Thursday, January 29, 2015
Unconscious Bias and the Mediation/ADR Process

This session focuses on strategies, issues, and insights into how Unconscious Bias impacts our perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors in today's workplace. Real-world case studies and current research are provided to increase awareness of the elements of the Mediation/ADR process that may be impacted by biased communication and perception. The discussion includes: 6 ways Unconscious Bias sneaks into our language, perception, and decisions; techniques for avoiding the "Pygmalion Effect"; why we underestimate how universal stereotypes are; and how the same behavior can have different meanings to different observers.

Speakers: Charles "Skip" Pettit
President, International Training Consortium, Inc. and former Defense Equal Opportunity
Management Institute Adjunct Faculty Member
Dr. Lester Hoffman
Harvard University PhD & Faculty Member, Bias Expert, Researcher, and Author of 3 Books on Bias

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Newsletter of the Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group

Symposium on Federal Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs: Successes and Challenges

On March 19, 2012, the Department of Justice hosted a Symposium on ADR, co-sponsored by the Interagency ADR Working Group (IADRWG) and the Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) with Chairman Paul Verkuil moderating the discussion. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., the head of the ADR Working Group, described the Department's long standing commitment to ADR use and cited many of the impressive results of the use of mediation in resolving disputes with citizens and across the federal government. Other panelists showcased new and innovative programs involving workplace disputes, enforcement of regulations, contracts disputes with the government and other new and emerging areas.

Symposium Documents

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What is the Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Working Group?

We are the central forum and resource for information about the federal government's use of ADR. We advance the use of ADR through:

  • Coordination of multi-agency initiatives
  • Promotion of best practices and programs
  • Dissemination of policy and guidance

Federal ADR Programs and Contacts


By Mail:

Joanna M. Jacobs
Director and Senior Counsel
Office of Dispute Resolution
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 4529
Washington, DC 20530-0001

By Email: