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Featured Speakers, Panelists and Framers

Susan Sherry

Susan Sherry pioneered the use of multi-party stakeholder efforts in and around the State Capital region of California to address highly complex and controversial public policy issues through consensus-building and mediation. Since 1990, she has served as a public policy mediator and facilitator for state, local and regional government across all regions of California, working on such issues as water supply, economic development, environmental protection, natural resources, flood management, public finance and governance, growth management, transportation, air quality, land use, education and social and health services.  She successfully mediated the nationally-recognized Sacramento Area Water Forum Agreement, the product of forty-five diverse stakeholder organizations who worked together to develop a safe, reliable and environmentally sound water supply for the three-county metropolitan area through the year 2030.

Susan developed the Center from a one-person effort into the current self-supporting University program comprised of a team of twenty employees and an equal number of mediator consultants.  Under Susan's leadership, the Center works on approximately 100 projects each year focusing on:

  • Multi-party consensus-building, negotiation, and dispute resolution on contentious public policy issues;
  • Community and public agency long-range strategic planning and visioning; and
  • Inclusive and participatory public participation processes on emerging and controversial policy issues.

The Center currently provides collaborative policy services to almost all regions of California, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley, Lake Tahoe region, Southern California, and Sacramento and its Sierra Foothill area.

Prior to founding the Center, Ms. Sherry worked for a variety of public, nonprofit and educational institutions, directing the development and implementation of public policy. Susan holds a Masters in Social Work, with an emphasis in public policy.