Gail Bingham, President Emeritus and Senior Mediator

Gail Bingham is President Emeritus of RESOLVE. She has mediated environmental, natural resources, community planning and public health issues on a full time basis since the late 1970s. She is a nationally recognized pioneer in promoting consensus-building tools in public decision making and is the 2006 winner of the Mary Parker Follett Award of the Association for Conflict Resolution, given “to an individual who has shown a passion and willingness to take risks, has used innovative and experimental techniques, and draws upon the talents and ideas of all persons…”. Under Gail’s leadership, RESOLVE is known for its ability to help parties produce results on the toughest issues, for enhancing the capacity and competence of others in dealing with conflict, and for intellectual leadership to advance current knowledge about the effective use of ADR and consensus-building processes to address complex public decisions.

Gail brings to the mediation process an in-depth understanding of: negotiation and consensus-building strategy, natural resources and other public policy issues, the dynamics of the policy making process, political and cultural differences in a wide variety of settings, and how to integrate complex, scientific and technical information into policy dialogues and negotiations. She works with leaders at the highest levels of government and the private sector, and has served as a mediator for a wide variety of federal, state, and local agencies and private parties on such diverse subjects as: watershed management and TMDL policy, wetlands, allocation of water rights, endangered species, drinking water regulations, funding infrastructure costs for water and wastewater utilities, groundwater protection, ocean and coastal management issues, hydro-electric relicensing, chemicals policy, solid waste source reduction, hazardous waste management, oil spill contingency plans, pesticides policy, children’s environmental health, and local community land use and infrastructure issues.

Gail also is the author of numerous publications, including:

  • “Effective Representation of Clients in Environmental Dispute Resolution,” by Bingham, Esterman, and Riti, in the Pace Environmental Law Review, 2009.
  • When the Sparks Fly: Building Consensus When the Science is Contested (an overview of principles and practical strategies for leaders responsible for dealing with science-intensive policy issues);
  • the preface to an upcoming book on evaluating public involvement and ADR in public policy issues, to be published by Resources for the Future
  • “The Environment in the Balance: Mediators are Making a Difference,” in an issue entitled “The Geography of Hope” ACR Resolution;
  • Seeking Solutions: Alternative Dispute Resolution and Western Water Issues (for the Western Water Policy Review Advisory Committee);
  • a chapter on “Alternative Dispute Resolution in the NEPA Process,” for a book entitled Environmental Policy and NEPA; and
  • Resolving Environmental Disputes: A Decade of Experience, (the first, comprehensive, empirical study of the use of mediation in environmental issues).

Gail served on the Panel on Public Participation in Environmental Assessment and Decision Making for the National Academy of Sciences, which issued its report in the fall of 2008. She also served on advisory committees to the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution and the North Carolina Natural Resources Leadership Institute. She served two terms on the Board of Directors of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution (now ACR); was the founding chair of its environment and public policy sector and a president of its Washington DC Chapter; and served on numerous committees including the first and third Commissions on Mediator Qualifications. She also has testified before Congress on several occasions, on topics such as the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act and the Negotiated Rulemaking Act.


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Professional Studies in India Program,
University of California, Berkeley, CA. 1978-1979.

Course work for Master of Landscape Architecture (environmental planning),
Department of Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley, CA. 1976-1978.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies,
Huxley College of Environmental Studies, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA. 1973-1975.

Course work in Anthropology,
Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA. 1968 – 1971