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Meridian Institute

Agriculture and Food Security
We seek collaborative solutions to world food problems.
Climate Change and Energy
We help parties forge alliances on these critical issues.
Environment and Natural Resources
We facilitate everything from site-specific disputes to international policy dialogues.
Global Stability and Security
We help build partnerships that foster a more stable and secure world.
Health
When it comes to health policy, we are all stakeholders.
Sustainability and Resilience
Our work helps organizations and communities thrive.
Science and Technology
Our work involves issues at the intersection of science, technology, law, and policy.

Meridian Institute helps people solve complex and controversial problems, make informed decisions, and implement solutions that improve lives, the economy, and the environment.

Featured Projects

AGree: Transforming Food and Ag Policy

The AGree initiative drives positive change in the food and agriculture system by connecting and challenging leaders from diverse communities to catalyze action and elevate food and agriculture as a national priority. More


Telecommunications Industry Association Strategic Planning

Throughout 2015, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) underwent a strategic review and planning process. Meridian Institute supported the process by serving as the facilitator and strategic advisor for a series of discussions, including two in-person strategy sessions, with the TIA Board of Directors and other key personnel. More


Climate Change and Agriculture

Meridian Institute convened a number of projects – including informal dialogues and workshops, expert reports, and donor interviewing processes – that address issues at the nexus of agriculture and climate change. More


In May 2017, Meridian and a team of expert authors released a draft report on climate change and food systems that shows interactions between value chain components (e.g., processing, transportation, consumption, etc.) and identifies opportunities for transitioning to more sustainable food systems.
The Resilient Power Project (RPP) works to accelerate the market development of resilient, clean energy solutions for vulnerable communities by engaging stakeholders in evaluating the climate adaptation and resiliency benefits of solar and storage technology.
After a devastating South Carolina flood, Meridian and Northeastern University's Center for Resilience Studies Network (CRSNET) engaged community-members and policymakers in workshops and interviews to analyze factors that will encourage the long-term resilience of affected communities.
Meridian initiated the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) development process in 2010 with African leaders, providing strategic planning, process design, and project development support to help PACA transform into a functioning institution within the African Union Commission.


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Where We Work

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Meet Our Staff

Nino Archvadze

Nino Archvadze

“Working at Meridian is a great pleasure and a privilege. What I like best about Meridian is that people are working like one big family. I am grateful that I am a part of this family where people have abundant positive ideas about how to move multipart problems toward their solutions.“ —Nino Archvadze, Office Manager

Todd Barker

Todd Barker

“At Meridian, we are willing and eager to innovate. We seek to apply our collaborative problem-solving expertise to new problems in new ways and in new contexts. It’s thrilling to be a part of that.”     —Todd Barker, Senior Partner

Chris Benedict

Chris Benedict

“I really appreciate the fact that my job allows me to help work toward meaningful goals, rather than simply toward the bottom line. I’m thrilled to be involved with an organization that does great work, surrounded by great people.” —Chris Benedict, Bookkeeper

Alesia Blum

Alesia Blum

“I am inspired each day by the focus, discipline, persistence, and teamwork of the entire Meridian staff. I am proud to be a part of an organization that’s making a positive difference in the world.” —Alesia Blum, Accountant and Payroll Administrator

Jennifer Brassanini

Jennifer Brassanini

“I’ve always wanted to find a way to ‘change the world.’ Working for Meridian and supporting the people who are involved in this important work has given me a way to make a difference in my own way.”   —Jennifer Brassanini, Operations Manager

Mallorie Bruns

Mallorie Bruns

“Meridian Institute is a mission-driven organization, and that is reflected everyday in the ambition of my colleagues to have a positive impact in the world by bringing people together.”   —Mallorie Bruns, Mediator and Program Manager

Kristy Buckley

Kristy Buckley

“What sets Meridian apart is that we are focused on results. We may be experts in the process of collaboration, but we work hard to make sure that process drives toward concrete outcomes.”   —Kristy Buckley, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Jeana Connaughton

