Howard Gadlin

Howard Gadlin

Howard Gadlin is the former Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution, at the National Institutes of Health since the beginning of 1999. Before that, from 1992 through 1998, he was University Ombudsperson and Adjunct Professor of Education at UCLA. He was also director of the UCLA Conflict Mediation Program and co-director of the Center for the Study and Resolution of Interethnic/Interracial Conflict. While in Los Angeles, he served as well as Consulting Ombudsman to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Prior to moving to Los Angeles Dr. Gadlin was Ombudsperson and Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has also served as Chair of the Coalition of Federal Ombudsmen. and Chair of the Federal Inter-agency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group Steering Committee. Dr. Gadlin is past President of the University and College Ombuds Association and of The Ombudsman Association (TOA).

An experienced mediator, trainer and consultant, he has years of experience working with conflicts related to race, ethnicity and gender, including sexual harassment. At present he is developing new approaches to addressing conflicts among scientists. He is often called in as a consultant/mediator in “intractable” disputes. He has designed and conducted training programs internationally in dispute resolution, sexual harassment and multicultural conflict. In recent years he has concentrated on developing approaches to addressing conflicts among scientists. With his colleague, Dr. Michelle Bennett, he is conducting trainings and workshops on Team Science and Collaboration at Medical Research Centers and Universities throughout North America. He is the author, among other writings, of “Conflict, Cultural Differences, and the Culture of Racism,” and “Mediating Sexual Harassment.” He is the co-author of the “On Neutrality: What An Organizational Ombudsman Might Want to Know” and was Guest Editor of a Negotiation Journal section entitled “The Many, Different and Complex Roles Played by Ombudsmen in Dispute Resolution.” His most recent writings include “Collaboration and Team Science: A Field Guide.”

Contact Howard Gadlin

Articles and Video:

Personal Histories in Conflict Resolution Interview Series: Howard Gadlin (12/28/21)
From the interview series -- a conversation with Howard Gadlin about his chapter in the book :"Evolution of a Field: Personal Histories in Conflict Resolution." Great Reads Book Club - Dispute Systems Design with Janet Martinez and Lisa Amsler (11/09/21)
Recording of's Great Reads Book Club with Prof. Janet Martinez and Prof. Lisa Amsler talking about their book (written with Stephanie Smith) Dispute Systems Design, hosted by Howard Gadlin.

Interview with Howard Gadlin (03/05/20)
This is a new interview of Howard Gadlin, long-time leading Ombudsman at UCLA and the National Institute of Health (NIH), by Robert Benjamin as part of Mediate's video series "The Future of Mediation and Negotiation in Our Culture, Politics and Society."

Ombudsman vs. Mediator (01/20/20)
Howard Gadlin discusses the difference between a mediator's role and an ombudsman's role. Ombudsman uses mediation as a tool, but their role is to assist a group of people within an organization to identify the organization's policies and regulations that are causing internal conflict, then make recommendations.

Mediation as a Force for Social Change (11/25/19)
Howard Gadlin discusses his view of the mediation field early on. He felt that his interest in activist issues went along with the field, by using it as a force for social change, addressing questions of justice, and making democracy more meaningful and participatory.

Interview with Howard Gadlin - Views from the Eye of the Storm (04/23/18)
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Howard Gadlin, former Ombudsman and Director of the Center for Cooperative Resolution at the National Institutes of Health since 1999, filmed as part of's 'Views from the Eye of the Storm' Video Series.

Truths in Advertising (01/26/15)
Several times in the course of my life I’ve been involved with a cohort of people who envisioned themselves as a possible vanguard of fundamental social change even while they were pursuing professional careers In fact, many of the early mediation practitioners were also veterans of civil rights and anti-war activities who were drawn to ADR as an alternative path to justice, equality, and social change.

From Howard Gadlin (10/18/13)
Indispensable is the most apt word. An easy way to keep up with the latest developments in the mediation. there is always something interesting and always something worthwhile. Congratulations!

From Howard Gadlin (10/12/11)
To be honest, for some time I was a skeptic. I questioned the value of publishing articles that had not been rigorously peer-reviewed. But I found myself checking out every issue and invariably i found something I wanted to read. provides a forum for people interested in conflict resolution to test out a wide range of ideas from those that are only tentatively formulated to those that are fully developed. There is nothing else like and that is why it is an invaluable resource.

Howard Gadlin: Institutionalization of Mediation - Video (06/12/10)
Howard Gadlin describes how the field has changed from people going into mediation from diverse academic backgrounds while covering overlapping problems, to becoming more institutionalized, lacking possibilities for, or connections to, new social movements.

Howard Gadlin: Highlights of Mediating - Video (05/22/10)
Howard Gadlin discusses situations in mediation that have made him feel good about mediating: the craft of framing concepts, which help lead people to solve their own disputes; also, being able to help resolve a dispute that benefits more than the two parties and their own causes.

Howard Gadlin: Future of Mediation Profession - Video (03/28/10)
Howard Gadlin discusses where he sees the mediation field heading in the next 25 years. It will become another reasonably established profession, credentialing standards will develop, standards and guidelines will formalize.

Howard Gadlin: Dealing with Different Value Systems - Video (01/22/10)
Howard Gadlin discusses the challenges of working with people who are authoritarian, oppressive, racist, unethical, exploitive. His first technique in dealing with these people is repressing his own biases and judgements, then listening and trying to understand their perspective.

Howard Gadlin: Neutrality as Goal for Ombudsman - Video (08/25/09)
Howard Gadlin discusses how neutrality is not necessarily a quality of an ombudsman, rather it is one of three pillars and an aspiration in their work.

Howard Gadlin: Scientists' Motivation to Resolve Conflict - Video (07/22/09)
Howard Gadlin speaks of the motivation that scientists have in getting conflicts resolved, as they need a fully functional and efficient work space in order to be competitive in their field.

Howard Gadlin: Training Should Include More Empirical Research - Video (07/22/09)
Howard Gadlin talks about training: from an academic's bias (admittedly) he believes training should be "grounded more in solid theoretical formulations" with empirical research.

Howard Gadlin: Background in Psychology has Helped - Video (07/09/09)
Howard Gadlin talks about how his training in clinical psychology helped him to learn how to ask questions, recognize emotions, and develop relationship dynamics in his work as an ombudsman and mediator.

Howard Gadlin: Mediation in Management Techniques - Video (05/22/09)
Howard Gadlin talks about how mediation may become part of a management technique within organizations. He also voices his concern of abusing mediation when it sometimes reaches that management stage.

Howard Gadlin: Empowering Social Change - Video (03/25/09)
Howard Gadlin talks about how United States culture and society often represses ideological change and how the ombudsmen field has not changed in the last 20 years.


The Mediators: Views from the Eye of the Storm Vol. I
Views from the Eye of the Storm

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

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Gadlin, Howard
Complete hour-long interview of Howard Gadlin by Robert Benjamin.