Douglas Thompson

Senior Mediator

Douglas Thompson has a background in environmental protection, dispute resolution, and management. He serves as a senior mediator and facilitator at CBI. Recent case work has included matters related to issues as diverse and drinking water disinfection, marine mammal concerns, nuclear waste and chemical weapons clean-up, state-federal interactions around technical and policy water quality issues, the credibility of green marketing and sustainable product claims, pandemic flu planning, mountaintop removal mining conflicts, and endangered species. 

Prior to joining CBI, he worked eight years at The Keystone Center, based in Colorado. He also spent over 25 years with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in various technical and management capacities including chief of wetland protection and chief of water enforcement in the New England regional office. As part of EPA’s dispute resolution program, he served as a mediator and facilitator for a number of environmental issues; he also worked on assignment as a founding associate to the US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution in Tucson, Arizona. He has mediated extensively in the Massachusetts court system, is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Massachusetts Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution, and has experience mediating EEO, workplace, and family disputes. Doug also works as a court supervisor and senior mediation trainer with Metropolitan Mediation Services in Brookline, MA. He is a long time practitioner of tai chi chuan and an enthusiastic (though not especially good) chess player. 

Areas of Focus
Water quality issues; enforcement case negotiations; marine and ocean issues; regulatory policy issues; interagency negotiations; Superfund cases; wildlife matters including endangered species; NEPA; §404/wetland issues and Clean Water Act generally; mining; negotiation and mediation training.                                                                                                                                                                             

Highlighted Projects

  • Lead facilitator for the National Water Quality Communications Forum
  • Facilitator for Carbon Canopy, a group convened by Staples, Inc. and the Dogwood Alliance to protect southern forests and mitigate climate change
  • Lead author of a comprehensive situation assessment analyzing conflicts around surface mining in the Appalachian highlands
  • Over fifteen years of experience in the Massachusetts court system mediating hundreds of civil cases

Doug received a bachelor's degree in environmental science and a master's degree in biology from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.

Selected Publications

  • “Exit Strategies:  Typology and Tips” (with Jacks, Tonkin and Schweisberg), New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, 2010.
  • “Public Apology:  An Unapologetic Primer” (with Patrick Field), U.S. EPA Public Involvement Newsletter, 2009.
  • “Theory Meets Practice in Court Internship Program,” Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution Newsletter, 2001.
  • “Uncertain Ground: Battles over wetland regulation reflect American ambivalence when private property and public rights collide,” Technology Review, 1994.