Brad Heckman

Brad Heckman

Brad Heckman is Chief Executive Officer of the New York Peace Institute, one of the nation's largest conflict resolution services.  He's also an Adjunct Professor at New York University’s Center for Global Affairs, where he teaches courses on international conflict resolution and organizational development.  His teaching style includes subjecting students to his childlike drawings and arcane pop culture references

Brad previously served as International Director of Partners for Democratic Change, for which he helped build the first community peacebuilding centers in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, South Caucasus, and the former Soviet Union.  He worked extensively with the Roma – commonly known as Gypsy – communities in Eastern Europe, and subsequently made several ill-fated attempts to learn to play Roma music on the accordion.  He was also a Vice President of Safe Horizon, a leading victims services and violence prevention agency.  In that capacity, he oversaw the agency’s Mediation, Families of Homicide Victims, Legal Services, Anti-Trafficking, Batterers Intervention, and Anti-Stalking Programs.  

Brad received a Master of Arts in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Dickinson College.  He blogs for the New York Peace Institute.

Contact Brad Heckman


Articles and Video:

A Quoteload of Sketches (10/24/16)
These are a collection of sketches and inspirational quotes by Brad Heckman of the New York Peace Institute, such as "We have never arrived. We are in a constant state of becoming." — Bob Dylan (Nobel Laureate!).

Whatever You Do, Don't Buy a Discount Baboon (01/15/16)
My job in PA was to listen to people’s legal troubles and align them with an affordable attorney. One day, I got a call from a client who had been trying, with no luck, to find an attorney with experience with “monkey cases.”

Police Academy IX: This Time It’s Interpersonal (12/19/14)
The New York Peace Institute recently conducted a mediation training for the NYPD. They have kindly shared how the training went, tips and tricks for training, and some insights into the cross-over between police and mediation.

Mediation and Mindfully Getting in the Middle (Redux) - Video (08/26/14)
In this insightful talk, Brad Heckman discusses mindfulness in conflict mediation. Using poignant humor and his own hand-drawn illustrations, Heckman effectively communicates the necessary balance of emotions, relief and reflection that mindfulness supports in the mediation process.

Mediation Monster Mash-up (09/30/13)
To quote Frankenstein’s monster, FIRE BAD. Mediators take a different view. We fearlessly go toward the heat in conflict, giving our clients a safe space for tough conversations…no matter how scary. Here’s a round-up of my Halloween tweets quoting mediators working with monstrous, er, misunderstood, clients.

PEACE OF MIND: Brad Heckman ’89 mediates the local with the global (08/02/13)
Brad Heckman ’89 laughs and admits that, although amusing, the Wedding Crashers interpretation is inaccurate. Instead, mediation is serious business: it’s an opportunity for two parties to meet, discuss and reach their own agreement with the help of the mediator—a neutral third party trained in conflict resolution. For Heckman, running the largest mediation organization in New York City is the logical result of years of traveling and a diligent commitment to providing conflict-resolution opportunities to communities in the United States and abroad.

How Do You Quiet a Noisy landlord? (10/26/12)
I am a tenant in a garden apartment of a brownstone in Brooklyn. My landlords live above me, and while I like the family very much, they have two children that are becoming an increasing disruption.

Mensch of the month! Dr. Tammy Lenski (10/02/12)
Dr. Tammy Lenski! You just won the prestigious Mary Parker Follet Award, which makes you a big deal around here. Congrats! And you told a delightfully unorthodox story in your acceptance speech. Care to share a snippet?

How to Cure Beef in Your Apartment (05/14/12)
Folks, here’s an article in the current TimeOut New York about roommate conflicts, with tips by yours truly and my colleague Sheila Sproule, Prez of the Association for Conflict Resolution of Greater New York. Dealing with roommates: How to resolve three common space-sharing problems.

Extremely Sketchy and Incredibly Graphic (02/28/12)
I recently joined NYC Sketchnoters Group, and tonight is our second meeting. Sketchnoting is all about using usual visual images — drawings, symbols, shapes, icons, color, etc. — to record ideas and convey meanings. For visual thinkers, it’s a great companion piece to traditional chicken scratch note-taking. Visuals for Change founder Amanda Lyons helms the group, and for a mere 10 bucks, you get yourself an evening of shame-free sketchnoting and infotaining interactive exercises.

Guest Blogger: Ashok Panikkar on the Right to Offend (02/13/12)
Here’s a guest post from my friend and peacebuilding agent provocateur Ashok Panikkar, Executive Director of the Indian conflict resolution organization Meta-Culture. I’m not sure I agree with everything he says below. But he is quite persuasive…even moreso in person, where he’ll augment his reasoning with infectious laughter and impish charm.

Remembering Ray Shonholtz (01/16/12)
This week we lost a great peacebuilding visionary and pioneer, Raymond Shonholtz. I, along with many others, lost a friend, teacher, partner and mentor. As founder of Community Boards, Ray practically invented the modern community mediation center — transforming the idea from a quasi-court apparatus to full-service hub for community dialogue, intergroup conciliation, and peer mediation — using mediators who reflect the diversity of the community.

Guest Blogger! Ray Shonholtz on Occupy Wall Street (01/10/12)
Folks, enjoy my very first guest blogger, mediation visionary Raymond Shonholtz, founder of Partners for Democratic Change and Community Boards. Ray based this post on his keynote address at the Oregon Mediation Association conference on November 4th.

Reflections on our First Half Year (12/27/11)
Folks, I’d like to reflect on the amazing, whirlwind year that’s coming to a close. We officially became the New York Peace Institute this year, building upon three decades as a Safe Horizon program.

Peaceful, Devilish, Stalinesque and Grotesque Museums (11/07/11)
So it’s about time we honor peace as a New York thing with our very own Peace Museum, and join our brethren in cities all over the world.

On Halloween, Masks, and Mediation. (10/31/11)
A colleague of mine mediated a particularly difficult noise complaint (we get tons of these in NYC) between neighbors, and the conflict only escalated during the session. I don’t remember the specifics of the case (nor would I violate clients’ confidentiality anyway), so let’s say it was between an upstairs nocturnal flamenco dancer — what with the stompy shoes and clattering castanets — and a downstairs curmudgeonly insomniac, down to his last Ambien.