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Sharon M. Pickett Award
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The Sharon M. Pickett Award is granted in recognition of  an ACR member who has advanced the cause of environmental protection through the effective use of alternative dispute resolution.  It was established in honor of Sharon Pickett who, in addition to serving as a family mediator and trainer, was an ardent advocate for environmental issues. 


Before becoming a mediator, Sharon was Director of Communications for three national nonprofit organizations as well as a communications consultant for several progressive nonprofit organizations, including the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Center for International Environmental Law, and Physicians for Social Responsibility.  Sharon’s mediation practice focused on family and divorce mediation and she worked as a co-mediator and trainer with Mediation Matters, in Bethesda, Maryland.  She was a certified mediator with the Maryland Council on Dispute Resolution and was instrumental in developing its performance-based certification process as a member of its Certification Committee.


Sharon was hired by ACR to work with staff on a wide range of projects before and after the 2000 merger which created ACR.  She helped create ACResolution Magazine and edited every issue from its founding until she resigned for health reasons in September 2007.  For all her professional contributions, it was her spirit that touched people. She was easy-going, kind, compassionate, and gentle - combined with a fierce love of life and a wonderful combination of funny crazy and serious, bright sides. An ACR colleague wrote:


You could always count on her for wisdom… Her wisdom came from her incredible capacity to seek out life in all of its richness, and never to shy away from a challenge. An academic dean, a magician's assistant, a mediator, a grandmother, and a rock musician, Sharon wore more hats in her life than most of us could in several lifetimes.


Review the Criteria for the Sharon M.Pickett Award 



2017 Recipients: Kirk Emerson & Tina Nabatchi

In their book, Collaborative Governance Regimes, published by Georgetown University Press in 2015, Kirk Emerson and Tina Nabatchi offer collaborative governance practitioners, researchers, teachers, and trainers a new way of thinking about and describing the “practice, structures, and circumstance of public policy decision making that engage people constructively across sectors to carry out a public purpose” [Emerson & Nabatchi]. 

The significant contribution that this book makes to the field is the formulation of an integrated framework for collaborative governance that is both comprehensive in scope and intuitive in its presentation. Their careful and thorough integration of the process and practice of principled engagement within the larger system context in which it takes place provides students as well as seasoned practitioners an easy grasp of the totality of participatory decision-making in matters of public policy. It is the systematic application of this framework in public policy decision making – strikingly varied and contingent in its approaches and practice – that they call “Collaborative Governance Regimes.” Through clear and accessible writing, they describe the system drivers and contexts that create the promise and possibility for collaborative governance, and then place within that the dynamics of collaborative work.  They complete the framework with an assortment of case studies in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. that illustrate a range of perspectives and applications of their integrative framework. Lastly, and another significant contribution to the field, they offer a typology of collaborative governance regimes as a way to characterize them and allow for further specification and comparison.  In writing this book, Kirk and Tina tested their ideas with scholars and practitioners across the disciplines of public policy decision making and community dialogue, deliberation, and public involvement. It is this sharing and vetting of ideas among colleagues with deep experience and successful careers in the public, private, and academic sectors that adds to the richness and fullness of this book.

Kirk Emerson is Professor of Practice in Collaborative Governance at the University of Arizona School of Government and Public Policy with joint appointments in the Schools of Planning and Public Health. She is also 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. Kirk has had a longstanding career in environmental conflict resolution and collaborative problem solving as a practitioner, trainer, researcher, and administrator. She was the founding director of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution of the Udall Foundation where she worked for ten years overseeing the federal government’s first independent environmental mediation program. Through her professional consulting work, she has provided conflict assessment, collaborative process design and facilitation, evaluation, and training services to clients in the public and private sector. Previously, she coordinated the environmental conflict resolution program at the Udall Center, where she directed applied research projects on water resources, endangered species, and western range issues.

Tina Nabatchi is an associate professor of public administration and international affairs and a faculty research associate at the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC). Her research focuses on citizen participation, collaborative governance, conflict resolution, and challenges in public administration. Tina's research has been published in numerous journals. She has several award-winning articles, including: “Addressing the Citizenship and Democratic Deficits: Exploring the Potential of Deliberative Democracy for Public Administration,” which won the 2010 Best Article Award from American Review of Public Administration; “Evaluating the Productivity of Collaborative Governance Regimes: A Performance Matrix”, which won the 2015 best article award from Public Performance and Management Review; and “The New Governance: Practices and Processes for Stakeholder and Citizen Participation in the Work of Government,” which was recognized as one of the 75 most influential articles in the history of Public Administration Review


Past Recipients:

Jerry Cormick
2015 Lucy Moore
2013 John Jostes
2012 Frank Dukes
2011 Marcelle DuPraw
2010 Sarah Alexander
2008 Alice Shorett

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