MEET OUR TEAM
Clients hire Communitas Consulting to manage and facilitate change in their organizations, design and move projects forward, and build traction and ownership for sustainability. Clients include foundations, nonprofits, government, hospitals, and post-secondary educational institutions that work on the local, state, regional or national levels.
Communitas Consulting engages a network of highly skilled professionals – bringing the right match of expertise and ability to complete each project.
SAPHIRA M. BAKER
Saphira M. Baker is the founder of Communitas Consulting and Principal Consultant. Saphira established Communitas Consulting after more than twenty-five years of experience in senior positions in local government and management in nonprofit organizations. She is skilled in facilitating and developing effective cross-sector partnerships, leading strategic and community planning, managing successful grant making, and restructuring and focusing complex organizations. Her subject area expertise includes health and human services, secondary and post-secondary education, workforce development, civic engagement, urban planning, and community development. For the past 10 years, her practice has partnered with philanthropies, local and state governments, and nonprofits to improve their organizations and communities.
Saphira Baker has served as Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Human Services in Richmond, Virginia, directed a planning agency for children and family services for the City of Charlottesville and the County of Albemarle, Virginia, and directed workforce development for the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has been a Lecturer in Strategic Planning at the Frank Batten School of Public Policy and Leadership at the University of Virginia and serves on their advisory board. Saphira Baker earned her Masters of Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and her A.B. at Brown University. See resume for additional information.
RESEARCH AND POLICY ANALYST
Casey Cox, Research and Policy Analyst, joined the Communitas Consulting team in 2009. Casey has experience leading large-scale data collection efforts for policy research in economics, education, and community assessment. She is accomplished at creating and managing complex data and information systems with accuracy and efficiency and has broad experience in data analysis, survey design, research interviews, and project management.
Her subject expertise includes community capacity building and youth access to college and financial aid. Casey Cox holds a B.A. in International Relations from Brigham Young University. Before joining Communitas Consulting, she was a project manager and research analyst at the University of Virginia.
She has led federally-funded grant initiatives on young children’s development while at UVA, led the state-wide rollout of a curricular reform in New York as the director of Professional Development for the Core Knowledge Foundation, and has consulted independently on local, state, and national initiatives. She is currently an associate professor at the University of Virginia.
SHEILA F. MAITH
She also held positions at Local Initiatives Support Corporation, The Enterprise Foundation (now Enterprise Community Partners) and at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Sheila earned a joint degree in law and public policy from Harvard Law School and the Kennedy School of Government. She has an AB degree in public policy studies magna cum laude from Duke University. She has a certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University. She is certified to administer the Leadership Circle™ Profile 360 assessment and is a TetraMapâ Certified Facilitator.
Lorie Coker joined Communitas Consulting as an affiliated consultant in 2017. She draws on over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit, private, and education sectors as a program director, grant maker, engagement strategist, trainer, external assessor, and board member to deliver high value services to clients. She specializes in strategic community partnerships, out-of-school time programs, positive youth development, workforce development, and corporate social responsibility strategies. Lorie focuses on program implementation and effectiveness, training and development, and systems that help clients make informed decisions with the power of data.
Lorie holds a BA and MEd from the University of Virginia and PhD in Public Policy and Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is the Chair of the Board of Directors for Virginia Mentoring Partnership and is a member of the Junior League of Richmond and the Kiwanis Club of Richmond Board of Directors.
She is skilled in the areas of program evaluation, strengths and needs assessments, program planning, and community engagement. She is located just outside of Washington, DC and is active in promoting healthy eating and active living in the region. She received her masters in public health from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and her masters in business administration from the University of the District of Columbia.