Merri L. Hanson

Merri L. Hanson Merri L. Hanson is the Director of Peninsula Mediation & ADR in Williamsburg and Hampton Virginia. Peninsula Mediation & ADR provides a comprehensive range of mediation services for family, workplace, EEO, ADA, business, and commercial disputes. Under Merri’s direction, Peninsula Mediation & ADR manages ADR contracts and service delivery throughout the United States and Hawaii for the Department of Navy, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Transportation. Merri also serves on the mediation and ADR training rosters for NASA, the U. S. Air Force, the U. S. Army, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Justice ADA Program (through the Key Bridge Foundation), and el Centro Interdisciplinario para el Manejo de Conflictos, A.C. in Mexico City. Ms. Hanson holds certification for all levels of mediation by the Supreme Court of Virginia (#58) and multiple Supreme Court of Virginia certified training courses in addition to teaching mediation and ADR survey at the Marshall Wythe School of Law, College of William and Mary. Merri is a certified facilitator for the Conflict Dynamics Profile (Eckerd College) and the Strength Deployment Inventory. Merri serves the Virginia Department of Forestry as a consultant, trainer and mediator under the Virginia Dispute Resolution Act, and on the Virginia U. S. Department of Agriculture Mediation roster. Merri’s family mediation trainings courses are also approved by the Association for Conflict Resolution, Family Section (of which Merri is a Practitioner Member), and have been approved by the Supreme Court of North Carolina, Clark County Courts in Nevada, and the Delaware Family Court. Merri has been a long time member of the Supreme Court of Virginia’s Dispute Resolution Advisory Council (also sitting on the training sub-committee and the ethics review panel), and is recent Past President of the Virginia Mediation Network. Prior to establishing Peninsula Mediation & ADR in 1991, Ms. Hanson taught a variety of communication and conflict management courses at colleges and universities in California and Virginia in both full-time and adjunct capacities. Merri established the Isle of Wight Victim’s Services Program for the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services. While residing in Seattle, Washington, Ms. Hanson designed and implemented information dissemination programs in developing countries. Her education achievements include a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication, a Master of Arts in Communication and Conflict Management, and post-graduate work in organizational psychology.

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Articles and Video:

Back to the Future of Mediation (03/05/15)
For some reason, beyond my understanding, the decades old debate continues. How should mediation be defined? The better question is, “How can the practice be applied?” And herein is the genesis of the divergent paths upon which mediation has developed in the last thirty years.

What Political Leaders Can Learn From Mediators About Civil Discourse (01/31/11)
Another news day. Another day of partisan wrangling that equates to tribalism. News reports of the Republican effort in the house to pass a repeal of the healthcare act describe discussions as intense and only slightly more polite.

Mediation And Moral Imperative (03/02/09)
On October 21, 2008 I read a curious Reuters headline that stated “Taliban Seeking Mediator.” Immediately I puzzled over why the Taliban would want one of us...a peacemaker, a harmonizer, an ethical do-gooder. Since then I have pondered these thoughts and the moral underpinnings they belie.

Your Brain…On Music And Mediation (02/16/09)
We know that music has the power to transport us to different places and times, but what does this have to do with conflict resolution? There are many parallels between music processing and conflict processing. A song or a simple question can conjure pleasant memories and emotions or times of chaos, fear, disappointment, and sadness.