Elizabeth Scott PhD, CEO/President

Elizabeth Scott, PhD, founder of Brighter Strategies, provides thought leadership and high value organizational development consulting in support of a stronger social sector.

Liz has provided training and consulting services in strategic planning, process-improvement, and human capital development for over 170 nonprofits and associations and has facilitated over 25 Board of Director retreats. She has served on executive leadership teams in the non-profit industry and has overseen the areas of strategy, organizational development and performance. She has extensive experience in developing and managing all aspects of an organization’s quality and business improvement efforts; such as developing and administering programs, training and coaching employees, and facilitating organization-wide change. She has been a Baldrige examiner for the Commonwealth of Virginia and is a certified Standard of Excellence consultant.

She is trained and experienced in delivering the Grove Consultants’ Strategic Visioning, the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, the Organizational Culture Inventory, the Leadership Impact, the Drexler-Sibbet Team Performance Model, the Strength Deployment Inventory, DiSC, the ASSESS 360 system, and Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team.

Liz is a respected and sought after speaker on the topics of leadership and board development, strategic and operational planning, and nonprofit capacity building. In addition to managing the practice, Liz holds a faculty position at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology where she teaches in the Business Psychology department.

Liz holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology and a master’s degree in Organizational Sciences from The George Washington University, as well as a second master’s and Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California.


Swafia Ames, Senior Consultant

Swafia Ames, a Senior Consultant with Brighter Strategies, is an expert at designing and implementing organizational development and human capital management programs with over 18 years of experience. In her capacity as a diversity and inclusion manager, she has designed and managed initiatives aimed at attracting, developing and advancing diverse members of the workforce. Key initiatives included recruiting, mentoring, leadership and professional development programs.

Throughout her career Swafia has supported a wide range of organizational development and human capital management initiatives including: talent acquisition and development programs, succession planning, strategic planning, meeting facilitation, team building workshops, and instructional design. Swafia is adept at identifying challenge areas within an organization and working collaboratively to develop and implement equitable and effective solutions.

Swafia earned her B.A. degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland in College Park, MD and her M.A. degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in Washington, DC. She has also been certified by the Society of Human Resources Management as a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).


Payal Martin, Senior Consultant

Payal Martin, MPH provides strategic planning, evaluation, and communications services to organizations who share her passion for advancing social change. Payal combines her experience serving and working as a non-profit leader with her deep knowledge of the intersection of strategic planning, coalition building, program planning and evaluation, communicating data, and government relations to advance a non-profit or foundations’ mission.

As an expert facilitator, Payal focuses on developing a practical strategy with key stakeholder buy-in to ensure smooth implementation. Payal’s services to clients resulted not only in organizational or project clarity but was instrumental in securing board of director approvals and increased funding from partners. As a communicator and advocate for policy change Payal has produced and executed comprehensive communications strategies in addition to evidence-based messages and case stories as an instrumental component of advancing her non-profit or client objective.

For over a decade before becoming a consultant, Payal drove domestic and international progress in public health, tobacco control, and cancer prevention with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and a multi-sector organization of leaders in cancer treatment and prevention. Payal holds an MPH from the Boston University School of Public health, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland.

Payal spends her free time playing with her two kids and advocating for changes to foster a healthier environment.


Barbra Kavanaugh, Senior Consultant

Barbra Kavanaugh, a Senior Consultant with Brighter Strategies, has deep expertise in managing and leading organizations going through change. Barbra has served both large and small mission-driven organizations as an interim executive director and interim chief of operations. Before moving to the metro DC area, she lived and worked in Buffalo NY where she managed the regional office of the New York State Attorney General and worked as a legal services attorney. Barbra also served on the City Council as well as the boards of the City Arts Commission and the Gay and Lesbian Youth Services.

With decades of experience in both non-profit and public sectors, she uses an organization’s mission as a focal point to guide staff and board through leadership transitions, Board reorganization and program implementation. Barbra’s transparent and engaging management style reassures staff, community partners and other stakeholders who may feel insecure in the face of change. Barbra takes a broad inventory of an organization’s policies, practices and procedures before making recommendations to improve the organization’s performance. She excels in supporting non-profit boards and other managers in building mission-driven and sustainable structures and policies for performance evaluation, management and accountability, risk management and staff development.

