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Meridian Institute

Agriculture and Food Security
We seek collaborative solutions to world food problems.
Climate Change and Energy
We help parties forge alliances on these critical issues.
Environment and Natural Resources
We facilitate everything from site-specific disputes to international policy dialogues.
Global Stability and Security
We help build partnerships that foster a more stable and secure world.
Health
When it comes to health policy, we are all stakeholders.
Sustainability and Resilience
Our work helps organizations and communities thrive.
Science and Technology
Our work involves issues at the intersection of science, technology, law, and policy.

Meridian Institute helps people solve complex and controversial problems, make informed decisions, and implement solutions that improve lives, the economy, and the environment.

Featured Projects

AGree: Transforming Food and Ag Policy

The AGree initiative drives positive change in the food and agriculture system by connecting and challenging leaders from diverse communities to catalyze action and elevate food and agriculture as a national priority. More


United States Climate Action Partnership

In 2006, Meridian Institute assisted several large companies and national NGOs in establishing what eventually became known as the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP). Meridian managed the USCAP process, including facilitating all policy negotiations of USCAP’s staff-level steering committee as well as its CEO-level board. More


Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund Assessment

In June 2011, the Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative asked Meridian Institute to assess the challenges associated with the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF) and to explore whether and how Meridian could help the parties find a way to move forward in a manner that works for them all. More


The Advisory Committee is tasked with producing recommendations for a Forest Plan modification to achieve a forest management strategy that is ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable.
The Global Alliance for the Future of Food is a new network of international foundations committed to leveraging their resources to advance sustainable global agriculture and food systems.
Meridian Institute facilitated and supported the deliberative process of the Colorado Smart Grid Task Force, as it developed recommendations for the transition to a secure, resilient, and technologically advanced electric grid.
Meridian Institute supports the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Recovery Fund Working Group in developing consensus recommendations to submit for review and decision by the Colorado Natural Resources Trustees.


Learn More

Where We Work

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North America

Meet Our Staff

Makkah Ali

Makkah Ali

“I love working at Meridian because I enjoy learning about issues that are complex, controversial, and relevant today. I also enjoy having the opportunity to engage in processes that ultimately lead to solutions.” —Makkah Ali, Mediator and Program Associate

Deborah Atwood

Deborah Atwood

“As a relatively new Meridian team member, I’ve been impressed with the diversity, professionalism, and smarts of the Meridian staff–and how employees genuinely listen to and support each other.” —Deborah Atwood, Executive Director of AGree

Todd Barker

Todd Barker

“At Meridian, we are willing and eager to innovate. We seek to apply our collaborative problem-solving expertise to new problems in new ways and in new contexts. It’s thrilling to be a part of that.”     —Todd Barker, Senior Partner

Rianne BeCraft

Rianne BeCraft

“Meridian Institute’s success is in part due to the organization’s pride in its staff, projects, and client relationships. I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to support an organization that strives for nothing but the best.” —Rianne BeCraft, Project Associate

Jennifer Brassanini

Jennifer Brassanini

“I’ve always wanted to find a way to ‘change the world.’ Working for Meridian and supporting the people who are involved in this important work has given me a way to make a difference in my own way.”   —Jennifer Brassanini, Operations Manager

Mallorie Bruns

Mallorie Bruns

“We are in the business of creating new opportunities by building bridges—connecting individuals and groups who are passionate about having a say, making a difference, and creating a better future. I could not be more excited to be a part of the Meridian team.”   —Mallorie Bruns, Mediator and Program Associate

Kristy Buckley

Kristy Buckley

“What sets Meridian apart is that we are focused on results. We may be experts in the process of collaboration, but we work hard to make sure that process drives toward concrete outcomes.”   —Kristy Buckley, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Kirby Callaway

Kirby Callaway

“Meridian is involved in complex issues that affect our lives today and will shape the issues of the future. While I love seeing the resulting solutions, I am even more thrilled to observe and participate in the collaborative, innovative, problem-solving process that makes Meridian so unique.” —Kirby Callaway, Project Assistant

Laura Cantral

Laura Cantral

“Like the rest of my Meridian colleagues, I really enjoy getting into the nitty-gritty of the issues so that the processes we design and facilitate can result in meaningful, substantive, and sustainable solutions.”   —Laura Cantral, Partner

