Selecting a mediator involves more than relying on a resume. You may want a sense of the “person” before retaining that him or her as your mediator.
A product of public schools in Wisconsin, Denise graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where she majored in economics. She became especially interested in what is now often referred to as “behavioral economics,” focusing on why people make the decisions they do, and why they often are not purely rational.
After receiving her BA, she attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she enrolled in the relatively new Masters in Public Policy Program. The program involved a structured first year of highly quantitative programs, with a second year of electives. There she also worked as a teaching assistant in microeconomics, and lectured in economics for the summer Mason Fellows Program, teaching government officials from developing countries. She also spent a summer working in Washington, DC for the Council on Wage and Price Stability, headed by Alfred Kahn, then the Carter Administration’s “inflation czar.”
From the Kennedy School, Denise went to work at the Cambridge-based consulting firm, Urban Systems Research and Engineering, where she analyzed various public programs for state and federal agency clients and made recommendations about how they could be improved.
Denise soon learned of Professor Lawrence Susskind’s ground-breaking work at the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program in public policy mediation. After volunteering at the program part-time, she was promoted within three months to a salaried position as Associate Director of the program.
She subsequently enrolled at The Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude while serving as an Editor on the Harvard Law Review. With a good friend, she entered and won the prize for Best Agreement in the Williston Negotiation Competition. She also clerked at the law firms Goodwin Procter (Boston, MA), Nagashima & Ohno (Tokyo, Japan) and Allen Allen & Hemsley (Sydney, Australia). All firms were among the most respected firms in their cities.
After working as an associate Arnold & Porter in Washington, DC, with a practice focused on intellectual property, she returned to mediation to work with Jonathan Marks at the pioneering ADR firm of EnDispute, Inc. in Washington, DC. Her practice there focused on complex commercial cases in litigation and multi-party public policy disputes for federal government agencies. EnDispute eventually merged with JAMS in the mid-1990’s.
On a more personal note: Denise loves her dogs, travel, outdoor activities including hiking and cross-country skiing, art and choral singing. In Washington D.C., she sang with the highly regarded symphonic chorus, the Washington Choral Arts Society, which performed regular concerts at the Kennedy Center, and special concerts at Lincoln Center and the Spoleto Music Festival in Italy and with the National Symphony in Moscow and St. Petersburg (while army tanks surrounded the Russian Parliament; that was a wild trip). Years later, she would rejoin the chorus for a special performance with Eiji Oue conducting at the Jackson Hole Music Festival. She now sings with the Angeles Chorale in Los Angeles.