E. deFrees Consulting

Policy Advocacy, Communications and 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 group process facilitation.
  • Experience in collaborative work with public and non-profit organizations, coalitions, foundations, working groups and teams, 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 action, health care reform, and supports for working families and older adults.

What I Do


  • Interim non-profit leadership 
  • Program and development planning
  • External communications and membership relations
  • Board process and staff supervision


  • Communications planning and execution
  • Media relations and training
  • Publication development and advocacy writing
  • Public speaking and presentations


  • Strategic planning and team-building
  • Organizational process design and planning
  • Meeting and retreat facilitation
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) workshops


  • Policy development and strategy planning
  • Advocacy at Maine State Legislature and state agencies
  • Civic engagement campaign planning and implementation
  • Issue and legislative skills training


  • Coalition development and strategy
  • Group process for  campaign action
  • Grassroots network development and strategy
  • Issue education and advocacy trainings


  • Provide increased project work capacity to organizations
  • Use systems approach to set goals, strategies and timeline
  • Work collaboratively on work plans, barriers and solutions
  • Track project work progress; meet outcome and deadline goals

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 Partnership for Children’s Oral Health is a network of individuals and organizations committed to a shared vision that all children can grow up free from preventable dental disease. I worked collaboratively with the Executive Director and other leaders to build organizational structure and systems, plan partner outreach and convenings, develop strategy and group process for policy and communications initiatives.

As Executive Director, I directed philanthropic operations of the Sadie and 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 Staff Advocate, I represented Maine Audubon at the State House during 128th legislative session, working with legislators, committees and coalition partners throughout the legislative process on array of environmental and wildlife habitat policy proposals.

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, 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 for Acadia Center—a non-profit organization focused on advancing a clean energy future to combat climate change and build sustainable communities around the northeast. 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 the chronically ill and health care providers. Developed communication messages and campaign materials and established a network of partner organizations to reach their members and networks with campaign messages and tools.

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 strategies and feasibility meetings, develop group process and facilitate board meetings. 

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 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
  • Partnership for Children’s Oral Health
  • Proteus Fund
  • The Sadie and 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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