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PPM helps government, stakeholders, and the public craft actionable and sustainable agreements to resolve complex public disputes.
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PPM designs and implements mediation processes that enable unique solutions to emerge through sustained productive negotiations that contain parties’ inevitable clashes of will, perspective and values. 

PPM discerns political, cultural and societal dynamics to assist clients in the design of uniquely tailored outcome-based processes that match situational challenges. Awareness of these dynamics enables PPM to initiate and sustain deliberative negotiations to build actionable agreements.


PPM analyzes complex conflicts to identify relevant stakeholders, critical issues, key interests, relevant history and power dynamics.

Process Design

Based on assessments and in consultation with government, stakeholders, and civil society, PPM designs inclusive processes that incorporate participation opportunities for negotiators and other affected parties.

Mediated negotiations

PPM mediates complex negotiations that integrate varied perspectives and interests into actionable and sustainable agreements.

outreach and consultation

With insights from local partners, PPM helps create process mechanisms for deep participation that generates additional input into negotiator deliberations and decisions.


Unique solutions emerge from an integration of the perspectives and wisdom of people who are affected by the conflict and will implement the agreement reached.


Susan L. Podziba

Susan Podziba, a public policy mediator for more than 25 years, has designed and mediated scores of cases across the policy spectrum for clients including the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, and Transportation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Senate, U.S. Institute of Peace, and the United Nations. She is Director of the Sacred Lands Project of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program and faculty for the Harvard Negotiation Institute course, Advanced Mediation Workshop: Mediating Complex Disputes.  

Ms. Podziba is author of Civic Fusion: Mediating Polarized Public Disputes (2012), The Chelsea Story: How a Corrupt City Re-Generated its Democracy (2006), and numerous articles on negotiation, mediation and consensus building. She is listed on credential-evaluated rosters including the United Nations Mediation Roster and the National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution. 

She has been a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Peace and Conflict Resolution at the Amsterdam Centre for Conflict Studies at the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands and has taught graduate seminars on public policy mediation and negotiations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

What People are saying

"I know that Susan is known as a mediator... but I think of Susan as a peacemaker."
BARBARA THORP, former director of the Pro-Life Office of the Archdiocese of Boston
"We found it so good to talk to one another with the purpose of understanding, not persuading. I think we learned something fundamental that is worth sharing."
MELISSA KOGUT, former director of Mass NARAL, the state affiliate of National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action and participant in the Abortion Talks
"Why we are moving forward and why we are not getting bogged down is due to the professional facilitator, Susan Podziba. Her ability to keep us on track, in the right spirit, and with opportunities to express ourselves, has been an amazing skill to observe."
DOUG WILLIAMS, President of Buckner Heavy Lift Cranes, Inc. from “Great Progress,” International Cranes and Special Transport Magazine.
"On behalf our agency, I want to say thank you so much for a wonderful program.  Your ability to connect in a meaningful way with the work our mediators do every day was an incredible testament to your talent as a dispute professional.  The content was both interesting and important to us all."
LU ANN GLASSER, Manager of National Programs, Initiatives, ADR, and International Services, Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service
"Thank you for your work with the committee.   I thought you skillfully moved the discussions forward and were always fair and considerate of individual member's opinions and comments."
ALVIN WILBANKS, Gwinnett County Public Schools, Georgia
"My initial internal reaction was ‘oh boy, here goes the bar fight’ but then the unexpected thing happened. A really fascinating conversation began unfolding with everyone being very respectful of each others opinions and folks trying real hard to come up with constructive ideas for helping NOAA enhance the effectiveness of its law enforcement program."
BARRY DONALD, Environmental Defense Fund
"Susan Podziba has written a powerful and instructive book. Her career as a public policy mediator offers insights that go beyond anything else in print. Her ability to ask piercing questions in the best Socratic fashion, even of her own practice, make this an indispensable guide for anyone seeking to play a peacemaking role."
LAWRENCE SUSSKIND, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, MIT   Co-Founder, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
"Susan Podziba's Civic Fusion: Mediating Polarized Public Policy Disputes is a much- needed contribution. It offers a glistening synthesis of the practical, the theoretical, and the aspirational, and shines a beacon of realistic hope for improving democratic processes.  It is written beautifully and with a rare combination of sophistication, clarity, and insight.  I wish every mediator and everyone concerned about public policy would read it."
LEONARD L. RISKIN, Chesterfield Smith Professor of Law and Director of the Initiative on Mindfulness in Law and Dispute Resolution at University of Florida Levin College of Law.
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Civic Fusion: Mediating Polarized Public Disputes

Learn how people with clashing interests and values can bond to resolve controversial policy conflicts.

Amidst political polarization, public policy mediators help disputing parties contribute their wisdom and experiences to resolve their complex public conflicts. Mediators trigger and sustain civic fusion, a phenomenon in which people with passionately different political positions bond to address common public goals without sacrificing their core values.

In Civic Fusion: Mediating Polarized Public Disputes, I draw on three of my past projects to explain how to move parties from polarization to deliberative negotiations that result in innovative consensus solutions.
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PPM serves clients in government, industry, and civil society across many policy focus areas and political contexts. We invite you to contact us directly regarding your policy mediation needs or interests.Thank you for your interest in Podziba Policy Mediation. We look forward to hearing from you.


Podziba Policy Mediation
Brookline, MA 02445 
Phone: 617-738-5320

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