Richard Cohen seeks work overseas in 2008

I am hoping to live and work outside the United States for two to five months between July 2008 and January 2009. My family (wife and two children, ages 8 and 12) will accompany me.

My primary motivation for this trip is to be of service and to expose my children to another culture and way of life. I also want to expand my professional horizons and have an adventure.

I hope to find a project that will make the best use of my skills and experience, enabling me to be of greatest service to my host.

For over 25 years I have worked as a mediator and conflict resolution trainer, with a special focus on schools.

I pioneered the peer mediation concept in 1984, and I have personally trained more than 10,000 students, educators, and parents to be mediators since then. Educators from 60 countries rely upon my books and other resources, which include:

Students Resolving Conflict: Peer Mediation in Schools
(GoodYear, 1995)

The School Mediator's Field Guide: Prejudice, Sexual Harassment, Large Groups, and other Daily Challenges
(School Mediation Associates, 1999)

"The School Mediator," a free monthly e-newsletter

Outside of education, I work as a negotiation trainer/coach with Fortune 500 clients in the financial services, technology, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and retail sectors, and I also mediate workplace discrimination and a variety of other disputes. I have worked as a diversity trainer for a health maintenance organization, and I have conducted mediation trainings for government, judicial, law enforcement, and community leaders.

My conflict resolution journey began during high school and college when I was exposed to nonviolent resistance and the work of Gandhi, M.L. King, and others. I was first trained as a community mediator in 1981 by the Center for Community Justice in Washington, DC, and went on to work as a case coordinator at DC’s Citizen Complaint Center. Before founding School Mediation Associates, I also coordinated a community mediation program that served two public housing developments in Boston, and I was employed as a landlord-tenant mediator.

I have a longstanding interest in issues related to diversity. In addition to having had the pleasure of training mediators in Russia and Spain, I have conducted trainings that explored the relationship between conflict and culture for homogenous groups of Southeast Asian-Americans and Hispanic-Americans in the United States.

My core areas of expertise, both as a practitioner and a teacher, include:

  • Mediation
  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution

I have also studied the literature, received advanced training, or taught units on the following subject areas:

  • Managing difficult conversations
  • Developing empathy
  • Dispute systems design
  • Facilitating effective meetings
  • Creating bully-free schools
  • Diversity training
  • Writing
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Classroom management
  • Assertiveness training
  • Anger management
  • Training / curriculum design
  • The use of games when training
  • English as a Second Language
  • Restorative Justice
  • Open Space Technology

I have served as a Senior Adjunct Professor both at the University of Massachusetts and at Cambridge College, where I have taught courses on negotiation, mediation and dispute systems design. I attended Oberlin College and hold a Masters Degree in Psychology from Beacon College.

I would like to make a long term commitment to the organization and country that host this visit, and would hope to raise funds and develop beneficial projects that would enable me to return for years to come.

As I speak English and only minimal Spanish, I will have to work largely in English and may require the services of an interpreter. Once a placement is arranged, I will begin studying the necessary language.

Potential host organizations include:

  • Ministries of Education
  • School systems
  • Universities
  • Academic consortiums
  • Youth programs
  • Nongovernmental organizations
  • Court systems
  • Community mediation programs
  • Private businesses and corporations
  • Business consulting firms

The ideal opportunity will provide:

  1. An interesting way to apply my skills and make a valuable contribution to my host

  2. Stimulating opportunities for my children to study and develop friendships with other young people their age

  3. An interesting way for my wife, Rachel Nemeth Cohen, to offer her skills and expertise (see bio below)

  4. Income to cover my family's in-country living expenses

I would be happy to work in collaboration with interested host organizations to raise the funds to underwrite this trip.

For more information, please contact me at rcohen@schoolmediation.com or call 617-926-0994. Resume and references available upon request.

Rachel Nemeth Cohen

Rachel specializes in helping those who teach children with special needs to be most effective. Currently employed by the Institute for Community Inclusion in Boston, she trains teachers in various topics including inclusive transition from school to adult life, self-determination, person-centered planning, and portfolio assessment. A former special needs teacher herself, Rachel has taught online and face-to-face courses in Youth Development and Leadership, Transition from School to Adult Life, and Career Development.

Rachel holds a CAGS in Education Administration from the University of Massachusetts, an EdM from Boston University, and a BA from Brandeis University.