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Principal of Community Circle

town planner, trained facilitator, certified moderator

Daphne Politis, FAICP, Principal of Community Circle is educated as a town and city planner, is a trained facilitator, and a certified mediator.  She is a specialist in public engagement with significant experience working with municipalities and institutions to identify needs, articulate priorities, and develop a resource allocation and action plan. She has designed and led community education and engagement in over thirty municipalities as well as conducting user needs evaluations in a variety of other settings.  Her expertise is in integrating stakeholder input into usable and useful action plans. 


Daphne Politis, FAICP, founded Community Circle in 1994 to provide consulting to a variety of clients in need of planning and programming services. She begins each project with a carefully designed plan for community engagement and then ensures that stakeholder input is integrated into the final plan, program, and/or design. 

Her strong belief in creating opportunities for meaningful participation results in action plans that are embraced and understood by the affected stakeholders. This results in community support for the implementation of recommendations.


Ms. Politis has developed an expertise in building strong foundations for action by creating forums for meaningful conversation and for forming consensus. 

Community Circle offers communication and facilitation skills to build consensus to advance creative solutions; ideas that stakeholders have identified as positive improvements for a desired and defined future. 


To a large degree, building consensus is about including a range of stakeholders early on in the process, sharing information and asking them the right questions. This, in combination with research on existing conditions and future trends, forms the basis of a meaningful and well supported implementation plan.



  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Master of City Planning (M.C.P.,1985)

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Master Architectural Studies, Environmental Design (SMArch.S, 1985)

  • Boston University, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Magna cum laude (B.A., 1982)


  • M.I.T. Mediation Certification

  • National Charrette Institute, charrette training

  • Public Conversations Project, several facilitiation and conflict resolution workshops

  • Essential Facilitation Certification, Interaction Associates

  • American Planning Association, multiple workshops


  • American Planning Association

  • Boston Society of Architects (Affiliate)

  • President (2013- 2017), Massachusetts Association of Consulting Planners (MACP). Daphne Politis is the immediate Past President of the Massachusetts Association of Consulting Planners (MACP) and currently sits on the Executive Committee

  • American Planning Association MA Chapter Committee on Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

  • American Planning Association MA Chapter Transportation Committee


  • College of Fellows, American Institute of Certified Planners (FAICP)

  • Certified Mediator (M.I.T.)

  • Massachusetts Certified Woman Business Enterprise (WBE)


  • Guest lecturer at area colleges and universities

  •  Lexington Center Committee (member 2003-2006)

  • Lexington Center Collaborative (co-founder, 2004)

  • Lexington Demographic Change Scoping Group (2007)


  • New Hampshire Planning Association’s Plan of the Year Award (2021) for “building agreement and reflecting the vision of the Town’s citizenry” for the Town of Derry, NH.

  • APA-MA Innovative Placemaking Award (2017) Rotary Redesign, Hudson, MA (with BSC Group, Inc.). The redesign of the rotary stimulated significant revitalization of the downtown into a vibrant and walkable place for businesses to thrive and residents to mingle. Hudson is frequently cited as a model of downtown revitalization in the State. 

  • Winner of Civic Leadership Award, Lexington Chamber of Commerce (2006) for co-founding the Lexington Center Collaborative with a focus making improvements to Lexington Center (multiple day charrette & other efforts)

  • Design Share Merit Award (2000) for POE for Central Tree Middleschool, Rutland, MA. Results presented at the Environmental Design Research Association, Edinburgh, Scotland, July 5, 2001. The POE was reviewed in an international journal (Lackney, Jeffrey, “The State of POE in the Practice of Educational Design,” 2001 where it was cited because it “contributed to the practice of POE in educational design.” Daphne was the sole author of the POE.

  • Progressive Architecture Research Award, Progressive Architecture (1985) for POE of Community Mental Health Center w/ Welch/Epp for “addressing compelling social needs, extending traditional architectural expertise, demonstrating ways to integrate research and design.” The results were published in the Progressive Architecture Journal (1990).


Community Circle is certified as a WBE (Woman-Owned Business Enterprise).


Understanding that there is more than one right way of doing and learning things.

As demographics continually change and places that in that past thought of themselves as being relatively homogeneous become increasingly more diverse, it is becoming of utmost urgency that we work harder to glue the pieces of the mosaic together so that they form a vibrant and dynamic whole. Reaching all members of a community, forming consensus, and building one community together is becoming more challenging, but when successful the result is ever more rewarding. 


Ms. Politis has conducted outreach to a variety of ethnic and minority groups in a number of communities and is committed to the additional effort needed to engage disenfranchised populations (e.g., identifying representatives of such groups, using multi-lingual materials, holding meetings in settings where people feel comfortable, etc.). She is bi-lingual herself and understands that sometimes, even when an individual is fluent in English, an invitation in one's mother tongue is experienced as a welcoming gesture.   


Ms. Politis is fluent in Greek, has a good working knowledge of Spanish, is very comfortable working in multi-ethnic/racial communities, and has worked on a signfiicant number of projects where translation and interpretation were integral to the process. She has worked with communities whose residents speak Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese languages, Russian, Hebrew, and Haitian Creole, among others.


  • familiarity and comfort working in diverse, multi-lingual, multi-cultural settings

  • expertise conducting outreach to disenfranchised members of the community

  • experience conducting multi-lingual public forums and summary documents

  • bilingual in English and Greek, working knowledge of Spanish


Depending on the skill set and other needs of a specific project, Community Circle provides services to the client, but more frequently forms teams, collaborating with a number of professionals, each specialists in their area of expertise. These partners include:

Martha Lyon, Martha Lyon Architects, LLC

Judi Barrett, Barrett Planning Group, LLC

AECOM, Inc. 

RKG Associates

BSC Group

Leonardi Aray Architects

The Collaborative

Community Preservation Associates

HMFH Architects, Inc. 

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