the EPA, and dozens of other top organizations. Inside academia, David is Assistant Professor of Teaching at Georgetown University, where he serves as Director of the Writing Center. He began his college teaching career at Columbia University, where he also earned his PhD in English Literature.