Kirk Emerson

Former Director, US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution of the Morris K. Udall Foundation

Kirk Emerson

Kirk Emerson is Professor of Practice in Collaborative Governance at the School of Government and Public Policy and a Faculty Associate at the University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and at Syracuse University’s Program for Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration in the Maxwell School. She serves on the working board of the National Institute for Civil Discourse. Dr. Emerson has had a longstanding career in environmental conflict resolution and collaborative problem solving as a practitioner, trainer, researcher, and administrator. She is the former director of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution of the Udall Foundation where she worked for ten years starting up and overseeing the federal government’s first independent environmental mediation program. Before pursuing her doctoral studies, Emerson worked professionally in urban planning for eight years at the Bucks County Planning Commission in Pennsylvania. She served as a community mediator in the Philadelphia area, where she gained her initial experience and training in mediating land use and environmental disputes. Dr. Emerson’s research is focused on collaborative governance and inter-agency cooperation, particularly related to climate change, border security, and public lands management. Her most recent publications include “An Integrated Framework for Collaborative Governanceco-authored with Tina Nabatchi and Stephen Balogh, in the Journal for Public Administration Research and Theory, 2011 and a chapter entitled “Collaborative Public Management and Climate Change” in Schlager, Engel and Rider’s Navigating Climate Change Policy, University of Arizona Press, 2011. She received her B.A. from Princeton University, Masters in City Planning from MIT, and joint PhD in political science and public policy from Indiana University.

Working Board Member