The Center’s Practice Team is dedicated to the active involvement of students in as many aspects of the pre-intervention, intervention and post intervention work of the center. Our “pracademic” philosophy is based on two complimentary ideas. The first is to create a “teaching hospital” model whereby we strive to have students take an active role in our casework management from intake to exit, evaluation and diffusion. The second part of our philosophy encompasses the need to continuously examine the latest research and theoretical assumptions that impact our evolving practice techniques so that we can then take back into the classroom setting.

The Practice team helps to close the circle between teaching and research by providing hands on experiential learning that’s constituted the “art” component of conflict resolution and peace building.


In late 2000, Pete Swanson and Brian Polkinghorn created the practice team.  The team structure is modeled loosely off the Conflict Clinic, a program we were associated with in graduate school, as well as ideas Brian picked up while at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard University Law School.  The practice team is composed of folks with diverse skills and mindsets but collectively have an enthusiasm for assisting in  complex problem solving endeavors. These traits are needed in order to effectively take part in long-term international projects.

The practice team works around the globe on a variety of projects relating to civil society programs, training government leaders in various international bargaining processes, union-management negotiations, building national court based mediation programs and designing internal dispute resolution systems for state and federal agencies.  In some instances our commitment to a project is relatively short in duration.  For example see a summary of work done in Kazakhstan (.PDF file) while in others we have been involved in large-scale change processes that have lasted years.  An example of a long-term commitment to an international project can be seen in the work we have done in Croatia (.PDF file).  We have also managed long-term large-scale projects in the United States over the construction of major federal facilities and working with American Indian tribal leaders in Alaska.  These projects have been personally and professionally rewarding in that we have been a part of change processes that impact major policy decisions.

Collectively we have worked in over 50 countries and regions including Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India, Kashmir, Bosnia, Israel, the West Bank, Tibet, Ireland, South Africa, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Kosovo, the Philippines, Hong Kong, China and Russia.  Each of these places holds specific challenges that require collaboration and coordination as well as area expertise along with proven conflict analysis and intervention skills.  Our philosophy is to work with people who possess the expert knowledge, experience and credibility in these parts of the world, most often local experts, whom we assist in their overall change process.

Practice Staff

The principle members of the team are:

Domestic and International Applications

The following grid provides examples of some of our local, national and international projects, trainings, and workshops.  Please note that in many of the local cases we directly involve students in the Conflict Analysis and Dispute Resolution major.