Barbra has a undergraduate degree in Communications from Seton Hall and a J.D. from the State University of New York  Buffalo. In addition to her work with Brighter Strategies, she is affiliated with the Interim Executive Network.


Jennifer Till, Consultant & Executive Coach

Jennifer Till has delivered proven results in leadership development, coaching, and facilitation for the business, government, and nonprofit sectors. She has also successfully developed planning, marketing and operating programs for many industries, including health care, manufacturing, and publishing. She managed the turn-around of an electronics manufacturing plant, including ISO 9000 Certification utilizing the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence and TQI process management. Jennifer brings her business acumen and strong training and development skills to clients to create an environment of excellence and to help them maintain focus and direction while increasing productivity and efficiency.

She weaves her professional and personal experience into her results-oriented business practice, working primarily with executives who are looking to become more effective at work while reducing stress and finding balance and focus in their lives as well as lead their teams to higher levels of performance.

Using humor with her high-energy yet caring approach, to get results, Jennifer has been coaching and training for over ten years. She is certified in various assessment and developmental tools including DISC, Belbin Team Profiles, Attribute Index, Values, Index and RAC Leadership development curriculum. She is a highly effective facilitator and is highly effective in working with group dynamics. She has developed curriculum for team chartering, high performance teams, conflict resolution, and highly effective communication for all organizational levels.

Jennifer offers Dances of Universal Peace throughout the country, conducts spiritual retreats and teaches meditation classes at the local women’s high-security prison. She also is a musician, recording artist and has a radio show, Real Life with Jennifer Till, which is dedicated to people who are ready for balance, alignment and joy in their lives.


Alexandra Suchman, Consultant

Alex helps small, mission-driven organizations overcome the struggles, clutter, and tediousness of day-to-day operations through practical, sustainable processes, stronger project management practices, and needs; and better organizing systems to improve team efficiency, communications, and work quality. Alex understands that small workplaces are capable of accomplishing amazing feats through dedication, flexibility, and ingenuity. Her mission is to help clients become as successful as possible by identifying the root of the problems in order to provide customized, time-saving, and sustainable solutions that ensure all work is performed as efficiently and effectively way.

Alex’s background includes both research and operations management, which provides her with an unusual blend of skills and perspective that sets her apart from other consultants. She understands that every workplace is unique in terms of its needs, history, people, and culture, and her job is to ask all the right questions, and suggest solutions that address the operational challenges within that specific context.

Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts from Colby College, a Master in Public Policy from the George Washington University, and a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification from the Project Management Institute.



Randall Thacker is an experienced leadership and team coach.He has worked with hundreds of leaders of businesses, government, and non-profit organizations throughout the world.

Randall previously worked for BearingPoint, Inc. (formerly KPMG Consulting) and Deloitte Consulting LLP. He received his MBA in Strategic Management and Organization Development from The George Washington University School of Business and his Leadership Coaching Certificate from Georgetown University. He is also a Certified Leadership Coach by the International Coach Federation (ICF).

Randall currently works with clients from dozens of organizations, including Hyatt, PhRMA, the World Bank, Exelon, H&R Block, the Inter-American Development Bank, Banyan Global, Goodwill-Easter Seals, and many non-profit and federal government agencies. He works with leaders at all different levels, including those moving into higher leadership positions and those looking for ways to increase their effectiveness in delivering business results and engaging their teams.


Marta Segal Block, Director of Marketing & Communications

Marta Segal Block has always loved words and writing. She was thrilled to discover that her love of writing could help nonprofit organizations, first as a grant writer and later in marketing and communications. She has worked for several nonprofit and for profit organizations. She’s delighted to help Brighter Strategies and nonprofit organizations find each other, knowing that doing so helps everyone.


Paula Boyland, Operations Manager

Paula Boyland has been managing teams, both virtually and in person for many years. Prior to joining the Brighter Strategies team, she assumed the various roles of administrative support specialist, content specialist, and marketing support specialist, among others, in a small business setting. Due to her diverse skill set and experience overseeing and building partnerships within work teams, she is uniquely equipped to serve in the position of coordinator. She applies a focused, detail-oriented approach to any given task list, and brings great professional perspective to the team.

Paula approaches each transaction with efficiency, purpose, and open-mindedness. She is a team player; her coordination skills ensure open communication between team members and clients, resulting in clarity and cooperation for all involved.