David Markwardt, MSOD, MFA is a published poet, consultant, facilitator, and leadership professional who believes that we are born in and for community, that leadership is infinite and universally available, and that those who serve must stay in touch with their heart’s desires to serve best. He brings these beliefs to all his work, including the four leadership programs he oversees. He is the leadership skills trainer for Leadership Santa Fe, for the Leadership Santa Fe Graduate Program, for Youth Leadership Santa Fe, all programs of the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, and for Teamwork in Action, a program in Santa Fe Community College’s Continuing Education Department.

David believes that the arts and, in particular, poetry are essential for building community and creating a new style of leadership that can address the complex challenges of the 21st century. Poetry by its nature can shake us up. It can touch our hearts and help us focus on what we deeply care about. And it can reconnect us with our values, principles and beliefs, pulling us into an internal dialogue about whether we are living them or not. Poetry, therefore, is a reminder to live right and a call to act courageously. David integrates poetry into his work and has created exercises to give people memorable learning experiences.

David has a strong background in experiential learning. He built and manages a large challenge course facility. He worked for the National Outdoor Leadership School from 1990-1994. Whenever he can, he integrates the outdoors into his work. He believes that adults learn best by having an experience and then reflecting, and that the outdoors and wilderness are superb venues for learning.

David frequently presents workshops and leadership seminars at conferences. He presented “Profound Speech: The Transformative Power of Poetry” on June 19 at Seattle University’s Organization Systems Renewal Conference. David presented “Everyone Wants to Be Heard: The Discipline of Listening” on March 13 to 75 mayors and city councilors at the 2010 Congress of Cities Conference in Washington, D.C. He presented “Finding Your Voice” at the 2009 Head to Toe Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at Pepperdine University’s 2009 MSOD Alumni Conference in Laguna, California, and at the New Mexico ASTD Conference in October 2009. He presented “The Power of Poetry to Facilitate Change” at the 2008 National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation’s Conference in Austin, Texas.

David received a Master of Science in Organization Development degree from Pepperdine University in 2007 and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry degree from Vermont College in 1998. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College in 1984. He lives outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife, Tracey, and his two sons, August and Elliot.