CONFERENCE BIOGRAPHIES

 

KEYNOTE

 


Brian Lehrer is host of The Brian Lehrer Show, WNYC Radio's daily call-in program, covering politics and life, locally and globally. The show airs weekdays from 10am-noon on WNYC 93.9 FM, AM 820 and wnyc.org.

The Brian Lehrer Show was recognized with a 2007 George Foster Peabody Award for "Radio That Builds Community Rather Than Divides."

 

The New York Times called Lehrer a "master interviewer." Time magazine called the program "New York City's most thoughtful and informative talk show." The Daily News calls it "cutting edge" for its extreme interactivity and creative use of the internet. Guests range from politicians such as Barack Obama, Chris Christie, Michael Bloomberg, John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Cory Booker, to cultural figures such as Werner Herzog, Penn Jillette, David Lynch, DJ Spooky and Margaret Atwood, to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, to New York City middle school students.

 

Lehrer is also a commentator on local and national issues on television and in print. He has appeared on TV networks including CNN, MSNBC, Fox Newschannel, C-SPAN, ABC World News Now, and NY1. He has written op-ed pieces for publications including The New York Times, The Daily News, Newsday, The New York Sun and Slate.com. He also hosts a weekly television program on CUNY-TV, "BrianLehrer.tv" featuring issue-oriented web video.

 

In addition to the Peabody, Lehrer has won numerous awards, including seven Associated Press New York Broadcasters "Best Interview" Awards since 2000 and “Best Talk Show” by the Garden State Journalists Association in 2009 and 2011.

 

Lehrer was a questioner in the 2006 televised campaign debates for U.S. Senate and Governor of New York, and in the televised New York City Mayoral Debates in 1997, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013.

 

He has hosted his eponymous program, originally called On The Line, since its inception in 1989. Prior, he was an anchor and reporter for the NBC Radio Networks, and an award-winning author and documentary producer.

 

Lehrer holds master's degrees in public health from Columbia University and journalism from Ohio State University and a bachelor's in music and mass communications from the State University of New York at Albany.


HONOREES



John S. Kiernan, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has been Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department since 2002 and Chair of its Ethics Committee since 1994. His representations have embraced a broad range of commercial disputes and internal investigations, including disputes relating to contracts, purchases and sales of businesses, corporate governance, derivative and class action claims, international treaties, securities claims, patents and other intellectual property, consumer fraud, accountant liability and mass torts.


Mr. Kiernan is the Board Chair of Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York, Chair of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (“CPR”) and Co-Chair of the Inner City Scholarship Fund, Lawyers Division. He has previously chaired the Boards of Legal Services-New York City, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Volunteers of Legal Service, the Justice Resource Center and the New York City Bankruptcy Assistance Project (which he co-founded), and was the Mayor of Pelham Manor, NY from 1999-2001.  He has also served as a director or trustee of the City Bar Justice Center, New York Alliance for the Public Schools, Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, United Way of Pelham, NY, the Pelham Art Center, the Federal Bar Council, the Village Board of Pelham Manor and the Point O'Woods, NY, Association.  He served for 15 years as a volunteer coordinator for the AmeriCares/HomeFront home rehabilitation project, and for 28 seasons as a travel soccer coach.


Mr. Kiernan will serve from May 2016 through May 2018 as President of the New York City Bar Association, where he has previously served on the Executive Committee and chaired several other committees. He has also chaired numerous committees of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association and the Federal Bar Council.  He was appointed by New York’s Chief Judge to serve on a Committee on Non-Lawyers and the Justice Gap. He was a speaker at annual ALI-ABA Seminars on Accountants’ Liability for 12 years, and has spoken at numerous other seminars and written numerous articles on substantive issues in litigation, approaches to resolving complex disputes, and discovery. He is the co-editor of the three-volume Litigation Manual (ABA, 3rd ed., 1999), a contributing author of New York Business Litigation (ALM 2014) and Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts (Thomson Reuters, 4th ed., 2015), and an Adjunct Professor at NYU Law School.


Mr. Kiernan joined Debevoise in 1981 and became a partner in 1988. He received his B.A. in 1976 magna cum laude from Harvard and his J.D. in 1980 magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an Editor of the Harvard Law Review. From 1980-81, Mr. Kiernan served as a law clerk to the Hon. Walter R. Mansfield, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.




Center for Court Innovation was founded as a public/private partnership between the New York State Unified Court System and the Fund for the City of New York, the Center creates operating programs to test new ideas and solve problems. The Center’s projects include community-based violence prevention projects, alternatives to incarceration, reentry initiatives, court-based programs that seek to promote positive individual and family change, and many others.


The Center disseminates the lessons learned from innovative programs, helping justice reformers around the world launch new initiatives. The Center also performs original research evaluating innovative programs to determine what works (and what doesn't). 


