OMA is pleased to announce the 2017 Conference plenary speaker, Laurel Singer.
When backpacking, a successful journey requires the ability to constantly adapt to changing conditions and circumstances. A mapped section of trail may have washed out, the river is too high to cross safely, or a cloudy sky has turned dark and menacing. These slow or sudden shifts require honestly appraising the current state of the situation, taking stock of the resources on hand, and using them to chart the best path forward.
As a mediation community, this conference presents an opportunity to come together to consider our collective journey at this crossroads in time. Keynote speaker Laurel Singer will share her perspectives and facilitate discussion designed to help our community articulate the new and shifting conditions we find ourselves operating within in “Today’s America,” to take stock of the challenges posed to us as mediators, to consider the unique tools we have on hand, and to imagine the possibilities for our continued journey forward.
Laurel directs the National Policy Consensus Center (NPCC), recognized as one of the nation’s most prolific university-based centers for advancing innovative, collaborative approaches to public policy making and implementation of community-based solutions. In addition to providing direct services, NPCC also provides professional training, academic programs, and research in collaborative governance. Since joining NPCC in 2006, Laurel has served in several leadership roles, including directing NPCC’s Oregon Consensus, Oregon Solutions, and training programs.
For close to 30 years, Laurel has served as a champion for the use of collaborative decision-making and problem solving. With roots as a family therapist, Laurel helped pioneer the first parent-adolescent mediation program in the Northwest in 1988. Her work as a private practice mediator focused on designing, convening and facilitating collaborative process to address complex public policy across a wide range of issues. Her special emphasis has been on expanding the practice of collaborative governance to address issues related to health, human services, and education.
Laurel has a master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Oregon and currently is in the Public Affairs and Policy PhD program at Portland State University. In 2011, Laurel received the Oregon Mediation Association’s Bryan Johnston Award in recognition of her outstanding service in the public policy mediation field. Laurel has taught professionals and university students skills in mediation, conflict resolution, and collaboration throughout the span of her career. She is currently a founding faculty in PSU’s newly launched graduate certificate in collaborative governance.