Alison Seabrooke is a fellow of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) based in the UK. Alison is carrying out research on cross-sector partnerships for economic development at the local level, which will inform and support GMF’s Urban and Regional Policy Program work on this topic. She first engaged with GMF in 2014 as a speaker at the inaugural BUILD convening, in her former role as chief executive of the Community Development Foundation and has continued to participate and engage with GMF in subsequent years. Seabrooke has worked across public, private, and non-profit sectors starting out as a designer for a multi-national corporation before moving into education and working on a number of European funded programmes. It was her volunteer role in her own community that developed her expertise in community development; a social entrepreneur she brought together different sectors and organizations and lead an ambitious new build project. She has since established and contributed to a number of social businesses in both executive and non-executive director capacities.
She has worked extensively with the UK government shaping and delivering national policy with a community focus, both as a civil servant and as a partner. An intuitive collaborator and bridge-builder, she has applied her experiences of cross-sector partnership building and leadership to a range of complex and challenging projects. Her approach is consensual and seeks to identify the motivations and barriers to unifying diverse interests. Whether this relates to place-based communities or communities of interest, urban or rural locations, national, or local situations. Seabrooke seeks out the views of those who may be most affected but least heard, to ensure that they have a stake in transformative processes. Seabrooke continues to apply her expertise and insights to a wide range of projects and policy areas, for public and non-profit organizations across the UK. She is a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) and has written for a number of regeneration publications. She has a postgraduate diploma in organisational development.