Jeana Connaughton

Jeana Connaughton

“As a new member of Meridian, I could not be happier to be a part of this team. I enjoy knowing that the work we do is focused on making the world a better place.” —Jeana Connaughton, Project Coordinator

Holly Dobson

Holly Dobson

“My job has enabled me to meet so many interesting and intelligent people from across the political spectrum and around the world. It’s been a privilege to get to know them.”   —Holly Dobson, Senior Project Coordinator

Wendy D'Ottavio

Wendy D'Ottavio

"What I love about Meridian is knowing that the work we do is focused toward making the world a better place. And not just for today, but for future generations." —Wendy D'Ottavio, Bookkeeper

Liz Duxbury

Liz Duxbury

“As a Project Coordinator, I appreciate the expertise and wealth of knowledge of our talented staff. It is amazing to see how dedicated the whole team is to making our world and our company a better place.”   —Liz Duxbury, Senior Project Coordinator

John Ehrmann

John Ehrmann

“I am very proud to be working with such an outstanding group of colleagues at Meridian, each of whom puts their heart and soul into their efforts to achieve our mission, no matter what their role.  I see every day how their dedication and humility is making a difference in the world.”   —John Ehrmann, Senior and Managing Partner

Sherry Fetch

Sherry Fetch

“I am proud of our work and our people. Everyone is excited to be able to make a difference and determined to demonstrate excellence.”   —Sherry Fetch, Office Assistant

Shelly Foston

Shelly Foston

“I am proud to be a part of Meridian Institute because we approach each project with fresh eyes and focus our process design expertise, strategic advice, and extensive contact base on helping people approach and solve tremendously complex problems.”   —Shelly Foston, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Jason Hohertz

Jason Hohertz

I am excited and greatly appreciate the opportunity to leverage technology solutions to support a dynamic team of colleagues who are dedicated to collaboratively solving tough challenges every day. —Jason Hohertz, Information Technology Coordinator

Rich Innes

Rich Innes

“At its core Meridian is about helping a free society to function effectively by bringing together people with legitimate differences and providing the space and tools to work through these.  It is an honor to work side by side with such dedicated folks for such a good purpose.” —Rich Innes, Senior Fellow

Ingrid Irigoyen

Ingrid Irigoyen

"I love that Meridian works on some of society’s toughest issues. Whether the topic is reforming fisheries policy, supporting partnerships to improve ocean management, or developing a national system for community resilience, I like helping to bring together diverse parties to communicate—and reach agreement."     —Ingrid Irigoyen, Mediator and Program Manager

Mark Jacobs

Mark Jacobs

“There are no cookie-cutter processes at Meridian. I enjoy the challenge of designing a strategy tailored to the needs of each project. Consistently getting the meaningful results we do as a consequence is also highly rewarding.”   —Mark Jacobs, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Heather Lair

Heather Lair

“What I like about working at Meridian is that the “solution space” is only constrained by the ideas and imagination of the stakeholders we engage. This allows for creative solutions that take problem-solving to a whole new level.” —Heather Lair, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Kelly Leiby

Kelly Leiby

“I truly enjoy the unique and caring people I get to interact with every day. I feel privileged to be a part of an organization where I know we are all working together for a better future.”   —Kelly Leiby, Accountant

Michael Lesnick

Michael Lesnick

“I know stakeholders often feel the processes we design result in better decisions, because they take into account the right people and the right information. There is not much better reward than feeling like you helped people solve a really tough one.”   —Michael Lesnick, Senior Partner

Connie Lewis

Connie Lewis

“I treasure Meridian because of my colleagues (smart, caring, committed), the problems we tackle (important, complicated, gnarly), the work (hard, ever-changing, satisfying), the relationship with clients and stakeholders (respectful, honest), and the positive results." —Connie Lewis, Senior Partner

Jackie Manguso

Jackie Manguso

“Meridian is made up of people who are really driven to do good work and apply their skills to projects that make a difference. It’s great to be a part of it.”   —Jackie Manguso, Finance Manager

Molly Mayo

Molly Mayo

“For me, it’s the span of projects at Meridian that I enjoy—from helping people develop solutions to very local problems to designing and facilitating national and international policy dialogues.” —Molly Mayo, Partner

Tim Mealey

Tim Mealey

“What sets Meridian apart for me is our willingness to take risks. We have successfully applied collaborative problem-solving processes to legislative policy issues that are both complex and fraught with political controversy.” —Tim Mealey, Senior Partner

