Bernie Mayer

Bernie Mayer
Professor of Conflict Resolution -The Werner Institute

Dr. Mayer is an icon in the world of conflict resolution. With over a quarter century of experience in the field, he was a founding partner at CDR Associates, the internationally recognized mediation and conflict resolution organization, and originally trained as a psychotherapist. He has worked across the globe as a mediator, facilitator, teacher, trainer, dispute systems designer, and program administrator. A true scholar as well as leading practitioner in the field, He earned his Ph.D. in Social Work with an emphasis on conflict resolution.


  • B.A. (1968), Oberlin College
  • M.S.W. (1970), Columbia University
  • Ph.D. (1987), University of Denver
  • The Conflict Paradox: Seven Dilemmas at the Core of Disputes. Jossey-Bass/Wiley (2015)
  • The Dynamics of Conflict: A Guide to Engagement and Intervention, Jossey-Bass, 2d ed. (2012)
  • Staying with Conflict: A Strategic Approach to Ongoing Disputes, Jossey-Bass/Wiley (2009)
  • Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution, Jossey-Bass/Wiley (2004)
  • Dynamics of Conflict Resolution: A Practitioner’s Guide, Jossey-Bass/Wiley (2000)
  • Mediation: 50 Years of Creative Conflict, 51 Family Court Review 34 (2013)
  • Reflections on the State of Consensus-Based Decision Making in Child Welfare, 47 Family Court Review 10 (2009)
  • The Next Frontier is Anticipation: Thinking Ahead about Conflict to Help Clients Find Constructive Ways to Engage Issues in Advance, with Christopher Honeyman, Julie Macfarlane, Andrea Schneider, & Jeff Seul, 25 Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation 99 (2007)
  • What’s the Use of Theory? Integrating Theory and Research into Training, with Julie Macfarlane, Dispute Resolution Magazine, Fall 2005, at 5
  • Neutrality and the Role of Conflict Professionals, with Robert M. Ackerman, 4 J. AM. ARB. 213 (2005)
  • What Theory? How Collaborative Problem-Solving Trainers Use Theory and Research in Training and Teaching, with Julie Macfarlane, 23 Conflict Resolution Quarterly  259 (2005)
  • DyADS: Encouraging “Dynamic Adaptive Dispute Systems” in the Organized Workplace, with Peter Robinson & Arthur Pearlstein, 10 Harvard Negotiation Law Review 339 (2005)
  • Conflicting Values: How Neutrals’ Ideology Affects Their Clients, 23 Alternatives to the High Cost of Litigation (2005)
  • Internationally recognized leader in the field of conflict resolution
  • Author of many works, including Beyond Neutrality: Confronting the Crisis in Conflict Resolution (Jossey-Bass), and Staying With Conflict: A Strategic Approach to Ongoing Disputes (Jossey-Bass), which were named outstanding books of the year by the CPR International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution
  • Founding partner, CDR Associates, a pioneering conflict intervention firm in Boulder, Colorado, that is internationally recognized
  • Trained psychotherapist

Worked across the globe as:

  • Dispute systems designer
  • Facilitator
  • Mediator
  • Teacher
  • Trainer
  • Program administrator

Taught at variety of institutions, including:

  • Antioch University
  • Colorado State University
  • Harvard University
  • The Budapest College of Economics
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Missouri
  • University of Warsaw