If you saw me on the street, you might think I was just another Londoner. But if you heard my voice, you’d know instantly that I was “born in the USA,” to coin a phrase. (And yes, I’m also a Jersey Girl…New Jersey that is.)
I have a broad and diverse professional background, one that spans higher education, media, policy and the non-profit sector. This rich web of experiences has informed and enriched my current job as a communications consultant.
Much of my early career was devoted to research and teaching in the field of international development. I hold a PhD in political science from Stanford University and served on the faculty of both MIT and The University of Chicago. While I was an academic, I wrote and published a book on the politics of central bank reform in addition to several scholarly articles on the political economy of development. Although I now think of myself as a “recovering” political scientist, that training was invaluable. I draw upon it every day when helping others to craft crisp, coherent arguments.
My experience as a journalist has been equally rewarding and useful. My first journalism job was as a producer at Chicago Public Radio on a nationally syndicated, daily talk show of ideas called Odyssey. Ira Glass once remarked that the best preparation for anything in life is to have to work to a daily deadline. He was right. That job was a real roller coaster, but boy, did we have fun. From there, I moved on to print and online journalism, working as a London correspondent for AOL’s Politics Daily where I covered British and European politics. Along the way, I’ve also reported and wrote personal essays for outlets including The New York Times, The Financial Times, USA Today and The BBC World Service.
Finally, I’ve also dipped in and out of the policy world across my career. Before graduate school, I spent two years at a Washington, DC think tank specializing in US foreign economic policy. Later, I took a year away from teaching to serve as a Senior Development Adviser at The United States Treasury Department, where I held a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship. More recently, I was Head of Policy and Research Insight at the BBC’s international development charity, BBC Media Action. In this role, I ran a team that edited and disseminated policy and research outputs to a global audience of policymakers, practitioners and scholars.
But it is in my current role as a communications consultant that I was finally able to bring all of this together. My business is, in many ways, a perfect combination of the skills I’ve honed over a lifetime: writing, teaching, editing, coaching, and analysis …with a bit of improvisation tossed in for good measure.
When I’m not helping others to communicate more effectively, I spend a great deal of my time writing. My passion is ageing authentically. In an era in which we’re all living to be 100, how do we ensure a meaningful and productive second half of life? My personal blog, Real Delia, explores this journey of adulthood. It looks at work, family, relationships, therapy, the arts and religion in an effort to cull lessons about what it means to be a grown up in the contemporary age. Since 2017, I’ve been a visiting fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing, where I also blog regularly about trends in longevity.
Fun Facts: I share a birthday with Rosa Parks. I love show tunes, The New Yorker, coconut-themed desserts and dark films about family dysfunction. I do not like miso soup, animated television shows or men in sandals.