Howard Bellman

Howard Bellman

Howard Bellman received his law degree from the University of Cincinnati and an L.L.M. in labor law from New York University. He served as Secretary to Wisconsin's Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations under Governor Tony Earl's administration. He has extensive national and international mediation experience. He has mediated complex multi-party disputes for the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Park Service, the States of Wisconsin, New York, New Jersey, Washington, and Florida. He has served as guest lecturer at Cornell, Minnesota, Oberlin, Harvard, Yale, and the University of Wisconsin. He is on the Advisory committee of the American Arbitration Association Global Center for Dispute Resolution Research and was one of twelve mediators featured in the 1994 volume When Talk Works. He is a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators, the Association for Conflict Resolution, and Wisconsin and Ohio Bar Associations.



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Articles and Video:

Personal Histories in Conflict Resolution Interview Series: Howard Bellman (12/14/21)
From the interview series -- a conversation with Howard Bellman about his chapter in the book "Evolution of a Field: Personal Histories in Conflict Resolution."

Mediation Past, Present, and Future (06/01/20)
Howard Bellman speaks of how the mediation field has become more mainstream, though it's original intention was to be more radical and counter-culture. He believes the field will continue to grow.

What Success is in Mediation (12/10/19)
Howard Bellman describes what he does to be successful in resolving a dispute. He uses the term "(doing) just enough" to end in a settlement.

Mediating With Intuition (09/25/19)
Howard Bellman talks about mediating in stressful circumstances where politics, personality, and/or emotions are high. Gifted mediators combine talent and training to be able to handle those situations in an intuitive way.

Mediators Use Instinct (07/15/19)
Howard Bellman talks about how little training and literature there was about mediation and being trained by senior mediators who used their instinct, which led him to mediate by instinct.

Interview with Howard Bellman - Views from the Eye of the Storm (04/16/18)
This is the complete interview by Robert Benjamin with Howard Bellman, a long-time leader in the field of labor-management mediation and mediation in the public sector generally, filmed as part of's 'Views from the Eye of the Storm' Video Series.

It’s Been A Trip and We're Not There Yet (03/26/15)
It seems I have reached the point in my career when those who would be historians ask for my recollections, assessment of the state of the art and vision of the future. Here is my polite reply, including my very personal description of our earliest days, some aspects of our evolution and the future as I would prefer it, not how I predict it. I would only add that I don’t know the dimensions of the learning curve we are on and I prefer to believe that despairing over unachieved goals is premature. Optimism, patience and tenacity ought to come naturally to mediators.

Howard Bellman: Views on Society and Conflict - Video (07/03/10)
Howard Bellman describes his politics regarding mediation and conflict within a society. His view is that a society should be diverse and accepting of different opinions and viewpoints, a society where conflict is allowed, yet they are addressed.

Howard Bellman: Labor Disputes and Public Strikes - Video (09/27/09)
Howard Bellman describes his start in mediation working for the state agency in Wisconsin mediating public strikes.

Howard Bellman: Justice and Autonomy in Mediation - Video (09/27/09)
Howard Bellman discusses the fact that he doesn't think justice is being served much of the time, however, the focus is the autonomy of the parties and if they're satisfied, the process is justified.

Howard Bellman: Stimulation of Mediating Early On - Video (09/27/09)
Howard Bellman describes his early days mediating strikes in Wisconsin. He felt he was providing an important service for the public and liked the stimulation of helping the creative process while the field was forming.

Howard Bellman: Learning to Mediate - Video (09/27/09)
Howard Bellman speaks of how he learned to mediate mostly as an apprentice. He saw the potential of the work and early on, mediated with private businesses represented by sophisticated negotiators who he let "play him", using music analogy.

Howard Bellman: Process of Analysis and "Treatment" of Mediation Cases - Video (09/27/09)
Howard Bellman talks about how he analyzes cases using a metaphor of treatment and diagnosis. He compares the analytical process between complicated, multi-party mediations to less complex mediations.

Howard Bellman: Mediation Work and Drumming - Video (04/16/09)
Howard Bellman describes mediation work using the analogy of a drummer in a rhythm section: both have structure, influence, judgement, and a stabilizing effect.

Mediator Proflie: Howard Bellman (02/26/01)
"I absolutely love this work. It requires developed skills as well as intuition and some risk taking. We work with individuals and organizations who are important to our society, and we contribute to the civility of our culture. We are in a position to help demonstrate that a diverse society can respect and consider conflicting philosophies without coming apart. "


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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Bellman, Howard
Complete hour-long interview of Howard Bellman by Robert Benjamen.