Jeana Connaughton

“I could not be happier to be a part of this team. I enjoy knowing that the work we do is focused on making the world a better place.” —Jeana Connaughton, Senior Project Coordinator

Holly Dobson

Holly Dobson

“My job has enabled me to meet so many interesting and intelligent people from across the political spectrum and around the world. It’s been a privilege to get to know them.”   —Holly Dobson, Senior Project Coordinator

Wendy D'Ottavio

Wendy D'Ottavio

"What I love about Meridian is knowing that the work we do is focused toward making the world a better place. And not just for today, but for future generations." —Wendy D'Ottavio, Contracts Administrator

Liz Duxbury

Liz Duxbury

“As a Project Coordinator, I appreciate the expertise and wealth of knowledge of our talented staff. It is amazing to see how dedicated the whole team is to making our world and our company a better place.”   —Liz Duxbury, Senior Project Coordinator

Shelly Foston

Shelly Foston

“I am proud to be a part of Meridian Institute because we approach each project with fresh eyes and focus our process design expertise, strategic advice, and extensive contact base on helping people approach and solve tremendously complex problems.”   —Shelly Foston, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Kiera Givens

Kiera Givens

  —Kiera Givens, Project Assistant

Sophie Gutterman

Sophie Gutterman

“What brought me to Meridian was the opportunity to work on real-world issues through processes that are thoughtful, respectful, and achieve lasting results. The work that Meridian does inspires me to approach complex issues with an open mind and a desire to learn.” —Sophie Gutterman, Project Associate

Jason Hohertz

Jason Hohertz

I am excited and greatly appreciate the opportunity to leverage technology solutions to support a dynamic team of colleagues who are dedicated to collaboratively solving tough challenges every day. —Jason Hohertz, Information Technology Manager

Rich Innes

Rich Innes

“At its core Meridian is about helping a free society to function effectively by bringing together people with legitimate differences and providing the space and tools to work through these.  It is an honor to work side by side with such dedicated folks for such a good purpose.” —Rich Innes, Senior Fellow

Ingrid Irigoyen

Ingrid Irigoyen

"I love that Meridian works on some of society’s toughest issues. Whether the topic is reforming fisheries policy, supporting partnerships to improve ocean management, or developing a national system for community resilience, I like helping to bring together diverse parties to communicate—and reach agreement."     —Ingrid Irigoyen, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Heather Lair

Heather Lair

“What I like about working at Meridian is that the “solution space” is only constrained by the ideas and imagination of the stakeholders we engage. This allows for creative solutions that take problem-solving to a whole new level.” —Heather Lair, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Michael Lesnick

Michael Lesnick

“I know stakeholders often feel the processes we design result in better decisions, because they take into account the right people and the right information. There is not much better reward than feeling like you helped people solve a really tough one.”   —Michael Lesnick, Senior Partner

Connie Lewis

Connie Lewis

“I treasure Meridian because of my colleagues (smart, caring, committed), the problems we tackle (important, complicated, gnarly), the work (hard, ever-changing, satisfying), the relationship with clients and stakeholders (respectful, honest), and the positive results." —Connie Lewis, Senior Partner

Jackie Manguso

Jackie Manguso

“Meridian is made up of people who are really driven to do good work and apply their skills to projects that make a difference. It’s great to be a part of it.”   —Jackie Manguso, Director of Contracts and Finance Administration

Meghan Massaua

Meghan Massaua

"Meridian operates at the heart of today’s most pressing problems. These challenging issues require novel solutions that Meridian is helping to pioneer, and I am thrilled that I can contribute to finding those solutions collaboratively." —Meghan Massaua, Mediator and Program Manager

Molly Mayo

Molly Mayo

“For me, it’s the span of projects at Meridian that I enjoy—from helping people develop solutions to very local problems to designing and facilitating national and international policy dialogues.” —Molly Mayo, Senior Partner

