July 6, 2006 -- E. Franklin Dukes, director of the University of Virginia’s Institute for Environmental Negotiation, has been appointed to the board of the Policy Consensus Initiative, a national, nonprofit, bipartisan organization that works with state leaders throughout the United States to initiate and strengthen programås for collaborative governance and consensus building. Other board members include governors, legislators and leaders in the field of public policy consensus building. Current co-chairpeople areJames Geringer, the governor of Wyoming from 1995 to 2003, andRuth Ann Minner, the governor of Delaware from 2001 to the present.
“This is both an honor and an opportunity, ” Dukes said of his appointment. “The PCI Board has pioneered the use of collaborative problem solving to solve complex public problems that don t respond to unilateral solutions. I hope to find ways that universities can become more engaged in such problems.”
Since 1997, the Policy Consensus Initiative has assisted state leaders in the use of collaborative approaches to addressing difficult policy issues. The work of the group and its sister organization, the National Policy Consensus Center, has focused extensively on how different states make use of collaborative policymaking strategies, the types of programs that offer these services, and the effectiveness of such programs in helping leaders to solve public problems.
An experienced facilitator, trainer and mediator and the author of “Reaching for Higher Ground in Conflict Resolution” and “Resolving Public Conflict,” Dukes has served as the director of the Institute for Environmental Negotiation at U.Va. since 2000. He brings a strong understanding of local government and community involvement and has worked with numerous communities on a wide range of issues including water supply, school districting, facility siting and management of park land. He has facilitated groundbreaking efforts in consensus building between the tobacco farmer and public health communities and is now involved in facilitating clean-up and community redevelopment of heavily contaminated sites in different states. He teaches collaborative planning and other topics at the University.