The Center for Court Innovation grew out of a single experiment; the Midtown Community Court was created in 1993 to address low-level offending around Times Square. The project’s success in reducing both crime and incarceration led the court’s planners, with the support of New York State’s chief judge, to establish the Center for Court Innovation to serve as an ongoing engine for justice reform in New York. 

The Center has received numerous awards for its efforts, including the Peter F. Drucker Award for Non-Profit Innovation, the Innovations in American Government Award from Harvard University and the Ford Foundation, and the Prize for Public Sector Innovation from the Citizens Budget Commission.



CLOSING REMARKS    



Susan Herman, NYPD Deputy Commissioner, Collaborative Policing


Returning to the New York City Police Department in January, 2014, Susan Herman was named Deputy Commissioner, Collaborative Policing.  Deputy Commissioner Herman’s role is to foster shared responsibility for public safety through productive partnerships with individuals, communities, government agencies, and community-based organizations.  The Office of Collaborative Policing supports the New York City Police Department’s efforts to prevent and control crime and nurture constructive relationships with communities. The Office has a special focus on developing non-enforcement options for police officers, focused enforcement strategies, and improving access to police services.


A member of the NYPD from 1985 to 1990, DC Herman served as the Special Counsel to the Police Commissioner to three consecutive Police Commissioners: Benjamin Ward, Richard Condon and Lee P. Brown. Prior to her return, DC Herman was an Associate Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Pace University.  She also served as the Executive Director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, Director of Community Services at The Enterprise Foundation, Director of the Domestic Violence Division at Victim Services (now Safe Horizon), Director of Mediation Services at the Institute for Mediation and Conflict Resolution, and an instructor at NYU School of Law and NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.


DC Herman is an internationally recognized author and speaker, particularly as an advocate for victims of crime and a new vision of justice set forth in her book Parallel Justice for Victims of Crime.  DC Herman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College and a Juris Doctorate from the Antioch School of Law.





PRESENTERS


Halley Anolik, Esq. is the Manager of Mediation and Restorative Programs at New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID), located in Staten Island.  NYCID is part of the New York State Community Dispute Resolution Program, and provides free mediation and restorative services to the Staten Island community.  Halley oversees the Peace Ambassador Program, training residents living in the NYCHA-Stapleton community in conflict resolution, using mediation techniques and restorative circles.  Halley also works with several schools on Staten Island, implementing peer mediation programs, providing workshops on restorative processes, and offering mediation and restorative circles to schools as alternatives to traditional discipline.  In 2011, Halley graduated from Cardozo School of Law with a Certificate in Dispute Resolution.



Rochelle Arms, a PhD student at The School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR), first became involved in the field of conflict analysis and resolution, when she volunteered for a kick-start mediation program at her undergraduate school. Rochelle’s work, though, earned her a Rotary Peace Fellowship from the Rotary Foundation to study in Argentina, where she focused on the application of conflict resolution methods to disagreements between indigenous people and the government. After completing the fellowship, Rochelle returned to the United States, where she set up and managed the New York Peace Institute’s restorative justice program. She trained mediators and established a referral system from the criminal court for misdemeanor cases (mostly minor assaults). Although Rochelle was very happy with her career choice, she wanted to have more of an empirical understanding of why certain methods were chosen in mediation practice, as it seemed more like a “trial and error process.” This assessment led Rochelle to S-CAR.  After she completes her degree, she will look to combine her two passions, teaching and mediation, toward becoming a true scholar-practitioner in the field.



Simeon H. Baum, President of Resolve Mediation Services, Inc., has successfully mediated over 1,000 disputes.  He has been active since 1992 as a neutral in dispute resolution, assuming the roles of mediator, neutral evaluator and arbitrator in a variety of cases. He was selected for New York Magazine’s 2005 - 2014 “Best Lawyers” and “New York Super Lawyers” listings for ADR, and Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” for ADR in New York for 2011 and 2014, and for the International Who’s Who of Commercial Mediation Lawyers 2012-14. An attorney, with 30 years’ experience as a litigator, Mr. Baum has served as a mediator or ADR neutral in a wide variety of matters involving claims concerning business disputes, financial services, securities industry disputes, reinsurance and insurance coverage, property damage and personal injury, malpractice, employment, unfair competition, fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy, intellectual property, and commercial claims. Mr. Baum has shared his enthusiasm for ADR through teaching, training, extensive writing and public speaking.  He has taught ADR at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Development, and he teaches Negotiation, and Processes of Dispute Resolution (focusing on Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration) at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He has been a panelist, presenter and facilitator for numerous programs on mediation, arbitration, and ADR for Judges, attorneys, and other professionals.  Mr. Baum is a graduate of Colgate University and the Fordham University School of Law.



