Janet Rifkin, a recent transplant to the LA area, was the Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She was a Professor of Legal Studies and served as the University Ombudsperson for 5 years.
At the University of Massachusetts, she formed a cross-cultural campus mediation program designed to address complex issues including Title IX, sexual harassment, organizational conflict, and challenging conflict where power differences were at play. In her role of Ombudsperson, she work on conflict issues that included athletics, academics, and key student organizations.
The focus of her teaching and research was in the area of alternative dispute resolution, mediation and negotiation. She founded the University Mediation Project, served on the Boards of the National Institute of Dispute Resolution, The National Conference of Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution and was Co-founder and Director of the National Association for Mediation in Education. She was a member of the ADR Cadre of FEMA, a program which brings mediation and facilitation specialists to “disaster areas” in an effort to expedite and enhance the overall response to communities in recovery. She has offered trainings to numerous groups in the United States and abroad in a broad range of conflict resolution management processes.