Bio (Dr. Cheryl A. Picard)

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Dr. Cheryl A. Picard


Educator, Mediator and Conflict Coach

Educator, mediator and conflict coach specializing in conflict work in interpersonal, workplace, and community-based conflict for over 35 years. She is professor emeritus at Carleton University and principle of Cheryl Picard & Associates, a conflict-consulting firm bringing change through learning.

Cheryl has mediated one-on-one conflicts and facilitated collaborative problem-solving with both small and large groups.  She brings a relational ideology to her teaching and conflict resolution practice, which means she views people as connected to each other through complex webs of relationships, patterns of interaction, and meaning-making.  She has a long list of accomplishments over the three and one-half decades that she has been involved in the field of mediation and conflict resolution. While at Carleton University she founded the Graduate Diploma in Conflict Resolution program, the Centre for Conflict Education and Research, and the Mediation Centre. Her teaching and research led to insight mediationand the insight approach to conflict, both of which address conflict through a process of learning that helps conflicting parties change negative patterns of interaction enabling them to interact in less threatening and conflictual ways.

Cheryl is active locally, nationally and internationally. Notable international activities include her work with the Coalition for the Protection of Children in Bermuda where, between 1993 and 2003 she helped implement school peer mediation and conflict management curriculum programs; she continues to teach mediation to professionals in Bermuda.  More recently she has been supporting the work of “Community Peacemakers” in San Fernando Trinidad, a group of mediators trained in the insight approach who offer free mediation services to community groups and individuals.  Her work with the Felix Varela Centre in Cuba helped further grass-root non-violent collaborative problem-solving through the teaching of conflict resolution, mediation, and coaching skills to Cuban professionals and community leaders.  Cheryl taught at Teachers College Columbia University, S-CAR George Mason University, the Law University of Lithuania, and lectured in the United States, England and New Zealand. Her non-academic Canadian accomplishments include founding a victim-offender mediation program in Halifax; implementing one of the first high school peer mediation programs in Canada; and establishing the Neighbourhood Coalition for Conflict Resolution, a non-profit, multi-cultural community based conflict resolution program in a large social housing community in Ottawa. 

Cheryl is the author of 3 books: Transforming Conflict through Insight (2008), a theoretical look at insight theory and its application to conflict; The Art and Science of Mediation (2004), a university text co-authored with three others; and Mediating Interpersonal and Small Group Conflict (2002), an introductory primer. She is currently working on a fourth book, Practicing Insight Mediation, a compendium to Transforming Conflict that will focus on the skills of mediation and conflict resolution using the insight approach. She also has a long list of published articles and conference papers.

In 2008, Cheryl was one of 50 women from across Canada recognized for long-standing peace work by the Department of Peace Initiative in cooperation with the Canadian Voice of Women for Peace and the Civilian Peace Service Canada.  That same year she was recognized by Family Mediation Canada with the prestigious annual FAMMA Award for exceptional contributions to the field, and in 2009 was nominated for the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction award in the category of Education and Training.