Kirk Emerson was appointed Director of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution in 1998 by the Board of Trustees of the Morris K. Udall Foundation. She has overseen the strategic direction, organizational development and program administration of the Institute since its inception. She is responsible for the overall performance and management of the Institute and represents the Institute broadly. Kirk is directly involved in selected cases and projects, devoting most of her professional time to early case consultation, process design, and facilitation of interagency conflicts. In addition, Kirk works with federal agencies in developing other ECR programs through strategic planning, training, system design and program evaluation. Prior to her work at the U.S. Institute, Kirk developed and coordinated the environmental conflict resolution program at The University of Arizona's Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy, where she conducted research, taught, and directed several conflict management and public involvement projects involving water resources, endangered species, and western range policies. Kirk has taught graduate and undergraduate courses on conflict resolution and environmental law and has written on environmental mediation, land use law, and environmental policy. She received the William Anderson Award from the American Political Science Association for her dissertation on regulatory takings and state property rights laws in 1998.