Tim Mealey

Tim Mealey

“What sets Meridian apart for me is our willingness to take risks. We have successfully applied collaborative problem-solving processes to legislative policy issues that are both complex and fraught with political controversy.” —Tim Mealey, Senior Partner

Orion McCarthy

Orion McCarthy

“Meridian is a unique organization because it is simultaneously willing to take innovative business risks and committed to providing a strong support network for its staff.” —Orion McCarthy, Project Associate

Stephanie Moore

Stephanie Moore

“I really appreciate working for an organization that’s so focused on making the world a better place. It gives my work a sense of purpose.” —Stephanie Moore, Senior Partner and Director of Finance

Marielena Octavio

Marielena Octavio

“As someone interested in becoming an active leader in public policy on complex and controversial issues, I am ecstatic to be part of Meridian Institute. I am constantly challenged and inspired by the expertise, passion, and dedication of every person on the Meridian staff.” —Marielena Octavio, Project Assistant

Robyn Paulekas

Robyn Paulekas

“The work Meridian Institute does is part of the next wave of problem solving; it recognizes that solutions come from connecting people and from good process design. I’m thrilled to be part of the Meridian team.”   —Robyn Paulekas, Mediator and Program Manager

Diana Portner

Diana Portner

“I was drawn to Meridian for the meaningful work and the opportunity to make a difference. Everyone here is passionate about what they do, and it’s easy to see why. Helping people communicate about difficult issues is the path to solving some of today’s toughest problems.” —Diana Portner, Mediator and Program Manager

Jennifer Pratt Miles

Jennifer Pratt Miles

“One of the things I enjoy most is working with people who have different points of view and helping them to develop options and integrated solutions for addressing multiple (and sometimes conflicting) interests and needs.”   —Jennifer Pratt Miles, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Rex Raimond

Rex Raimond

“My work at Meridian challenges me to be innovative and creative, and allows me to contribute to real solutions on issues I care deeply about.”  —Rex Raimond, Senior Mediator and Program Director

Annie Shapiro

Annie Shapiro

“I am inspired by the passion and dedication of every person on the Meridian staff, and by Meridian’s uncompromising pursuit of innovation and expertise in every project it works on. I am thrilled to be a part of this organization and close-knit community.” —Annie Shapiro, Project Assistant

Isabella Soparkar

Isabella Soparkar

“Being part of Meridian’s work facilitating multi-party collaboration gives me hope. It shows me that though the world’s environmental public policy challenges are daunting, it is possible to build solutions. I am so fortunate to work alongside and learn from colleagues with tremendous experience and passion for their projects.” —Isabella Soparkar, Project Assistant

Brad Spangler

Brad Spangler

“Meridian is pushing the boundaries of collaborative problem solving, to help find durable solutions to the complex public policy challenges facing today’s global society. I’m proud to be a part of that mission.” —Brad Spangler, Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Barbara Stinson

Barbara Stinson

“Meridian Institute strives to be a true learning organization. We work to improve our internal learning, and therefore our external processes, all the time. I find it exhilarating to work in an environment committed to continuous improvement.” —Barbara Stinson, Senior Partner

Sara Suriani

Sara Suriani

“Meridian gives me the opportunity to learn something new every day—from serving on the IT team to planning field trips in Africa to working with individuals who are at the top of their fields.” —Sara Suriani, Senior Project Coordinator

Charles Taylor

Charles Taylor

“I thoroughly enjoy being a part of an organization where everyone is so mission-driven. Every day, we are all trying to bring the very best of our professional skills to every project.”   —Charles Taylor, Senior Partner and Chief Operating Officer

Sarah Walen

Sarah Walen

“I feel incredibly lucky to be working on things that matter—to be helping people talk about, illuminate, and take constructive action on issues and circumstances that impact their lives.” —Sarah Walen, Senior Mediator and Program Manager