James Berger is a partner in the International Arbitration group at King & Spalding LLP.  He represents clients in commercial disputes before courts and arbitral tribunals, with a focus on cross-border and multi-jurisdictional proceedings and matters involving state-owned enterprises and sovereigns. He has significant experience litigating matters arising under the Convention on Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, and other statutes having particular application in international disputes. Mr. Berger is admitted to practice in New York and the District of Columbia. He is a member of the Litigation and International Law Sections, and the International Litigation and China Law Committees, of the American Bar Association, and currently represents the International Litigation and International Arbitration Committees on the Section of International Law’s Steering Committee. He is also a member of the International Commercial Disputes Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and serves as a Director of the Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York. Mr. Berger writes and speaks regularly on international dispute resolution topics. He has given numerous presentations on international arbitration, disputes involving states, and other U.S. litigation issues to corporate and foreign governmental in-house counsel. He has served as a guest lecturer on international commercial arbitration at Renmin University of China School of Law, Fordham University School of Law, and New York Law School. In addition, he is the editor (and a contributing author) of the forthcoming American Bar Association treatise entitled International Aspects of U.S. Litigation, and a contributing author on international litigation and arbitration issues in Law360 and to the “Point of Law” column in the South China Morning Post.



Lorraine M. Brennan is an accomplished national and international dispute resolution professional.  She is prominently recognized and respected for her broad range of professional experience involving complex commercial litigation, domestic and international arbitration and mediation, and her service as a distinguished global member of law school faculties from the United States to China.  Ms. Brennan is a highly sought-after speaker and frequent lecturer on complex commercial dispute resolution. She maintains prominent leadership roles in multiple organizations, including ArbitralWomen, the International and Dispute Resolution Sections of the American Bar Association and the Institute for Transnational Arbitration (Member of Advisory Board).  Ms. Brennan is one of only eight members appointed by the U.S. State Department to serve on the NAFTA 2022 Advisory Committee on Private Commercial Disputes.  She is a (pending) Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Ms. Brennan serves as an adjunct Professor teaching International Commercial Arbitration at Georgetown Law School, and taught International Business Transactions at Cornell Law School and Shantou Law School, Guangdong, China.



Rita Callahan is a Collaboration and Conflict Resolution Consultant with 20 years’ experience in roles as ombuds, mediator, facilitator, conflict coach, trainer, and consultant. She is currently an Ombuds for the University of California San Francisco and has recently been an Ombuds at UC Davis in both university and academic medical center environments serving faculty, staff, and students. She was an internal organizational conflict resolution consultant for 6 years at ConEdison. Rita has provided organizational leadership, change, collaboration, and conflict management services to varied organizations, has trained thousands of individuals in conflict resolution, negotiation, mediation, facilitation, and other topics, and has expertise in working with groups, teams and departments to communicate and engage conflict more effectively. Rita is a Certified Organizational Ombuds Practitioner (CO-OP)® through the International Ombudsman Association, an Advanced Practitioner in Workplace Mediation through the Association for Conflict Resolution, and a Master Trainer in the Conflict Dynamics Profile®.



Elizabeth Clemants is a social worker at heart.  She has always been interested in the intersection of social work and the law.  To that end, she attended Columbia University School of Social Work where she graduated with an MSW and a Minor in Law.  She immediately went to work in the field of conflict resolution and has been practicing ADR since 1997.  She has founded three programs in conflict resolution, of which Hidden Water is one, where she serves a Board President.  She also founded and runs Small Business Arbitration Center with the aim of offering truly affordable, binding conflict resolution services to small businesses and their clients.  Elizabeth is also the principal trainer at Planning Change, whose mission it is educate and empower individuals to affect meaningful change in the conflicts around them.  In addition to the programs, Elizabeth works as a mediator, a coach, a shaman and speaks regularly at events and conferences.  



Ralph Charles is a federal mediator with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in the Newark Area Office (member of the New York District).  In Newark, Mr. Charles is responsible for mediating cases assigned to the ADR unit, which originate in the northern thirteen counties of New Jersey.  A small portion of his cases originate from New York. Mr. Charles is an extern supervisor to many of the regions graduate programs in Labor & Employment and law. When not in the office, Mr. Charles is often engaging the community in outreach events. Prior to coming to the EEOC, Mr. Charles mediated various disputes pertaining to civil, family, and community matters.  Although Mr. Charles studied economics at Columbia University, he concentrates most of his current readings on behavioral economics, neuroscience, and psychotherapy.



