Ryan Golten

Senior Associate

Ryan is a Senior Associate with CBI, where she works with communities, agencies and others to help resolve contentious issues related to water, land, energy and other resources. As a mediator, facilitator and former attorney, Ryan is known for her ability to navigate complex regulatory and technical environments while working to understand and incorporate stakeholder needs, bring parties together to reach broadly supported outcomes, and create a foundation for long-term relationships and problem-solving, particularly in environments with historic tensions and significant emotions. Based in CBI’s Colorado office, Ryan has worked extensively in western, southwestern and Spanish-speaking communities. She teaches collaborative problem solving, facilitation and mediation for natural resources and public policy professionals as well as other audiences.

Prior to joining CBI, Ryan worked with CDR Associates (Collaborative Decision Resources) in Boulder, Colorado on public policy, community and strategic planning issues related to water allocation, watershed planning, land management and energy.

Ryan is Co-chair of the ABA’s Section of Environment, Energy and Resources ADR Year-in-Review for 2016, a member of the New Mexico Bar Association, and a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution.


Water resources, watershed planning, western land use, energy. Services include mediation, facilitation, assessments and process design, and training in mediation and collaborative problem solving.


  • Facilitated Colorado River District strategic planning to understand the needs of each sub-basin while aligning its vision and priorities for the basin as a whole, integrating the competing interests of conservation, development and advocacy for water in Western Colorado.
  • Led Colorado stakeholder assessment of oil and gas community-operator agreements to assess the effectiveness of MOUs in addressing oil and gas disputes related to regulatory jurisdiction and local development.
  • Facilitated a stakeholder policy dialogue for the Colorado Energy Office regarding the challenges and potential opportunities of reusing produced water in Western Colorado.
  • Co-facilitated series of listening sessions to understand community views and values regarding the newly designated Browns Canyon National Monument, as a precursor to the NEPA planning process.
  • Facilitated interdisciplinary effort to develop a data-based River Health Assessment Framework as a tool to measure health of the Cache la Poudre River, for City of Fort Collins, Colorado.


Ryan earned her law degree from the University of New Mexico, magna cum laude, and her B.A. from the University of Michigan, with high honors.

Selected Publications