Bennett Brooks

Senior Mediator

Bennett Brooks is a Senior Mediator at the Consensus Building Institute. Based in New York City, Bennett has facilitated dozens of complex and highly contentious collaborative dialogues on issues related to water resource conflicts, fisheries, infrastructure improvements and ecosystem restoration throughout the U.S. His most recent work has focused on marine mammal bycatch issues on the East Coast and Hawaii, a longstanding transportation dispute in Seattle, and an evaluation of the International Pacific Halibut Commission. Bennett has conducted numerous assessments, designed and facilitated several joint fact-finding panels, and taught numerous negotiations trainings on mutual gains bargaining. Bennett is adept at working with senior policy makers, and he puts a premium on structuring dialogues that forge understanding among parties with diverse viewpoints and backgrounds. Bennett is a member of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution’s Roster of Mediators and the Roster of Senior Mediators maintained by the Oregon Dispute Resolution Council.

Bennett previously worked as a senior trade and economic development official in the Alaska State government, where he headed up the state’s international trade and relations program. He also worked as a journalist in the New York metropolitan area and in Asia in the 1980s.

Areas of Focus

Practice areas include fisheries, water resources, environmental disputes, land use, ecosystem restoration and transportation. Services include facilitation, mediation, conflict assessments, strategic planning, joint fact-finding, and training.

Highlighted Projects

  • Helping resolve a decade-long dispute to replace key elevated highway in downtown Seattle.
  • Bridging longstanding disagreements between agricultural, urban and environmental interests regarding acceptable water conservation measures in California.
  • Mediating a series of agreements among fisheries representatives, conservationists, state and federal fisheries managers, and others to reduce marine mammal serious injuries and mortalities in U.S. commercial fisheries.


Bennett earned his Master's Degree in Public Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from Tufts University.

Featured Articles

  • Refining and Testing Joint Fact-Finding for Environmental Dispute Resolution: Ten Years of Success. Forthcoming:  Mediation Journal, Volume 18 (4). Co-authored with S. McCreary, J. Gamman, 2001
  • Applying a Mediated Negotiation Framework to Integrated Coastal Zone Management. Coastal Management, Volume 29 (3). Co-authored with S. McCreary, et al., 2001
  • Mediated Joint Fact-Finding as a Strategy for Resolving Environmental Policy Disputes: Facilitated Independent Scientific Review of the CALFED Water Conservation Goals. Co-presenter, Southern California Mediation Association Annual Conference, Malibu, CA, 1999
  • Participation and Representation in Environmental Decision Making in the Pacific Rim: Reflections on Negotiation-Based Models of Practice. Conference on Democratic Design and Planning for the Pacific Rim. Co-authored with S. McCreary, et al., 1999