Photo of Douglas Thompson

Douglas Thompson

Senior Mediator

Doug Thompson has a background in environmental protection and dispute resolution and management. Prior to joining CBI, he worked for eight years at The Keystone Center and spent 25 years with the Environmental Protection Agency in various technical and management capacities. As part of EPA’s dispute resolution program, he mediated a number of environmental conflicts; he worked on assignment as a founding associate at the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution in Arizona. He has mediated extensively in the court system, is adjunct faculty in the Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution at University of Massachusetts, and has mediated workplace and family disputes.

Areas of Focus

Doug’s wide-ranging case work has included matters related to issues as diverse as drinking water disinfection, marine mammal concerns, nuclear waste and chemical weapons cleanup, state-federal interactions around technical and policy water quality issues, the credibility of green marketing and sustainable product claims, pandemic flu planning, federal environmental enforcement matters, tribal capacity building in the environmental area, and endangered species. In addition to serving as a mediator and facilitator, he has written several extensive conflict assessments, including ones related to mountaintop mining issues and a complex transportation conflict in Ohio. He also has extensive teaching and training experience.  Doug has taught three courses in the Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts (Mediation Internship, Conflict Assessment, and Multi-Party Dispute Resolution) and co-leads mediation training three times yearly with Metropolitan Mediation Services.  He provides weekly supervision and coaching of student mediators in the Massachusetts court system.  Originally trained as a biologist, Doug has substantive expertise related to NEPA and the Clean Water Act, particularly §404/wetland program and wildlife issues. 

 Exemplary Projects

  • National Water Quality Communications Forum
  • Carbon Canopy
  • EPA Tribal Western Wetlands Management
  • Situation assessment:  Surface Mining in the Appalachian Highlands
  • Endangered Species Act Dialogue
  • Situation Assessment for Eastern Corridor (Ohio) Transportation Conflict


The following is a partial list of clients:

Federal Agencies

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Department of Defense (multiple agencies)
  • Department of the Interior (multiple agencies)
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • National Marine Fisheries Service
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Geological Survey

 State Agencies

  • Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program
  • Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration
  • Ohio Department of Transportation

 Local Municipalities

  • Cape Cod Commission
  • Charlestown Navy Yard
  • Town of Natick

 Nonprofit Organizations

  • American Water Works Association
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
  • Canadian Water Network
  • Dogwood Alliance
  • U.S. Green Building Council
  • Water Environment Federation


  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Staples, Inc.

Education and Affiliations

Doug holds a B.A. in environmental science and a M.S. in Biology from Northwestern University (four-year B.A./M.S. honors program).  He is on rosters managed by the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration, and the Boston Federal Executive Board. He is a member of the Association of Conflict Resolution. 


  • Exit Strategies:  Typology and Tips” (with Jacks, Tonkin and Schweisberg), New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, 2010.
  • “Public Apology:  An Unapologetic Primer” (with Patrick Field), U.S. EPA Public Involvement Newsletter, 2009.
  • “Theory Meets Practice in Court Internship Program,” Graduate Program in Dispute Resolution Newsletter, 2001.
  • “Uncertain Ground: Battles over wetland regulation reflect American ambivalence when private property and public rights collide,” Technology Review, 1994.