Christina Merchant, a highly experienced dispute resolution professional, is most widely known for her work in fostering sustainable partnerships between labor and management throughout the private, public, and international arenas. She entered private practice as a dispute resolution consultant after 29 years as a mediator, facilitator, dispute systems designer, and program manager. Her experience was acquired with several U.S. federal agencies, including the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Until October 1, 1996, she was the Project Director, Labor-Management Cooperation, for the Department of Defense (DoD), where she provided neutral intervention, facilitation, and training assistance to labor and management representatives pursuing partnership and alternative dispute resolution pilot projects for the Department's components worldwide.
Ms. Merchant co-authored a popular book entitled Designing Conflict Management Systems: A Guide to Creating Productive and Healthy Organizations, Jossey-Bass Publishers, Inc., 1996, which won the Best Applied Book Award of 1997 from the International Association of Conflict Management. She is a Fellow with the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, and a Past President ('94-'95) of the International Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (SPIDR). Ms. Merchant received her undergraduate degree (B.S., 1971) from the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University. She received her Masters in Human Resource and Organization Development, with honors, (M.S., 1990), from the joint program of the American University and the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science.
In her private consulting practice, Ms. Merchant offers dispute resolution and conflict management systems design services, including systemic and specific dispute analysis and action planning. She also provides training and coaching of groups and individuals in the dispute prevention and resolution processes of interest-based negotiation and problem solving, communication skills, facilitation, and mediation. Ms. Merchant also serves directly as an expert facilitator and mediator in negotiations, workgroups, and meetings.