Brings Two Decades of Mediation, Conflict Management & Collaboration Experience
WASHINGTON, June 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Convergence Center for Policy Resolution, the leading nonprofit that brings people with opposing viewpoints together to build trust, bridge divides, and identify solutions to critical issues and strengthen our democracy, announced today that Mariah Levison has been appointed as Chief Program Officer (CPO), a newly-created position on the organization’s executive team. Having led work in mediation, conflict management, and collaborative dialogue for two decades, Levison will focus on driving impact and expanding program offerings.
Most recently, Levison helped create and lead the Minnesota State Office of Collaboration and Dispute Resolution, where she served as Director. In this role, she designed and managed processes for public policy consensus building and dispute resolution, and built the capacity of state, tribal, and local government to implement them. Prior to that, Levison was Program Director at The Conflict Resolution Center, where she managed initiatives that advocated for and provided alternative dispute resolution and restorative justice. In addition to her work as a practitioner, Levison is a teacher of the social psychology of conflict resolution and has been an Adjunct Professor of Law for the University of Minnesota Law School, where she taught a mediation course and ran a mediation clinic. Her experience with Convergence includes several years on the Convergence Leadership Council, an advisory body consisting of a diverse group of professionals from the fields of policy, business, mediation, nonprofits, and more.
David Eisner, President and CEO of Convergence, said, “The position of CPO is essential for Convergence’s growth and our strategy to meet the extraordinary challenges of the moment. Mariah’s strong experience, her passion for building bridges and collaborative dialogue, and her depth of understanding of Convergence and our unique approach make her the right leader at the right time to grow our portfolio and prepare us to meet the challenges of toxic polarization and political dysfunction in solving our common issues.”
“It is often shocking for people to learn that long-standing opponents are able to build mutual understanding, develop friendships, and identify solutions they both support when they participate in a well-designed and facilitated problem-solving dialogue,” stated Levison. “I have witnessed these transformative interactions daily through my work building consensus on contentious public issues.”
“I am joining Convergence because of its unique commitment and ability to not only dramatically expand the use of problem-solving dialogues but also to build awareness of and demand for the power of bridge-building and collaborative dialogue,” Levison continued. “I hope more Americans will soon realize that we can, in fact, build relationships and solutions across differences and that there is hope for finding solutions to intractable issues.”
In addition to leading Convergence’s current body of work, Levison is also charged with overseeing future programs as the organization gains momentum and sharpens its focus on achieving impact in three issue areas: Health and Wellbeing; Economic Opportunity; and Democracy and Civic Engagement. Additionally, she will engage in opportunities to leverage Convergence’s well-honed and evidence-based approach in new contexts, including work with Members of Congress to impact policy, efforts to expand and strengthen the bridge-building community, and innovations within Convergence’s flagship Dialogues.
Levison holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, and a master’s degree in International Affairs from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Additionally, Levison was a Humphrey Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota.
Convergence is a national non-profit with locations in Washington, D.C. and the Bay Area that builds trust and bridges divides to solve critical issues and strengthen our democracy and society. Convergence Dialogues convene individuals and organizations with divergent views to understand each other, find common ground, develop groundbreaking, consensus solutions, and build unusual alliances to see those solutions enacted. Dialogues usually address critical national issues in impact focus areas, including economic opportunity, health and wellness, and democracy and society. Learn more at: https://convergencepolicy.org.
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SOURCE Convergence Center for Policy Resolution
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