Claudia E. Cohen, Ph.D., president and founder of The Third Alternative, LLC has taught, practiced and studied conflict resolution for more than 25 years.  She currently teaches Managing Conflict in Organizations at Teachers College, Columbia University and has been on faculty at Rutgers University and Stevens Institute of Technology.  Dr. Cohen served as an Ombuds at AT&T, providing coaching and support on resolving conflict, valuing diversity and communication to employees at all levels.  She has mediated for the NJ civil court program for the last dozen years, primarily in employment cases, and developed and delivered mediator training for the NJ Association of Professional Mediators.   Dr. Cohen has researched the dimensions of mediator style and leads a multi-year program of Participatory Action Research on post-incarceration reentry.



Danielle Coon is currently the Associate Director of the Morton Deutsch International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution.  This position follows over 10 years of experience overseeing direct service programs including positions as the director of Project Common Bond, a program of Tuesday’s Children, and the Refugee Resettlement Manager of the International Rescue Committee’s New York office.  Danielle is dedicated to applying principles of conflict resolution to all management and project activities; developing program strategy; actively pursuing common goals and tracking progress on critical objectives.   She is an alumna of the M.S. in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program at Columbia University.



Sharese Crouther's picture

Sharese Crouther, is the Strategic Partnership Specialist at the Center for Court Innovation. Ms. Crouther joined the Center for Court Innovation in 2009 as an AmeriCorps case developer with the Red Hook Youth Court. Following her two years of service as an AmeriCorps member, she then worked as a program associate developing the Brownsville Youth Court, the Center's first program in Brownsville, in 2011. Ms. Crouther obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from John Jay College for Criminal Justice in June 2011. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Public Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.



Kathleen R. DeCataldo, Esq., is the Executive Director of the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. Responding to emerging child welfare, juvenile justice and related health, education and other well-being issues, Ms. DeCataldo is responsible for the development of trainings and conferences. Ms. DeCataldo advocates for the Commission’s agenda, including the New York City Family Court Administrative Judge Advisory Council and New York State Child Welfare Court Improvement Project Advisory Group; and conducting trainings and forums. Ms. DeCataldo chairs the Legislative Response Subcommittee of the New York State Bar Association. Ms. DeCataldo organized the 2012 National Leadership Summit on School-Justice Partnerships: Keeping Kids in School and Out of Court, the 2013 New York State Leadership Summit on School-Justice Partnerships, as well as six Regional Leadership Summits across New York State in 2013 and 2014. Ms. DeCataldo is a graduate of Albany Law School and the State University of New York at Stony Brook. 


Nancy J. Deering is a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner (CO-OP) for Newark Public Schools (NPS) and one of the recently elected Board Members.   She has been a practicing Ombuds for ten years and a member of IOA since 2007.  She established the first ever Ombuds Office for the District and works with the entire constituent base in the resolution of issues relating to The Newark Public Schools.  Prior to joining NPS, she was also key in establishing the first Ombudsman Office for the Global Wealth Management Division of Merrill Lynch, which had a constituent base of 45K+. She has more than 30 years of experience managing collaborative partnerships in both the private and public sectors.  She holds a Masters’ degree in Organizational Development from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Rutgers University, an Associate’s degree in Management from St. Peter’s College and a Certificate from the Wharton School Securities Industry Institute. She is the Board Secretary, Board Liaison to Professional Development and Mentoring Committees and she is an IOA Mentor. 



Alexandra Dosman is the first Executive Director of the New York International Arbitration Center (“NYIAC”). Founded in 2013, NYIAC is a non-profit organization that promotes and enhances the conduct of international arbitration in New York, offers educational programming, and operates world- class hearing facilities for rent in Midtown Manhattan. Prior to joining NYIAC in May 2013, Ms. Dosman practiced commercial litigation and international arbitration at Shearman & Sterling LLP for seven years, where she had a leading role in commercial and investment treaty arbitration cases. Ms. Dosman was educated at McGill University in Montreal and at the University of Toronto. She is bilingual English/French.




Elana “E.M.” Eisen-Markowitz has been an educator in New York City for ten years.  She is social studies teacher and adviser at City-As-School, a public transfer high school in Manhattan, and a member of Teachers Unite, an independent organization led by members of the United Federation of Teachers and District Council 37 that resists institutions that segregate and criminalize young people, such as the school-to-prison pipeline, by organizing educators to work as allies in local and national campaigns for social and economic justice.




Beth Fisher-Yoshida
is a faculty member and the Director of the Negotiation and Conflict Resolution MS program at Columbia University. Dr. Fisher-Yoshida teaches classes in conflict resolution and related fields and conducts participatory action research in communities with youth leaders curbing urban violence. Her focus in her classes is on improving communication through developing more self-awareness that leads to better relationships and improved negotiation practices through the use of Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM). She is also Co-Chair of AC4, the Advanced Consortium on Cooperation, Conflict and Complexity, housed in the Earth Institute, also at Columbia University. She is the founder of FYI Fisher Yoshida International, LLC, a firm that partners with clients to develop customized interventions aimed at improving organizational performance. The firm focuses on professional and personal development to address change efforts through leadership development, negotiation and conflict resolution, intercultural communication, team effectiveness and performance management. Clients include organizations in the Fortune-100 private sector, nonprofit, and government sectors in the U.S., Canada, Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. She is a Certified Clinical Sociologist (CCS). She speaks conversational Japanese and lived and worked in Japan for 13 years.



