Ann Gosline Interview
Recorded by Robert Benjamin on June 26, 2019
Ann Gosline: The Wider Influence of Mediation and Negotiative Thinking Beyond Practice
After receiving her B.A. degree from Stanford University and a J.D. degree from Northeastern University School of Law, and practiced labor law for a few years and then gravitated into work as a mediator, arbitrator, and facilitator. For some 30 years, she successfully practiced, wrote books and articles that are still referenced, and became a recognized expert in not only labor arbitration and mediation, but in the management of complex technical and scientific matters. Together with her business partner, Jonathan Reitman, their firm managed countless public policy issues concerning environmental quality, climate change, health care, commercial dealings, transportation planning, wetlands protection and watershed restoration, among many others. She is on the Roster of Environmental Conflict Resolution Practitioners maintained by the U.S. Institute For Environmental Conflict Resolution.
In roughly 2010, however, she shifted roles and devoted herself to focusing on issues of climate change, biodiversity, sustainable development and how way people live, work, and use resources in vastly different terrains of the Arizona desert and Maine Woodlands. And, like many others who began in the formal practice of dispute resolution, Ann began to venture beyond the defined disciplinary roles. Nevertheless, Ann’s acquired negotiative and systemic thinking frame and approach acquired in her earlier work remains strongly apparent in her present roles. This suggests that even if less formally acknowledged, the mindset of the work continues to influence our surrounding culture and politics, especially with regard to managing the existential matters we currently face as a society.