Stephanie Moore

Stephanie Moore

“I really appreciate working for an organization that’s so focused on making the world a better place. It gives my work a sense of purpose.” —Stephanie Moore, Partner and Director of Finance

Robyn Paulekas

Robyn Paulekas

“The work Meridian Institute does is part of the next wave of problem solving; it recognizes that solutions come from connecting people and from good process design. I’m thrilled to be part of the Meridian team.”   —Robyn Paulekas, Mediator and Program Associate

Diana Portner

Diana Portner

“I was drawn to Meridian for the meaningful work and the opportunity to make a difference. Everyone here is passionate about what they do, and it’s easy to see why. Helping people communicate about difficult issues is the path to solving some of today’s toughest problems.” —Diana Portner, Mediator and Program Associate

Jennifer Pratt Miles

Jennifer Pratt Miles

“One of the things I enjoy most is working with people who have different points of view and helping them to develop options and integrated solutions for addressing multiple (and sometimes conflicting) interests and needs.”   —Jennifer Pratt Miles, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Rex Raimond

Rex Raimond

“My work at Meridian challenges me to be innovative and creative, and allows me to contribute to real solutions on issues I care deeply about.”  —Rex Raimond, Senior Mediator and Program Director

Joanna Rosene-Mirvis

Joanna Rosene-Mirvis

“At Meridian, I’m grateful to help resolve pressing, complex environmental issues alongside brilliant and dedicated colleagues. The positivity we bring to our work—which is aimed at finding and implementing attainable solutions—is tangible.” —Joanna Rosene-Mirvis, Project Assistant

Catherine Rothacker

Catherine Rothacker

“I am continually impressed by Meridian’s commitment to engaging with the most challenging, intractable problems. Meridian is a catalyst for building the trust and mutual understanding that allows stakeholders to develop innovative, lasting solutions, and I am proud to be a part of that process.” —Catherine Rothacker, Project Associate

Kara Runsten

Kara Runsten

"Meridian offers the exciting opportunity to blend two of my passions-- Working on tough environmental issues and bringing people together to create more efficient solutions." —Kara Runsten, Project Assistant

Brad Spangler

Brad Spangler

“Meridian is pushing the boundaries of collaborative problem solving, to help find durable solutions to the complex public policy challenges facing today’s global society. I’m proud to be a part of that mission.” —Brad Spangler, Mediator and Program Manager

Barbara Stinson

Barbara Stinson

“Meridian Institute strives to be a true learning organization. We work to improve our internal learning, and therefore our external processes, all the time. I find it exhilarating to work in an environment committed to continuous improvement.” —Barbara Stinson, Senior Partner

Sara Suriani

Sara Suriani

“Meridian gives me the opportunity to learn something new every day—from serving on the IT team to planning field trips in Africa to working with individuals who are at the top of their fields.” —Sara Suriani, Senior Project Coordinator

Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor

“I thoroughly enjoy being a part of an organization where everyone is so mission-driven. Every day, we are all trying to bring the very best of our professional skills to every project.”   —Charles Taylor, Senior Partner and Chief Operating Officer

Barbara van der Vossen

Barbara van der Vossen

"For me, the most rewarding aspect of working at Meridian is collaborating with my colleagues. It is an honor and an inspiration to work with such highly motivated and dedicated individuals, and I feel satisfied to play my role in support of our mission." —Barbara van der Vossen, Office Coordinator

Patti Vande Zande

Patti Vande Zande

“I enjoy learning about global social and environmental issues through the diversity of projects in which Meridian is involved. Also, it’s rewarding to work for an organization that is facilitating remedies for the world’s problems.” —Patti Vande Zande, Accountant

Sarah Walen

Sarah Walen

“I feel incredibly lucky to be working on things that matter—to be helping people talk about, illuminate, and take constructive action on issues and circumstances that impact their lives.” —Sarah Walen, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Shawn Walker

Shawn Walker

“At Meridian, I feel like I’m doing my part to make the world a better place. I also appreciate the people and culture, and enjoy building relationships with clients and meeting participants.” —Shawn Walker, Senior Project Coordinator

Robin White

Robin White

“I love working at Meridian because we help decision makers from government and private industry craft innovative solutions to some of society’s toughest problems. Our expertise and collaborative skills really make a difference on important issues.” —Robin White, Senior Mediator and Program Director