The Center would like to thank the following volunteers who gave their time and expertise to review all the pages in the 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 teaching college at Columbia University, where he 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, educator, and owner of BEL Writing Services, whose focus on clarity helps clients get the results they want. Her areas of expertise include plain language, content creation and strategy, and training development. 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 women-owned writing consultation firm. She designs workshops, webinars, and coaching for professionals and has worked with writers from organizations including Kellogg, Boeing, Viacom Media, Sephora, MasterCard, The EPA Office of the Inspector General, and the US Special Forces. She also teaches writing at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies and School of Nursing and Health Studies. 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 current board member of the Center for Plain Language, served as Federal Report Card Lead from 2015-2017. A communication consultant, Chip provides regular training for the Department of Homeland Security and has served such other clients as FDIC, the Departments of Labor and Justice, and the National Governors Association. He also currently teaches professional writing at the University of Maryland, and 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). She is longtime mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and is currently taking a class in early childhood development through Ohio’s Sixty Plus program.
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 Associate Professor Communication Studies at University of Houston, Downtown, where she teaches a variety of courses, from plain language and technical communication to we writing and grant writing. 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 extensively in peer-reviewed journals that include Journal of Technical Writing and Communication and Technical Communication Quarterly. She earned her PhD in Technical Communication and Rhetoric from Texas Tech University.
Phil Sandick is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the English Department at Georgetown University and a core faculty member within the Georgetown University Writing Program. He received his PhD in English (Rhetoric and Composition) from The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he taught writing and literature, and also served as Assistant Director for the Writing Program. Formerly a fiction editor at The Carolina Quarterly, Phil received an MFA in fiction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work on writing pedagogy has most recently appeared in Can Creative Writing Really Be Taught? (Bloomsbury Academic).
Becca Tarsa is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Georgetown University in the English Department’s Writing Program. Her research interests include digital literacies, digital writing interfaces, and first year writing. Her work can be seen in College English, as well as the recent collections Precarious Rhetorics and Type Matters: The Rhetoricity of Letterforms. She holds a PhD in Composition and Rhetoric from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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.
Joe Siddall is the Supervisory Editor for the Audit Component, DoD Office of Inspector General. He is responsible for the quality and clarity of written reports and leads the plain language program. He also served in the Air Force for 22 years in positions such as squadron superintendent and associate inspector for the Air Force Space Command Inspector General. With a background in epidemiology, he wrote and edited articles on topics in communicable disease and food safety. Joe holds an M.S. in Public Health from Walden University and a Graduate Certificate in Editing from University of California, Berkeley.