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Meridian Institute

Agriculture and Food Systems
We seek collaborative solutions to world food problems.
Climate Change
We help parties forge alliances on these critical issues.
Environment and Natural Resources
We facilitate everything from site-specific disputes to international policy dialogues.
Health
When it comes to health policy, we are all stakeholders.
Oceans and Coasts
Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet.
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

CARE-WWF Alliance

​Meridian Institute assisted the CARE-WWF Alliance in identifying strategic options for the Alliance to achieve their goal of "making a unique, significant, and transformative contribution to building food systems that feed and nourish 1 billion hungry and undernourished people today and a projected 9 billion people by 2050, while supporting healthy ecosystems and vital biodiversity."

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AflaSTOP: Storage and Drying for Aflatoxin Prevention

Meridian Institute is partnering with ACDI/VOCA and Agribusiness Systems International to support the testing and commercialization of low-cost, innovative storage and drying technology to reduce aflatoxin contamination and other post-harvest losses in Africa.

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Resilient Power: Building a Stronger Clean Energy Future

​Meridian Institute and its partner, the Clean Energy Group, with funding from the JPB Foundation, are working together on the Resilient Power Project. This project is a collaborative effort among leading state energy officials from six Northeastern states; organizers are also seeking participation from representatives of federal agencies and additional municipalities beyond the Northeast. The goal of the project is to develop innovative clean energy programs, funding mechanisms, and advocacy strategies that could be replicable across the country and that result in significantly more resilient power protection for the public.

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Click to learn about Meridian's mission, services, impacts, partners, and areas of substantive expertise.
Click to learn about Meridian's mission, services, impacts, partners, and areas of substantive expertise.
Click to learn about Meridian's mission, services, impacts, partners, and areas of substantive expertise.


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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 and Practice Director

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, Senior 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

John Ehrmann

John Ehrmann

“I am very proud to be working with such an outstanding group of colleagues at Meridian, each of whom puts their heart and soul into their efforts to achieve our mission, no matter what their role.  I see every day how their dedication and humility is making a difference in the world.”   —John Ehrmann, Senior Partner

Annika Freudenberger

Annika Freudenberger

“I strongly believe that collaboration is the foundation for developing effective, lasting solutions to challenging problems. I am lucky to work with colleagues and partners at Meridian who are driven by a shared mission of collectively, equitably, and creatively building a better future.” —Annika Freudenberger, Project Assistant

Cassidy Gasteiger

Cassidy Gasteiger

“I am inspired by Meridian’s collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach to solving complex policy issues. I am excited every day by the passion and dedication of Meridian’s staff, and to work for a mission-driven organization that tackles some of the world’s toughest problems.” —Cassidy Gasteiger, Project Assistant

Kiera Givens

Kiera Givens

“I believe that collaborative decision making is one of the best ways to solve the complex socio-economic, cultural, and environmental challenges that we face today. I work at Meridian because the passion and knowledge that Meridian staff bring to their projects makes them uniquely able to facilitate such collaboration.” —Kiera Givens, 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

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 Director

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 and Managing Director

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 and Administration

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 Associate

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, Senior 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, Senior 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, Program Associate

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 Associate

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

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