Author Biography

Laura Black is editor for the Journal of Public Deliberation and an associate professor in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University. Her research focuses on group communication in deliberation and dialogue, including conflict management, facilitation practices, storytelling, and the relationship of deliberative groups to their community contexts. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington.

Timothy J. Shaffer is an associate editor for the Journal of Public Deliberation and an assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Kansas State University, assistant director of the Institute for Civic Discourse and Democracy, and Principal Research Specialist at the National Institute for Civil Discourse. His research centers on the advancement of democratic practices through deliberative politics and civic engagement in higher education and other institutional and community settings. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University.

Nancy Thomas directs the National Study on Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) and other higher education research at the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. She also co-founded and co-directs the Democracy Imperative and is a senior associate with Everyday Democracy and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Public Deliberation. Her research and practice interests are in college student political learning and engagement in democracy, deliberative democracy, and free speech and academic freedom. She earned her EdD at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and JD at Case Western Reserve University School of Law.


For the last five years, we have had the honor of serving as editors of the Journal of Public Deliberation. This issue marks the end of our editorial tenure, and we take this opportunity to both look back and think ahead. In this brief essay, we reflect on what we’ve seen during our time as editors. We begin by describing three important special issues that reflect the state of our field, then provide some details about how we have facilitated JPD’s growth over the past five years, including publication statistics and article download rates. We conclude by discussing where the journal is now and what we anticipate for its future.