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Grande Lum Named Director of Stanford Law School’s Gould Negotiation and Mediation Program

Grande Lum Named Director of Stanford Law School’s Gould Negotiation and Mediation Program

STANFORD, CA, July 12, 2023—Stanford Law School (SLS) announced today that Grande Lum will join the school as the Director of the Gould Negotiation and Mediation Program and the Gould Alternative Dispute Resolution Research Initiative, reporting to the Dean.

Lum assumes these roles from Janet Martinez, who will retire from SLS on September 1, 2023, after two decades on the law school faculty. Most recently, Lum served as a senior partner with the Rebuild Congress Initiative, an independent, nonpartisan organization that facilitates productive dialogue across the political spectrum among diverse stakeholders.

Lum was an adjunct lecturer at SLS from 2016 to 2018 and has continued to serve as a Gould research fellow since that time. Previously, he served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Menlo College. Grande was nominated by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2012 as the Director of the Community Relations Service (CRS), an agency within the Department of Justice that serves as the federal government’s “peacemaker” for community conflicts arising from issues of race, color, and national origin. In 2009, CRS’ jurisdiction expanded to issues of gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion and disability.

“Grande’s exceptional background as a mediation and dispute resolution expert, academic leader, and scholar make him the ideal person to lead the innovative Gould Program,” said Jenny Martinez, the Richard E. Lang Professor of Law and Dean of Stanford Law School. “Grande is well positioned to build on the highly respected program that Janet has so expertly led for many years. He will build on the program’s legacy, chart new paths, and provide opportunities for SLS students to immerse themselves in these important areas of law practice.”

Janet Martinez, who will continue to teach select courses at SLS following her retirement from the Gould Program, said she is delighted to leave the program in Lum’s hands. “Grande will have many opportunities for working not just across the campus and the local community, but the nation and beyond,” she said. “His years of experience, including with the DOJ’s Community Relations Service navigating some of the most intransigent and violent outbreaks in our country, have allowed him to develop a high level of expertise in conflict management and negotiation. He is an ideal leader and his joining SLS makes me very hopeful for the future.”

Democracy and Technology

Drawing on his experience forging common ground in the political arena, Lum said one of his goals as the head of the Gould Program will be to promote the use of negotiation and mediation skills to further democracy and civility and to combat political polarization. “The skills taught in the Gould Program around conflict resolution and finding common ground are especially critical to lawyers today, who are going to be on the front lines of making policy and serving as leaders in public life,” said Lum, who in addition to his bridge-building work with Congress and through the Department of Justice also managed the Divided Community Project at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Program on Dispute Resolution, which was named the top law school dispute resolution program by US News and World Report in 2016.

Lum added that he also intends to focus on the quickly evolving role of technologies such as online dispute resolution and artificial intelligence-based tools to further the ability of people to negotiate, mediate, and otherwise find solutions that advance common interests to resolve conflict. He noted that he will continue to focus on areas Janet Martinez has made central to the Gould Program, including dispute system design, the process of identifying, designing, employing, and evaluating an effective means of resolving conflicts within an organization.

Career-Long Focus on Conflict Resolution

Lum said a single course on negotiation that he took while at Harvard Law School “changed his life” and influenced the trajectory of his career. “I went into the class thinking that ‘negotiation’ was about beating up the other side, about fighting hard until you win, so it really was a revelation to learn that an indispensable  way to create change is by working together. It was transformative to figure out that you actually win by finding common ground. I had the opportunity to train South African representatives who were involved in negotiating a new post-apartheid constitution. You could see those ideas in action on a large scale and it was inspiring and life-changing for me.”

In 2020, Lum won the Outstanding Book in the Field of Alternative Dispute Resolution Award from the International Institute for Conflict Prevention his book America’s Peacemakers: The Community Relations Service and Civil Rights, which tells the story of his fellow CRS federal mediators who engaged in some of the biggest civil rights disputes from the March to Selma to the Trayvon Martin tragedy in Sanford, Florida.

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