In the private sector, Linda Newell found her niche at the senior director level of learning and organizational development where she launched a corporate university, directed L&OD departments, and taught facilitators and leaders the art and science of relating to and leading people.
As a consultant/facilitator and certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), Linda specializes in learning and organizational development, conflict transformation, and diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion (DEAI). Using her chaplaincy and anti-racism/anti-oppression training, Linda focuses her decolonizing work on supporting the alignment of organizational systems and human dignity with a trauma-informed, socially just lens. Via her Historical Context project, Sen.Newell also works with organizations and individuals on land-based restorative research, transformational practices, and reparations.
In 2017, Senator Newell termed out of the Colorado State Senate after eight years of public service. She led alternative dispute resolution, restorative justice efforts, and significant reforms in child protection, education equity, and early childhood. She sponsored some of the nation’s first legislation removing zero-tolerance school discipline policies to help break the school-to-jail pipeline harmful to children of color, kids with disabilities, and those in foster care. Sen. Newell sponsored the nation’s first Conflict Resolution Month and taught her constituents and fellow legislators models of conflict management and consensus-building using community collaboration techniques. She also drove policy and systemic improvements in health care and mental health, suicide prevention, juvenile justice, domestic violence, workforce development, technology, and the arts.
Through facilitating groups of diverse stakeholders, close to 98% of her bills had bipartisan support and 94% passed successfully. Senator Newell has earned over 40 state and national awards for her legislative achievements.
To help create more informed and empathic voters, Sen. Newell produced, The Last Bill, a Senator’s Story, a documentary short about the state legislative process from an insider’s view. She serves on the Colorado Suicide Prevention Commission and also speaks on civic engagement, political conflict, and social justice from a white person’s accountability perspective.
Linda earned a Master’s in Social Justice and Ethics at Iliff School of Theology where she received the 2020 Academic Award for the program. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from UC Irvine. She is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government and was a Henry Toll Fellow with the Council of State Governments. A lifelong learner, Linda continues to learn cultural humility, deeper systems thinking, and how to align our values and ethics with justice. She hopes to teach public officials how to use chaplaincy with their constituencies and equity and justice in their policies and systems.
Linda is a single mother of two courageous and spirited adult daughters and talks about them, a lot.