Kathy Komaroff Goodman is an experienced mediator with a deep interest in the role that emotional and cultural intelligence plays in a mediator’s ability to address the underlying needs of the parties in working toward durable solutions.  She has developed and delivered training in emotional intelligence to mediators at the New York Peace Institute. She has also co-developed and delivered the workshop “Mediation and the Mediator” to graduate students at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  Kathy is certified to administer the Emotional Intelligence assessment (EQ-i 2.0) and the Neethling Brain Instrument (NBI) to individuals and groups. Kathy is a founding Principal at ACCORD, a collaborative of conflict management and resolution specialists serving individuals and businesses. She is a graduate of the Masters of Science program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University.





Meredith Gray
is the Restorative Justice Coordinator for Criminal Court Mediation at New York Peace Institute (NYPI). Her Restorative Justice skills and experience are especially enriched by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence, the Creative Interventions Toolkit, The Revolution Starts at Home, Baltimore's Community Conferencing Center, Kay Pranis, and the New York Peace Institute. In addition to her work with NYPI, Meredith is an educator focusing on the intersections of identity, spirituality, and anti-oppression practices.




Vivianne Guevara is the Director of Client and Mitigation Services at the Federal Defenders of New York in the Eastern District. Prior to joining The Federal Defenders, Vivianne was an Investigator and Social Worker at the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, Georgia, where she supported litigation that challenged conditions in juvenile and adult jails and prisons in Georgia and Alabama, the provision of indigent defense in Georgia, and the proliferation of debtor’s prisons in Georgia. She also worked with clients individually to reduce the impact of the collateral consequences that resulted from civil and criminal court involvement. Vivianne began working in public defense as a Social Worker at the Bronx Defenders, where she worked with clients charged in domestic violence and mental health courts. While working towards her Master’s Degree in Social Work, Vivianne was an Outreach Specialist at The Bowery Residents’ Committee where she worked one-on-one with persistently homeless individuals on the streets and in the subways of New York City. She interned at the Dr. Susan McKinney Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn and worked on case management and discharge planning with clients suffering through long-term dementia, terminal illnesses, traumatic brain injuries, and short-term rehabilitation. Vivianne is a graduate of New York University and Columbia University’s School of Social Work.




Lisa Hoyes is the Assistant Dean for Public Service at NYU Law School.  She previously worked for 13 years as a public defender in New York City, holding positions at The Bronx Defenders and the Federal Defenders of New York.  Lisa also worked as an NYU Law Fellow at the Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama and was the recipient of a Soros Justice Postgraduate Fellowship. Lisa graduated from SUNY Purchase and New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Sinsheimer Scholar and a member of Law Review and BALSA.  




James Hurst is an attorney and Legal Ombudsman at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). DCA created the Legal Ombudsman position in 2014 to increase transparency and fairness and to educate businesses. As Legal Ombudsman, he provides industry-specific compliance training throughout New York City and responds to business inquiries and concerns regarding DCA regulations and operations. He previously studied law and public policy at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco and the Goldman School of Public Policy in Berkeley, California. He has worked with a variety of government offices and legal service non-profits in both London and the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to graduate school, he worked in the private sector as a consultant and training manager in the financial services industry.



Dina R. Jansenson, Esq. has over twenty-five years of experience mediating and arbitrating a wide variety of matters including complex business/commercial, employment, construction, franchise, professional liability, and intellectual property disputes with domestic and international parties. She brings a broad base of substantive knowledge, as well as a deep understanding of the litigation challenges facing parties in the event of impasse, to help parties analyze their complex legal and business issues, engage in risk assessment, and develop creative business solutions. As an arbitrator, Ms. Jansenson is known for her ability to effectively manage the process, and for her reasoned awards. Ms. Jansenson is an elected (past) fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Recognized as an expert in the field of alternative dispute resolution, she is a frequent speaker for corporations, universities, and organizations in the United States and abroad. Ms. Jansenson speaks fluent Spanish and Hebrew, and has conducted mediations in these languages on request.




Daniel Kos works for NYS Unified Court System, where he works with a team to oversee a network of community mediation centers serving all 62 counties of New York. Each year this network, the largest in the country, provides services in nearly 30,000 cases. He regularly delivers mediation, facilitation, and negotiation training in New York and presents at local and national conferences. As part of a team that certifies mediation trainers, Dan mentors trainers in their development. He has advanced community mediation nationally by serving on the board of the National Association for Community Mediation.




