E. deFrees Consulting

Policy, Communications, Facilitation & Organizational Development

About Me

Welcome to E. deFrees Consulting. My practice provides clients with the following:

  • Organizational, policy and communications support for projects and initiatives focused on protecting and improving the health and sustainability of our families, communities and natural world.
  • Services that range from policy advocacy, strategic communications, and project management to interim leadership, organizational planning, and  facilitation.
  • Experience in collaborative work with public and non-profit organizations, coalitions, foundations, working groups and teams, always sharing deep respect for the diverse perspectives of all communities.
  • Fluency in myriad policy areas including natural resource protection and land conservation, children’s health, clean energy and climate change issues, health care reform, and supports for working families and older adults.

What I Do


  • Strategic communications planning
  • Media relations and training
  • In-person and virtual presentations
  • Skilled writing and editing


  • Policy development and strategy 
  • Legislative advocacy planning and training
  • Issue campaign and outreach strategy


  • In-person and virtual facilitation
  • Staff, board or work team meetings 
  • Multi-meeting policy workgroups
  • Community and coalition convening


  •  Strategy and implementation support for complex project work
  • Project planning and coordination
  • Collaborative team process and facilitation
  • Goal and deadline tracking


  • Communications: materials, media, planning, training
  • Policy: collaborative planning, strategy, outreach, training
  • Organizational leadership: short-term support during  transition periods

E. deFrees Consulting

Dedicated to improving the health and sustainability of our families, communities and natural world through energetic and effective policy advocacy, strategic communications, planning and outreach, organizational and project leadership.

The Kinds of Work I Do

The Children’s Oral Health Network of Maine is a broad network of individuals and organizations committed to a shared vision that all children can grow up free from preventable dental disease. My consulting support includes project management, strategic planning, policy and communications strategy and coordination, and facilitation.

As part-time Executive Director, I directed philanthropic operations of the Sadie & Harry Davis Foundation in its mission of  improving children’s health and oral health in Maine. I administered the Children’s Health Small Grants Program and served on the Advisory Committee for From the First Tooth and as board member of the Partnership for Children’s Oral Health.

As interim staff advocate, I represented Maine Audubon at the State House during 128th legislative session to support array of environmental and wildlife habitat policy proposals. Responsibilities included collaborative planning with MA staff, working with legislators, committees and coalition partners, and developing advocacy materials for policy-makers.

For several years, I managed the Maine Council on Aging—a network of over 60 organizations working to improve life for Maine’s older adults by supporting systems and proposals to enable them to thrive in their own homes and communities. My responsibilities included organizational project work, coordinating policy agenda development, facilitation, drafting strategic workplans and organizing the annual state-wide Summit on Aging.

As Associate Director of External Relations, I provided overall strategic communications planning and operations at Acadia Center—a non-profit organization focused on advancing a clean energy future to combat climate change and build sustainable communities around the Northeast. Working collaboratively with the Communications Director and policy staff, I developed program, media and organizational materials, planned and implemented media relations strategy, and trained staff in media outreach.

For Maine Quality Counts, a health care quality improvement collaborative, I developed and managed an outreach and communications health initiative: “Better Health for Me!” to promote patient engagement for chronically ill patients and health care providers. Working collaboratively with core partners, I developed communication messages and campaign materials  and built a network of partner organizations to promote campaign messages and tools to their members and networks .

As Interim Director of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation, I worked with the founding Board of Directors to develop organizational and budget plans, create and produce foundational organizational materials, draft board policy and practices protocols, plan and track fundraising strategy, develop group process and meeting facilitation. 

Client Organizations include:

  • Acadia Center
  • Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation
  • Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine
  • Emerge Maine
  • Environmental Health Strategy Center
  • Frances Perkins Center
  • Georges River Land Trust
  • Grid Solar, LLC
  • Islesboro Islands Trust
  • Learning Disabilities Association of Maine
  • Maine Audubon
  • Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging
  • Maine Children’s Alliance
  • Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault
  • Maine Conservation Alliance
  • Maine Council on Aging
  • Maine Developmental Disabilities Council
  • Maine Green Power/3degrees
  • Maine Public Health Association
  • Maine Quality Counts
  • Maine Women’s Lobby
  • Maine Women’s Policy Center
  • National Association of Certified Professional Midwives
  • Natural Resources Council of Maine
  • Northern Forest Alliance
  • Children’s Oral Health Network of Maine
  • Proteus Fund
  • Sadie & Harry Davis Foundation

Tools & Tips

Meeting Facilitation

Meeting Facilitation How It Helps Groups What is facilitation?  It is a way of providing leadership without taking the substantive reins of a meeting or

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