Local National International
  1. Business Disputes
  2. Labor Management
  3. Environmental
  1. American Indian and United States Government Talks
  1. Israel
  2. Panama Canal
  3. Saudi Arabia Contractors
  4. NATO Contracts
  5. Germany
  6. Croatia
Local National International
  1. Campus Mediation
  2. Community Mediation
  3. Peer Mediation
  4. Business
  5. Environmental
  1. Contact Disputes
  2. EEOC Class Complaints
  3. Environmental
  4. Governance
  5. Multi-State Wide Environmental Disputes
  1. Israel
  2. Panama Canal
  3. Saudi Arabia Contractors
  4. NATO Contracts
  5. Germany
  6. Croatia
Local National International
Regulatory, Negotiation & Facilitation N/A
  1. National Indian Gaming Commission: Minimum Internal Control Standards
  2. National Indian Gaming Commission: Environmental, Health and Safety Standards
  3. US Department of the Interior: Indian Road Rule
  4. US Department of the Interior: Tribal Self-Governance
  5. US Department of the Interior: Tribal Self-determination (638 Tribal Self-determination)
  6. Self-Governance
  7. Indian Housing
  8. Public Health and Safety Standards on Tribal Gaming Facilities
  9. Outdoor Play Areas (accessibility)
  10. Outdoor (accessibility)
  11. Multi-Employer Benefits Plans
  12. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Local National International
  1. Loxahatchee Wildlife Nature Reserve
  2. Manokin River Action Strategy (MD)
  3. Village of Wellington (FL)
  4. State Highway Partnering
  5. Federal Partnering
  6. Alaskin Native Tribal Health Consortium/Indian Health Services
  7. Maryland Evaluation Summit
  8. Town of Wellington (FL) Vision 2016 Process
  9. Various Site Specific Environmental Disputes in NY, FL, SC, OR
  10. Governor’s Nutrient Management Summit
  11. School Board
  12. MDA Tributary Team Public Meetings
  1. US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs: Tribal Energy Discussion
  2. EEO Systems Design
  3. ABA Confidentiality Committee
  4. White House Conference on Science
  1. Bosnia-Herzegovina (FMCS)
  2. Bosnia-Herzegovina (FMCS)
  3. Bosnia-Herzegovina (free-passage issues)
  4. Indonesia Contracts
Local National International
Training or Workshop Samples
  1. Bowie State University (certificate program in ADR)
  2. Anerican University (International Peace and Conflit Resolution Program)
  3. Indiana University (School of Public and Environmental Affairs)
  4. Syracuse University (Summer Institute for Creative Conflict Resolution)
  5. George Washington University (Law School ADR Program)
  6. California Poly Tech
  7. Harvard University (Program on Negotiation and the Kennedy School)
  8. Federal Bar Association
  9. Ohio Office of Dispute Resolution
  10. Arkansas Department of Transportation
  1. National Transportation Institute
  2. Army JAG School
  3. Air Force Institute
  4. Defense Acquisition Institute
  5. Construction Super Conference
  6. American Bar Conference
  7. Internal Revenue Service
  8. State Department
  9. Department of the Interior
  10. Federal Bureau of Investigation
  11. Central Intelligence Agency
  12. Department of Health and Human Services
  13. Department of Transportation
  14. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  15. Equal Opportunity Commission ( plus advanced mediation training)
  16. Department of the Army
  17. Department of the Navy
  18. Department of Air Force
  19. Department of Defense
  1. Bosnia Herzegovina
  2. Guatemala
  3. India
  4. Japan (3 events)
  5. Korea (2 events)
  6. Croatia (6 events)
  7. Greece (2 events)
  8. Sweden (2 events)
  9. Cyrus
  10. Dominican Republic
  11. Argentina (3 events)
  12. Panama (3 events)
  13. Canada (2 events)
  14. Chile (4 events)
  15. South Africa (4 events
  16. Israel (4 events)
Local National International
Institutional Partnering
  1. Maryland Highway
  2. National Institutes of Health
  3. COE
  4. Construction Companies
  1. AGC/COE Task Force
  2. ABA Book
  3. CPR IT Task Force
Local National International
  1. Police
  2. Education
  3. Construction
Local National International
Dispute Systems Design
  1. Local Universities
  2. Alaskan Tribal Health Consortium/Indian Health Service
  1. Social Security Administration
  2. Department of the Interior
  3. Internal Revenue Service
  4. Department of Transportation
  5. Department of Labor
  6. Social Security Administration
  1. Croatia
  2. Bulgaria
  3. Kazakhstan
Local National International
  1. Construction Law
  2. Peace Curriculum in University Settings
  3. ADR in the Maryland Court System
  1. Regulatory Negotiations (US EPA and Department of the Interior)
  2. ADR Construction Dispute Review Board
  3. Government Contracting
  4. Review of Practices in Graduate CR Programs
  1. Conflict Styles in South Africa, Israel, Bosnia and Northern Ireland
  2. Foreign Military Sales
  3. Building Positive Peace: World Boy and Girl Scouting Jamboree, Santiago Chile, December 1998
Local National International
Notable Practice/Process Oriented Presentations
  1. Maryland Evaluation Summit
  2. Work Place Conference (x6)
  1. Office of Personnel Management Blue Ribbon Panel on ADR workplace
  2. Federal Dispute Resolution Conference (x7+)
  3. ACR (x2)
  4. ISA (x2)
  5. PSA (x3)
  6. NCPCR (x6)
  7. APPM
  8. APSA (x2)
  9. ABA (x3)
  10. US EEOC Headquarters
  11. Cornell University (PERC)
  12. Harvard University (PON)
  13. GSA (x9)
  14. University of Utah (Conflict Resolution Program)
  15. Colgate University (Peace Studies and SOAN Departments)
  1. International Peace Research Association PRA (South Africa)
  2. International Group Tensions Conference
  3. International Coral Reef Monitoring, Assessment and Restoration Conference
  4. University of Ljubjana (Slovenia)
  5. Hebrew University
  6. Tel Aviv University
  7. Ben Gurion University
  8.  Bar Ilan University
  9. Haiffa University
  10. University of Natal
  11. London School of Economics
  12. Queens University Belfast
  13. Irish School of Ecumenics
  14. University of Durban Westville
  15. University De Norte (Colombia)
  16. Carlton University (Canada)