 Christopher Kwok was born in China, and raised in Queens, New York.  A graduate of Stuyvesant High School, he majored in Government and minored in Asian American studies at Cornell University.  Mr. Kwok was active in the student body, serving in leadership positions in the Cornell Asian Pacific Student Union and Asian American Coalition.  He was also a staff member of Cornell's Asian American Resource Center, where he developed research and teaching resources.  He graduated from UCLA Law School in 2000, where he served on the staff of the Asian American Pacific Islander Law Journal. During law school, Chris worked for the Consent Decree Monitor for the San Francisco Unified School District, where he worked on civil rights issues as related to education access. Seeking to combine his commitment to Civil Rights for Asian Americans and his legal training, he began his career by working as a Mediator with the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Unit at the U.S Equal Employment Commission, New York office.  Mr. Kwok has also worked for two years as Federal Investigator for the EEOC.  As a coauthor, Mr. Kwok has published an essay in the January 2008 issue of the Fordham Urban Law Journal: "Barriers to Participation: Challenges Faced by Members of Underrepresented Racial and Ethnic Groups in Entering, Remaining, and Advancing in the ADR Field."  Mr. Kwok is currently the ADR Coordinator for the Mediation Program at the U.S. EEOC – NYDO, with offices in New York City, Newark, NJ, Boston, MA and Buffalo, NY.




Robert D. Lamb is a strategist, policy adviser, public speaker, leader, and collaborator with a twenty-year record of studying the hidden knowledge that affects strategic-level success in organizations and societies, from social dynamics in war zones to intangible factors in business relationships. Based in Washington, DC, Dr. Lamb is currently a visiting research professor at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, working to improve U.S. and international policy in fragile and conflict environments, and has affiliations with the International Peace and Security Institute, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the University of Maryland. As a business and finance journalist early in his career, he won a National Press Club award for his work on the consumer experience of Internet commerce. In his consulting work, he has focused on stakeholder relations, strategic positioning, and organizational effectiveness. His consultancy, RD Lamb LLC, is partnered with Ethelo Decisions, an online collaboration platform for complex negotiations,  collective decisions, and stakeholder engagement.



Giuseppe Leone has been a mediator since 1997. Giuseppe is a certified Mediator for the United States Postal Service (USPS) to resolve workplace conflicts (discrimination, harassment, supervisor vs employee disputes). On January 9, 2014, Giuseppe mediated the first USPS online mediation of their nationwide REDRESS conflict resolution program, which was followed by several other mediations – for example, in March and November 2014 He is a Team Member of Online Peer Mediation Platform, an innovative project made possible by a JAMS Foundation grant, in order to help students: learn online how become peer mediators;  practice their mediation skills online with the assistance of their trainer/mentor; deliver or request online peer mediation services Giuseppe is a mediator for Hawaii District Courts, to resolve small claims, regular claims (landlord-tenant, consumer/merchant) and TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) cases. He is also an Online Mediator for SquareTrade.com from 1999 to 2002, to resolve e-commerce disputes. He is also a Founder of Virtual Mediation Lab, an online mediation project featured in the Summer 2013 issue on “Innovation and Conflict Resolution” of ACResolution, the quarterly magazine of the Association for Conflict Resolution. He is Founder of OnlineMediationWorks.com. He is Past President and current Board Member of ACR (Association for Conflict Resolution) Hawaii Chapter, and current member of the Association for Conflict Resolution–Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Section and Commercial Section.



Daniel H. Levine supervises the school mediation program at Community Mediation, a non-profit in Baltimore that provides free mediation services to the city. He is also a Research Fellow at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, for whom he is working on a paper about "sovereign citizen" violence in the US. Before joining Community Mediation, he had been a consultant to the Centre for Conflict Resolution (Cape Town), a Fulbright scholar at the University of Ghana-Legon, an Assistant Professor at the Maryland School of Public Policy, and a Program Officer for education at the US Institute of Peace. Daniel holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Georgetown University and a Master of Public Policy from the University of Maryland. He has written extensively on ethical issues related to conflict intervention, including _The Morality of Peacekeeping_, published in 2014 by Edinburgh University Press.



