The Center for Creative Conflict Resolution has served as a conflict resource for New York City government, its agencies, employees, unions and the public they serve since 2016. Operating under the auspices of the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), the Center works to create positive change in the ways conflicts are managed and resolved within New York City government.
The Center provides creative, collaborative, flexible, cost efficient and "breathable" options to effectively manage conflicts within and across New York City government. The Center provides a wide range of free services to City government employees and agencies. Through these efforts, the Center seeks to transform the harmful potential of conflict into opportunities for improved communication, enhanced relationships, greater public trust and positive change.
On February 18, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio officially established the Center as the City government’s central dispute resolution resource through an historic endorsement of conflict resolution and Restorative Justice in New York City via Executive Order 63 .
The Executive Order directs all agencies to designate an ADR Coordinator and to consult with the Center to incorporate Restorative Justice principles into their workplaces and missions.
Special message re: COVID 19: All Center services are currently offered remotely. We look forward to seeing you in person as the city moves toward re-opening!
To access these services through your agency, please contact your agency’s ADR Coordinator, EEO Officer or HR Director.
If you are currently working with the Center and have questions and concerns, please contact the Center staff person you are directly working with.
All other inquiries may be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I enjoyed the mediation process, it helped me to realize the stressors of my peers, and mediators were very helpful in finding ways we can use to combat every stress."
"As a representative of both parties in this dispute, I was surprised and pleased that mediation on such a professional level was offered to members. The process was thorough and helpful."
"Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to discuss this matter. I now feel a lot of stress has been removed from the work environment and I have agreed to work hard at keeping it that way."
"I was completely satisfied with the outcome. Everything was handled in a professional manner, which made me comfortable, and brought me in seeing the respondent's viewpoint, as well as mine. I am ready to put this behind me and move forward."
All services are provided by the Center Staff and a diverse panel of external Mediators and Trainers.
Judge Kramer serves as the Center's Executive Director and Director of the Administrative Judicial Institute at OATH, the mission of which is to provide ongoing educational programs, training and workshops to New York City administrative law judges and hearing officers. An Administrative Law Judge and Mediator, Judge Kramer leads the Center's Dispute Systems Design initiative. He has many years of experience mediating in the Family Court and workplace contexts and assisting parties in settling matters before OATH. He holds an Adjunct Professor post at New York University Law School, where he co-teaches the Mediation and Advanced Mediation: Dispute System Design Clinics, and New York University's School of Professional Studies, where he teaches Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management in the Master's Degree Program in Human Resources.
Justo A. Sanchez serves as the Center's Director of Center Services. An experienced Mediator, Justo developed his craft actively mediating community and family disputes as well as court referred cases at various venues throughout New York City. From 2005-2010, he served as the Director of OATH's initial workplace mediation program, The Center for Mediation Services. His prior positions include serving as a Child Permanency Mediator with the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, mediating child permanency matters in the NYC Family Courts. He also served as Mediation Coordinator with the Center for Court Innovation, where he managed the Harlem Community Justice Center's Mediation Program. Throughout his career, he has worked with a wide variety of groups, couples and individuals across a broad spectrum of conflict themes and contexts. Justo received his Bachelor of Arts from Hunter College.
Halley B. Anolik, Esq. serves as the Center's Director of Education and Training. In this role, Halley oversees, creates, and delivers trainings to city agencies and their employees on ways to understand and incorporate conflict resolution and restorative practices’ theory and skills into their workplace relationships. Prior to joining the Center, Halley worked at New York Center for Interpersonal Development where she mediated a variety of case types, collaborated with courts, schools and various community groups to implement mediation programs and provided training in conflict resolution. Halley graduated cum laude from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law with a concentration in Alternative Dispute Resolution and currently holds an Adjunct Professor post at Brooklyn Law School, where she directs their Mediation Clinic and teaches various courses in the field of ADR.
Karin McAvoy serves as the Administrative Coordinator for the Administrative Judicial Institute and the Center. Karin is a top-performing Executive Assistant with more than 20 years of experience managing office priorities and providing exceptional administrative support for executives and government officials. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and her Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) designation from the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
Kimberly Guzman serves as the Center's Administrative Assistant. Having served in various capacities in diverse environments at OATH for 8+ years, Kim brings exceptional customer service experience to the Center. She is skilled in providing customer care, coordinating and responding to complex internal and external agency requests, supervising and training staff on policies and procedures, database management and record keeping through her experience with the Department of Records and Information Services. Prior to OATH, Kim conducted parenting workshops, evaluated child development tools and supervised recreational and educational activities for children and adolescents at Women in Need, an organization that supports homeless single mothers and children. Kim has a passion for learning and public service.
Sethu L. Nair serves as the Center's Director of ADR and Restorative Programming. In collaboration with the Executive Director, Sethu guides the implementation of the Executive Order 63 and delivers all Center services in collaboration with her colleagues.
Sethu is a trainer in Restorative Practices and is the Center’s go-to Executive Leadership Coach. She is a member of the team at Hidden Water NYC, where she facilitates restorative circles to heal the impact of child sexual abuse in the family system. She also teaches Conflict Resolution and Restorative Practices at Columbia University.
Prior to joining the Center, Sethu ran her own Conflict Management and Coaching practice. Sethu has worked across a range of conflicts including; family matters, small business disputes, non-profit staff and board challenges, workplace conflict and community discord. Sethu is graduate of SUNY Purchase and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Jesse Baen, Conflict Resolution Specialist, has devoted her career to bridging divides, whether interpersonal, professional or religious. That passion led her from East Bay Community Mediation, where she provided mediation and case management services for neighbor, workplace and family disputes, all the way to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, where she advocated for prisoners’ right to a fair trial and humane treatment as a paralegal with the Center for Constitutional Rights. Prior to joining the Center, Jesse served as a Senior Facilitator and Trainer with Soliya’s Global Connect Program and as a consultant with Mediators Beyond Borders’ Democracy, Politics and Conflict Engagement Initiative. She also leads conflict resolution trainings and facilitates dialogue for community, faith, and activist organizations. Jesse hold a BA in Religious Studies from McGill University and a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton University.
Eric Shanks, Conflict Resolutions Specialist, is a clinical social worker, psychotherapist, mediator, and restorative justice practitioner. In his work, Eric works to interrupt cycles of harm by facilitating structured healing processes to bring about relational growth, development and transformation. Prior to joining the Center for Creative Conflict Resolution as conflict resolution specialist, Eric facilitated restorative circles for Hidden Water to heal the impact of child sexual abuse in the family system. Additionally, he has 20 years of experience within various human service delivery systems from youth work and juvenile justice through end of life care with older adults. Eric is a graduate of UMASS Boston College of Public and Community Service and Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.