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Bernard Mayer

Bernard Mayer

Bernard Mayer, Ph.D., is Professor at the Werner Institute for Negotiation and Dispute Resolution at Creighton University, a Partner at CDR Associates in Boulder and an internationally-recognized leader in the field of conflict resolution. A skilled mediator, Dr. Mayer has facilitated many complex and highly controversial environmental conflicts, commercial and organizational disputes, planning and development issues, and public decision-making processes.

Dr. Mayer has worked with federal, local and state agencies on designing and facilitating intergovernmental dialogue and public participation procedures on land use, water policy, solid waste management, shared infrastructure, wildlife management, environmental protection, Superfund allocation and cleanup issues, municipal financing and taxation policies, transportation, and resource allocation.

In addition to the projects summarized below, Mayer has worked with the Bureau of Reclamation on handling public input processes and intergovernmental disputes concerning the Central Arizona Project, the Denver Regional Council of Governments to facilitate the coordination of city and county master plans for a five-county region, the State of California as a facilitator of the California Growth Management Project, the City of Denver on a highly emotional issue regarding the placement of public housing in the community, the City of Boulder Planning Department where he co-designed a public participation procedure which involved gathering broad community input for long-term regional planning issues, including transportation, growth, environmental protection, economic development and similar issues, on designing better internal communication procedures around the management of large construction contracts, and the cities of Denver and Aurora as a facilitator of a citizen input process regarding solid waste management projects.

He has provided consultation, mediation, facilitation and training for many federal, state and local agencies including the U.S. EPA, Minerals Management Service, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Defense, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as for numerous governmental departments and agencies of the State of Colorado. He has mediated disputes among governmental agencies and corporations about shared infrastructure, and disputes between Native American governments, other governmental entities, and private corporations.

Dr. Mayer is internationally recognized as a trainer and an innovative leader in applying mediation and conflict resolution to human service arenas and particularly to disputes between public agencies and involuntary clients. He has taught courses or seminars for the University of Colorado, University of Denver, Harvard University, University of Missouri, Windsor University, Colorado State University, University of Warsaw (Poland), the Budapest College of Economics (Hungary), and many other educational institutions. Dr. Mayer has conducted conflict management training and consultations for the Environmental Protection Agency, the Minerals Management Service, the Department of the Interior, and the Department of Defense, as well as for numerous governmental departments and agencies of the State of Colorado. Mayer has consulted on conflict management procedures and trained mediators, negotiators, and conflict intervenors throughout the United States and Canada, and in Australia, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, and New Zealand.

Dr. Mayer has been involved in labor management negotiations as a representative of both labor and management at different stages in his career. He worked with a major professional association and several labor organizations developing interest-based negotiations of collective bargaining contracts; participated as a negotiator in labor management negotiations as a member of a collective bargaining unit and later as administrator in an organization involved in labor negotiations. He facilitated an extended intervention to resolve deeply divisive issues between management and union officials within a government institution. He has mediated a large number of disputes including employee grievances, client/agency, consumer complaints and employee/employer disputes. Prior to his work with CDR Associates, he has had experience bargaining for both management and unions.

Contact Bernard Mayer


Articles and Video:

Staying with Conflict: The Challenge of Engagement in the Face of Enduring Disputes - video and materials (08/20/12)
In his keynote address, Professor Mayer explores some of the characteristics and dilemmas of enduring conflict and ways that conflict resolvers can shift the narrative from one of prevention, management, and resolution to one of anticipation, support and engagement.

Interview with Bernie Mayer (04/23/12)
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Bernie Mayer, co-founder of CDR Associates in Boulder and an instructor at Creighton's Werner Institute, filmed for the " Eye of the Storm" Video series.

Bernard Mayer: Mediators not Making Big Enough Difference - Video (07/17/10)
Bernard Mayer explains that his biggest concern is that mediators are not making a big enough difference in larger, current conflicts. He offers two reasons for this.

Bernie Mayer: Success in Seizing the Moment - Video (04/29/10)
Bernie Mayer describes that he feels most successful in mediations where he has a good sense of timing which enables him to seize a moment. He uses a case as an example to demonstrate this seizing of the moment.

Bernie Mayer: Participatory Democracy is Motivation to Mediate - Video (03/18/10)
Bernie Mayer describes his motivation as a mediator which involves promoting participatory democracy, empowering people to control the outcomes of the crises in their own lives.

Mayer, Bernie: Advice to Aspiring Mediators - Video (07/18/09)
Bernie Mayer discusses what qualities are necessary in aspiring mediators before coming into the field: one should be comfortable with conflict, not be naive, have the ability to understand subtle levels of communication, and have a background with real-world experience.

Mayer, Bernie: Bad Mediation Training - Video (04/18/09)
Bernie Mayer talks about mediation training programs that are doing a disservice to people. These invlove trainings that mostly focus on scripts, procedures, and tactics that serve too narrow a view for mediators in training.

Beyond Neutrality (07/26/04)
Conflict resolution as a field is facing a serious crisis, and the way in which this crisis is approached will determine the future shape of the field— indeed, its very existence. This is the first chapter of an important and provocative book.


Featuring 27 of the most experienced family mediators in the world.  

Sections: Inspiration, Techniques In The Room, Supporting Children, Styles And Models, The Future, Training & Certification

150 MIN., 48 MIN & 11 MIN. VERSIONS INCLUDED - (2006) ISBN # 1-933857-07-2

This video is also available by online streaming here

DVDs are available for shipment to the United States and Canada. International purchasers are asked to order the online streaming version of this resource at


Featuring 31 of the most experienced mediators in the world.

This two-hour DVD is a "highlight" film of compelling commentary from pioneers and leaders in the field of mediation.

(2006) ISBN # 1-933857-04-8

This video is also available by online streaming here

DVDs are available for shipment to the United States and Canada. International purchasers are asked to order the online streaming version of this resource at

click here for a larger image
Mayer, Bernie
Complete hour-long interview of Bernard Mayer by Robert Benjamin.

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