Aoifa O'Donnell, LCSW, SAP is the CEO of National EAP, Inc.; a privately held New York based corporate EAP that has been in business since 1982.  Her responsibilities are vast including the development and implementation of NEAP's strategic plan, driving financial growth through sales and contract negotiations and the oversight of day to day business operations and quality assurance. Aoifa is passionate about delivering high level business solutions that markedly improve the workplace of local and national business clients. She is an experienced national trainer, public speaker, coach and consultant addressing the important workplace issues of diversity, leadership, behavioral and mental health, mindfulness, motivation, substance abuse, teamwork and workplace culture. She has been featured in local and national publications including TIME, Long Island Business News, Newsday and HR Benefit News discussing behavioral issues in the workplace. Aoifa is an Advisory Board member for Adelphi University’s College of Nursing, holds Co-Chair positions in both the HIA Healthcare Committee and the NAMC Corporate Committee, and is active on the SHRM-LI Program Committee.  Aoifa is a co-founder of Rayanna’s Arms, a group that sponsors needy families for Christmas, purchasing and fulfilling entire wish lists for their children.  Rayanna’s Arms has raised over $100,000 in gifts for children since 2004.



Lisa Renee Pomerantz has more than thirty years of legal and dispute resolution experience. After graduating from Harvard University and Boston University Law School, Lisa clerked for a federal judge. Following a stint as a litigation attorney, she worked for fifteen years as a senior-level in-house counsel for a major corporation. Since 2003, Lisa has practiced law in Suffolk County. She works primarily with entrepreneurs on commercial and corporate matters involving customers, vendors and collaborators, and to resolve business and employment disputes amicably and cost-effectively. She serves on the AAA's Roster of Neutrals as a commercial mediator and arbitrator and has served in a variety of leadership roles with the Association for Conflict Resolution, the New York State Dispute Resolution Association and the Suffolk County Bar Association.



Judge Susan Read is a former Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Susan was appointed by Governor George E. Pataki in 2003, and served 12 years on the appellate bench. During her tenure on the Court of Appeals, Susan has authored signed majority opinions addressing novel issues of employment and labor law including issues related to liquidated damages, the in pari delicto doctrine, and residential mortgage-backed securities. Susan has counseled clients on commercial matters and transactions and antitrust compliance, and has representing clients in grievance arbitrations and discrimination actions. In addition, she has supervised environmental litigation and negotiations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and various state environmental agencies.



David Reinman, Esq., a staff mediator with the U.S. EEOC’s New York District Office. As a mediator with the EEOC, he assists employers and current/former employees in resolving their disputes and reaching a mutually acceptable settlement agreement through mediation. Mr. Reinman proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps. He obtained his B.A. from Rutgers University and his J.D. from California Western School of Law. He earned his L.L.M. in Dispute Resolution from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Mr. Reinman has conducted trainings and frequently guest lectures on negotiation and mediation in employment discrimination disputes.



Deborah Riek, Esq., has been employed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for more years than she cares to admit.  She was an Appellate Attorney at the EEOC in Washington D.C., a trial attorney in the EEOC New York District Office, and since 1998, a mediator in the Alternative Dispute Resolution Unit in the New York District Office.  In her capacity as a mediator, Ms. Reik estimates that she has mediated more than 2,000 cases. As a mediator, she resolves disputes brought under the laws the EEOC administers: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and The Americans with Disabilities Act.  The EEOC offers early mediation, generally right after the charge has been filed. There is no charge for this service. Cases are mediated throughout the EEOC New York District, which includes all of New York State, the New England States, and the northern half of New Jersey. Ms. Reik has won several awards as a mediator, including the Federal Executive Board Distinguished Government Service Award in 2014, EEOC Sustained Performance Award in 2011, New York Federal Executive Board Alternative Dispute Resolution Award in 2005, the Congressional Certificate of Achievement, the Director’s Award in 2003, and the Special Achievement Award in 2007. She is a certified mediator through the NYU Employment Law and Mediator Skills Training in 2001. In addition to mediating at the EEOC, Ms. Reik is on the panel of mediators for the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York and the American Arbitration Association panel for Hurricane Sandy mediations.  In October 2013 she received an Edmund Muskie Fellowship to present a series of workshops on mediation in the Ukraine. She is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, magna cum laude, and the University of Connecticut Law School. She is a member of the Connecticut and New York State Bars.



Dr. Andrea Rodriguez is a clinical psychologist who is currently in private practice. Dr. Rodriguez worked for 30 years with the New York City department of education as a school psychologist and supervisor of school psychologists in diverse Brooklyn neighborhoods of Red Hook, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Fort Green, Sunset Park and Carroll Gardens. She received her doctorate in 2010 upon completion of her multi-year research project of African American boys and special education in New York City. While a supervisor for in the DOE, Dr. R developed an interest in mediation and other alternative problem solving methods because of her responsibility to settle disputes between the DOE and parents whose children were referred for special education services. Her experiences led her to advocate for and obtain multi day mediation training for all school psychologist and social workers in Community School District 15 from the Peace Institute.  At the Annual conference of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) at Jacob Javitz Center (May 16, 2016) and at NYU’s Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools Technical Assistance Center on Disproportionality Annual Summer Institute (May 19 2016). Dr. Rodriguez believes that peacemaking builds community and connection among human beings.



