Deborah Bilek

Deborah Bilek

Deb is the President and Founder of ICG Strategies, a boutique firm that nurtures communities and groups through inquiry, change, and growth. Deb is passionate about building community, and her work centers on facilitating multi-sector collaboration to achieve a common purpose. 

Deb nurtures groups of all sizes – from broad community outreach endeavors to intimate team-building retreats.  Through her work, she focuses on discovering common ground among stakeholders while also probing how individual assumptions can impact decisions, and how these decisions affect the world around us. 

​Deb has spent 15 years developing thoughtful leaders through designing, teaching, and facilitating various cohort-based, experiential leadership programs. She has professional expertise in areas such as: leadership development; non-profit management; volunteer empowerment; community engagement; religious and civic institutions, equity of opportunity and access; land-use and transportation planning; economic development; resilience; diversity and inclusion; and the intersection of federal, state, and local governance. 

When working with groups, Deb offers deep experience in and sensitivity to noticing unspoken dynamics, artfully bringing them to the surface, and enabling a group to confront and work through these dynamics in order to reach new levels of understanding and introspection. She has been known to specialize in “holding up a mirror” to help participants view issues in a new light. She is passionate about making space for the things that are hard to talk about, and nurturing those conversations in a way that has deep impact. She is skilled at creating meaningful gatherings both in person, and in the virtual space, and draws from the best of practice in identifying creative modalities to engage individuals and groups.

​Deb holds an Executive Certificate in Facilitation from Georgetown University. She earned her Masters degree in Public Administration from New York University, and her undergraduate degree in Anthropology magna cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis. She’s a born and raised New Yorker, and now resides in the Metropolitan Washington Area with her husband and two kids.

Geographic experience



Experience as a coach (formal/informal)

12 years

Experience as a facilitator

12 years

UFacilitator stage


Deborah would be good at collaboratively leading multi-stakeholder projects in community development, community engagement, land use, transportation, governance, and built infrastructure. She has a high level of comfort working in Nonprofit management and leadership development.


Food and agriculture, Environmental sustainability, Education, Skill development and employability, Gender equity, self-help groups, women-led businesses, Race Equity, Land use, housing, city planning, Access & ability, Policymaking, Religious institutions


  • Appreciative inquiry, Systems thinking or systems practice, World Cafe, Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design, Liberating Structures, Scenario planning, SWOT analysis, Open Space Technology aka Open Space aka unconference, Somatics, Ethnography, Compassionate Listening; Immunity to Change; Adaptive Leadership
  • The Experiential Virtual space; Designing community engagement in a hybrid world; From Difficult Conversations to Courageous Conversations; Seeding Transformational Change in Organizations; and The Gentrification Fishbowl
  • Non-profit, community outreach, leadership retreats, visioning exercises
  • Getting deeply involved in long-term change processes

Areas of development and learning

  • Learning new facilitation methodologies, such as UX Design; Agile; 6 Thinking Hats
  • Learning more about the corporate sector and working with leaders in that space
  • Working on more global projects, across cultures

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UFacilitate exists to coach leaders so they can create the conditions that are needed to drive inclusion and collaboration.

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