My name is Marsha Ostrer. I am a lawyer, mediator, negotiator and trainer. I have been working in the field of conflict resolution for over 30 years. You can find my formal biography here if you want to read it.
I have had some amazing experiences in the field of Conflict Resolution such as working on the Angolan Peace talks, and developing a course called "Successful Privitization: Negotiating Strategies and Techniques," which I introduced and developed for the Zambia Privatization Agency, and in other countries in Sub Saharan Africa.
I have also been privileged to work with the Russian Civil Court, Atbitrzah, co-developing and presenting the program "Making Mediation Work in the Russian Republic". And I have conducted trainings at many universities and conferences throughout the U.S. including Johns Hopkins and Harvard Law School.
In each case I was tasked with training opposing sides in "Mutual Gains Negotiation" as outlined in Getting to Yes and subsequent books such as The Manager as Negotiator by David A. Lax and then applying those concepts directly to the issue of negotiating peace or negotiating the privatization of a country's entire industries, or negotiating between a black gold miners union, a white gold miners union and white management in the case of South Africa.
With regard to the privitization program I developed and taught, an independent evaluation team said, in part:
"Negotiations skills workshop training was highly effective in teaching directly applicable negotiating skills that resulted in faster negotiations with clearer objectives, shortening the time of negotiating agreements from 2 years to 2 months and, in some cases, 2 days while improving their overall quality."
See Zambia Evaluation here.
What I want to emphasize is that my work was not always specifically as a neutral but also as a trainer and facilitator. However that flexibility has provided me with many rewarding and lucrative opportunities. I also want to emphasize to those of you reading this that there is no one right way to be a neutral or conciliator. And, if you open your mind to a variety of possibilities, then amazing things can happen!
I have also served as a mediator for the Washington D.C. court system and our local court. I am now a mediator in private practice on Cape Cod.
In 2008 I became a webmaster for the first time, sharing my love of dispute resolution with the All Things Conflict Resolution Site. This site is a spinoff from that original site. I had had a section of that site dedicated to information about jobs in the Dispute Resolution field and it quickly became one of the most popular pages. It also generated a lot of mail, because there are few resources devoted to jobs dealing exclusively with conflict resolution.
But the idea didn't coalesce until last year's Cape Cod Entrepreneurship Weekend, a yearly event I attend. I worked on another entrepreneur's website with some really talented people. That's where the idea for this site was born. If you have your own business or are thinking about it, I can't stress enough the usefulness of taking advantage of this kind of resource if it is available in your area. Ours is run by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce.
In order to make it happen I had to hire a programmer to do the heavy lifting. In doing so I benefited from the advice and counsel of a couple of "tekkies" on Cape Cod who provided needed expertise, especially Peter Karlson of Neueon and Past President of the Cape Cod Technology Council.
Neither I nor Conflict-resolution-jobs.com or All Things Conflict Resolution has any connection with the job search industry - so the information on this site is genuine. In other words, you don't have to wonder if what you're reading is paid hype - because there isn't any. It's real information from a real person who has been there.
I love to hear from users of the site. If you would like to share your conflict resolution experience or ask a question or make a suggestion for improvement please use the Contact Us form and I will be happy to respond.
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