Erika Sasson is the director of restorative practices at the Center of Court Innovation, overseeing the Center’s restorative practice initiatives across a broad range of demonstration projects. Ms. Sasson oversaw the planning and implementation of the Red Hook peacemaking program, the first program of its kind in a state court system. Ms. Sasson is currently a site coordinator for the Center’s work on the MacArthur Safety and Justice Challenge. In this capacity, she provides technical assistance to justice system and community stakeholders addressing the overuse and misuse of jail. Ms. Sasson continues to work with the Center’s Tribal Justice Exchange, providing planning and technical assistance to tribal communities across the United States. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Ms. Sasson received her bachelor's degree in peace and conflict studies from the University of Toronto and her civil and common law degrees from McGill University. Prior to joining the Center, she worked in Toronto as a federal prosecutor, where she handled drug, gun, and gang cases. Ms. Sasson completed fellowships on monitoring and preventing torture for the National Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka, on criminal justice and civil rights for the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, and on the penal system of the indigenous Awá nation for a non-profit in Ecuador. Ms. Sasson moved to New York in 2009 to attend New York University School of Law, where she received an L.L.M. in criminal justice.



Timothy P. Shore, Vice President and Chief Ombudsman, Compliance Division, Pfizer Inc. Tim Shore joined Pfizer in 1991 as Corporate Counsel in the Labor and Employment Law Group in the Legal Division.  He later moved to the Human Resources function and spent the next 12 years supporting various business groups within the organization.  In 2009, Tim moved to the Compliance organization where he headed the U.S. Investigations Team for Primary Care, Established Products and NY Headquarters.  And then in February of 2011, Tim was selected to be Pfizer’s first-ever Ombudsman and was responsible for launching this new global function at Pfizer.  He currently leads the Office of the Ombudsman. Prior to joining Pfizer, Tim practiced labor and employment law with the law firms of Peabody and Brown (now Nixon Peabody) in Boston, MA and Roberts and Finger in New York.  He is admitted to practice in New York and Massachusetts. Tim holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Fordham University School of Law and a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the State University of New York at Oneonta.  He is also a Certified Organizational Ombudsman Practitioner (CO-OP®).




Jesan Sorrells is the author of Marketing For Peace Builders: How to Market Your Value to a World in Conflict. He is the Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant at Human Services Consulting and Training, based out of Endicott, NY. He is an adjunct instructor at Le Moyne College at the Madden School of Business. Jesan is the producer and host of The Earbud_U Podcast, focused on conflict engagement, entrepreneurship, and innovation.




Christine Straw is a community mediator and facilitator with interests in the dynamics that keep conflicts stuck and the shifts needed to move toward sustainable and satisfying solutions for all parties. She has co-developed and delivered the workshop “Mediation and the Mediator” to graduate students at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  She is certified to administer the Emotional Intelligence assessment (EQ-i 2.0). Chris is a founding Principal at ACCORD, a collaborative of conflict management and resolution specialists serving individuals and businesses. She is a graduate of the Masters of Science program in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution from Columbia University and holds an MBA.  Her focused work conflict resolution follows 20+ years working as project/program manager in government, non-profit and private organizations.



Crystal Thorpe is a mediator, trainer, co-founder and the principal of Elder Decisions® and its parent company Agreement Resources, LLC.  She facilitates family meetings for families' eager to have successful conversations, and she mediates disputes among adult family members about caregiving, living arrangements, family communication, Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies, estate planning, family real estate, and personal property distribution.  Crystal has trained hundreds of mediators from around the world in the growing field of Elder & Adult Family Mediation. She has presented seminars and workshops for the the Association for Conflict Resolution, the New York State Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs section, and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, among others; and has been quoted in The New York Times and other national press.  She and her colleagues co-authored the book Mom Always Liked You Best:  A Guide for Resolving Family Feuds, Inheritance Battles & Eldercare Crises.



Joan C. Waters joined Columbia University as ombuds officer in April 2014. Prior to Columbia, Joan served as an Associate General Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel at The City University of New York.  Joan started her legal career in civil litigation in Manhattan and Westchester practicing management-side labor and employment litigation. In 2001 and again in 2008, Joan was elected to serve as the Village Justice for the Village of Sleepy Hollow, presiding over the weekly docket of civil, criminal, small claims and vehicle and traffic matters as well as bench and jury trials. During this time she was also the managing partner and then sole proprietor of a small legal practice with a particular focus on mediation and collaborative law. Currently, Joan is an elected school board trustee for the Pocantico Hills Central School District in Sleepy Hollow New York and a member of the Xavier High School Board of Trustees, a private all-male college preparatory school located in Chelsea, Manhattan. Since joining Columbia Joan has become a member of the International Ombudsman Association.

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