20+ years of conflict management experience. Lawyer, ombuds, ADR/conflict resolution design and delivery.
- Law Society of Toronto – member
- Association of Canadian College & University Ombudspersons (ACCUO) – member
Conflict = opportunity?
Conflict management approaches should be as unique as your organization.
My passion for mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) began in law school. I witnessed how time-consuming, disruptive and expensive legal proceedings are for companies and individuals while practicing at Stikeman Elliott LLP. Later, as Assistant Ombudsperson at Ryerson University, I used informal conflict coaching and diplomatic interventions to help individuals to self-advocate and resolve their concerns. We also had the power to investigate complaints and make recommendations to help the institution become more fair, equitable, and transparent. In 2015 I joined the University of Toronto to create a unique, low-barrier, peer-centred, graduate conflict management program. I describe the work of the Graduate Conflict Resolution Centre (GCRC) and the value of using peers to manage conflict in higher education in this University Affairs article. I currently offer conflict management advising services on a contract basis and collaborate with several ombuds colleagues to provide mediation and ombuds services.
“[Heather] is someone who brings good humour, empathy, and diplomacy to every interaction… Her commitment to diversity and inclusion is exemplary and so necessary within an academic institution.”Jessica Thorpe, PhD candidate, G2G Peer Advisor, 2018-2020