Patrick Field

Patrick Field is Managing Director at the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), Associate Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, and Senior Fellow at the University of Montana Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy. As one of the country’s most experienced group facilitators, Mr. Field has helped thousands of stakeholders reach agreement on organizational mergers, realignments, regulations, permits, and other issues land across the United States and Canada. He has trained and advised governments (federal, regional, state and local), corporations, foundations, and non-governmental organizations.

Co-author of the award-winning book, Dealing with an Angry Public, Mr. Field is listed on the roster of conflict resolution professionals of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Massachusetts Office of Dispute Resolution.

Mr. Field holds a Masters in Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA from Carleton College, summa cum laude.

Research interests:

– Energy Policy – resource and energy extraction

– Environment and Natural Resources Impact – climate change adaptation, coastal management, water and air quality, agricultural policy

– Land Use Planning and Development, Construction – First Nation tax and policy, sustainable development, planning and permitting, transportation, affordable housing, cultural heritage sites

– Organizational Development – members’ organization governance, voting procedures and processes, strategic planning, effective meetings

Selected Courses/Presentations/Trainings:

2010 State Legislative Agricultural Chairs Summit, Orlando, FL
Plenary presentation on Dealing with an Angry Public and roundtable discussion.

2007-10 Public Apology, Boston, MA, San Diego, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Seattle, WA, Washington, D.C. , Calgary and Alberta
Developed and co-taught half-day public apology course for EPA Region I, EPA Headquarters, and DOI’s Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution office, the Alberta Municipal Affairs Mediation program, the Boston Bar Association, and others.

2005- Present Resolving Land Use Disputes, Cambridge, MA and other locations.
Developed and taught two-day course in resolving land use disputes for numerous audiences.

2007-8 Veterans Administration, Bedford, MA
Taught a two-day leadership and negotiation course for mid-career VA nurses, doctors, and administrators.

2007 Petrobras Environmental Leaders Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Lectured and trained on stakeholder engagement to nation-wide upstream staff.

2006 University of Kansas Self Fellows, Lawrence, KS
Taught two-day course in consensus building for graduate student fellows in a range of scientific and technical disciplines.

2006 Colorado Water Congress, Breckinridge, CO
Lectured on consensus building in water disputes.

2006 Urban Land Institute, Master Planning Communities Conference, Las Vegas, NV
Lectured on consensus building in land development disputes.

2004 American Planning Association 2004 Conference, Washington, D.C.
Co-panelist on consensus building in planning disputes.

2004 Urban Land Institute, Southwest Florida Winter Meeting, Naples, FL
Lectured on consensus building in land development disputes.

2004 United States Geological Survey, Reston, VA
Co-designed and co-taught two day workshop for USGS, BLM, and DOI scientists and policymakers regarding joint fact finding and science- intensive dispute resolution.

2003 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Washington, D.C.
Co-taught a one-day course with the Keystone Center on risk communication and perception to the Mars and Prometheus NASA project teams.

2002 Fish and Wildlife Service, Phoenix, Arizona and Shepherdstown, WV
Taught two, five-day courses in resolving complex environmental disputes for management, biologists and other federal agency participants.

1999-2000 Simmons College, Boston, MA
Co-lectured for negotiation course for Graduate Program in Communications Management.

1999 University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
Lectured for negotiation course for post-baccalaureate Dispute Resolution Certificate Program students.


Integrating Mediation in Land Use Decision Making:  A Study in Vermont.  Land Lines. Lincoln

Institute of Land Policy, January 2010.

Getting Coast Smart: A Consensus-Building Approach To Engaging Communities Around Climate

Change Risks. Association of Conflict Resolution Magazine. Fall 2009 (Vol. 9, No. 1), p. 14-15.

Building Consensus, with Heather Conover.  Marketing Handbook for the Design and Construction Professional. Third Edition, Building News, 2009 (Chapter 2.15, pp 173-182).

Evaluating Community-based Collaboration on Federal Lands and Resources, with Matt

McKinney. Society and Natural Resources, 21(5), May-June 2008 (Vol. 21, No. 5, pp 419 — 429).

Responding to Streams of Land Use Disputes.  A systems approach with Matt McKinney and

Sarah Bates.  Planning and Environmental Law.  April 2008 (Vol. 60, No. 4), p.3.

Informed Consent and Public Sector Dispute Resolution.  Dispute Resolution Magazine, Winter 2008 (Vol. 14, No. 2).

Building Trust in Corporate Communications.  Contingencies.  November/December 2007.

The Negotiator’s Fieldbook:  The Virtues and Limits of a Kaleidoscope, co authored with David Fairman and Hal Movius. Negotiation Journal.  July 2007.

Joint Fact Finding, co-authored with Lawrence Susskind and Mieke Van der Wansem.  Hanna, Kevin and D. Scott Slocombe (Eds.) 2007. Integrated Resource and Environmental Management: Concepts and Practice. Oxford University Press, Oxford and Toronto.

Building Consensus with the Team and the Community.  Four part series in:  Marketer (The Society for Marketing Processional Services).  2006 and 2007.

Breaking Five Myths of NIMBY to Get Your Project Off and In the Ground.  Land Development (National Association of Home Builders), v. 19, no.4, Fall 2006.

Consensus Building and Dispute Resolution.  Co-authored with Lawrence Susskind.  Planning and Urban Design Guidelines, 2006.  Wiley and Sons for the American Planning Association.

Risk Perception, Risk Communication, and Stakeholder Involvement for Biosolids Management and Research.  Co-authored with Ned Beecher, Ellen Harrison,   34:122-128 (2005).

Journal of Environmental Quality.

Building Consensus:  Dealing with Controversial Land Use Issues and Disputes.  Co-authored with Lawrence Susskind.  No. 48, Fall 2002.  The Planning Commissioners Journal.

Overcoming the Barriers to Environmental Dispute Resolution in Canada.  Co-authored with Darshan Brach, Lawrence Susskind, and William Tilleman.  Vo. 81 (August 2002) 396, The Canadian Bar Review.

Using Mediation in Canadian Environmental Tribunals:  Opportunities and Best Practices 2000.  Co- authored with Dr. William Tilleman, Lawrence Susskind, and Matthew Taylor in the Dalhousie Law Journal.

Superfund Cleanup at the Massachusetts Military Reservation, case chapter in Negotiating Environmental Agreements, Island Press, Washington D.C., 2000.

The Northern Oxford County Coalition:  Four Towns Tackle a Public Health Mystery, case chapter in The Consensus Building Handbook, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California, 1999.

Trading the Poor:  Intermunicipal Affordable Housing Negotiation in New Jersey 1997.  Co-authored with Jennifer Gilbert and Michael Wheeler.  Harvard Negotiation Law Review.

Dealing with an Angry Public:  A Mutual Gains Approach to Rebuilding Trust and Improving Long Term Relationships.  1996.  Co-authored with Lawrence Susskind.  New York:  The Free Press.

Risk and Justice:  Rethinking the Concept of Compensation.  1996.  Co-authored with Howard Raiffa and Lawrence Susskind.  Spring Issue.  The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.


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