:: Experience

Profile:  Kathy McShea Erville

Owner and Founder, Emerald Strategies

I sometimes say I am a communicator by heart and a web management expert by trade.

My professional journey follows a path blazed by a maturing communications technology field.  As the industry has advanced, I’ve adapted alongside it and forged a unique and valuable skill set.

What motivates me

I am interested in:

    • Building teams and capacity in organizations
    • Leveraging my expertise in CX and UX to make multichannel communications hum
    • Delivering bold content strategy to realize the future vision of “create once, publish everywhere”
    • Using information management to make a connection between the wealth of information produced by the government and the citizens we serve

Creating stronger communication channels

Throughout my tenure in the workforce, I have been about helping organizations tell their story by creating stronger communication channels between government organizations and the people they serve.

The arc of my career, with the unique skillsets I’ve acquired along the way, has afforded me the opportunity to put my stamp on organizing government information across the energy, homeland security, and consumer sectors. With each leg of this body of work, my goal was to make it easier to find and use public information.

Past Performance and a Vision for the Future

I started off in politics and government as a maven in media relations inside political campaigns, the US Senate, and Consumer Reports.  Later, attracted by the enormous public reach of web communications, I shifted gears to become the Director of Consumer Information at the Department of Energy.  Next, I opened my own management consulting practice to continue this work, concentrating on the emerging field of web governance and benchmarking.

As the government started insourcing such positions instead of contracting them out, I returned to civil service at DHS in 2010 running DHS.gov and in 2016 I landed at CFPB where I established a knowledge management practice that seeks to provide seamless customer service for the “last mile” of public outreach in our contact center.

Whether it’s working with the media, building websites and intranets, or designing knowledge management systems, I’m passionate about crafting messages that resonate and conversations that build trust. I hope we can explore working together to serve your business needs.

Accomplishments and Highlights

Early career.  Before recharging consumer outreach at DOE, my career included posts as Media Director of the DC office of Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, and chief spokesperson for US Senator Carl Levin, D-Mich.

Department of Energy. I served as the Director of Consumer Information at the U.S. Department of Energy, under a Presidential appointment during the Clinton Administration. There my efforts resulted in a new look and a new name for the agency’s homepage as well as a new gateway for callers: 1-800-dial-DOE. Government Executive Magazine recognized energy.gov among the “Best Feds on the Web”.

Emerald Strategies.  As a woman-owned small business founder,  I was an influential partner on several enterprise-level government engagements including work at the World Bank, the US Air Force, and the US House of Representatives.

    • At the World Bank, I was responsible for the fieldwork for first-of-its-kind web management audits that set the stage for major changes in how these platforms operate
    • While working as the USAF CIO’s primary user experience advocate, I championed enhanced usability and service level agreement standards across web intranet and phone channels
    • At the USHR I completed over 200 confidential website evaluations to help them develop their first guidelines for performance standards

Department of Homeland Security. As Web Communications Director at the Department of Homeland Security, I shaped new federal and Secretarial mandates to combine agency websites and led the agency-wide effort to consolidate CMS tools and migrate content to a common platform. Under my leadership, DHS created a new web governance body that adopted new agency-wide standards and policies to close or migrate outdated and duplicative websites.  As a result, the agency saved money and improved online services. After its launch, an independent study recognized the new DHS.gov website as one of the top two best-performing websites in the federal government.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  At CFPB, I led the contact center’s first content governance initiative for knowledge management. The results included:

    • New standard operating procedures and workflow diagrams for publishing and a chartered community of practice that meets monthly to enhance collaboration
    • Recruiting content stewards to serve as Subject Matter Experts for all procedural documents and institutionalizing this new role at the organization, modeling industry best practices with clear roles and responsibilities for contract teams and SMEs
    • Transforming content strategy from a print orientation to an intense digital focus, promoting consistent templates for article types to promote trust, plain language and usability to support readability, and creative use of tech tools at my disposal to build a workflow system that makes our inventory authoritative and trackable


I graduated from Georgetown University in 1985 with a degree in American Government and resides in Washington, DC.  I am a certified usability analyst by Human Factors International and an SPC Certified Help Desk Manager.  I also have a certificate in Project Management from the Georgetown School of Continuing Studies.



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