Photo of Tobias Berkman

Tobias Berkman

Senior Mediator

Toby Berkman is a Senior Mediator at CBI and affiliated faculty at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. An attorney by training and a former litigator, Toby has been facilitating dialogue and mediating complex public disputes for more than a decade. His practice focuses on helping organizations and stakeholders collaborate more effectively around difficult public issues, both domestically and internationally. He has worked with stakeholders and organizations at the local level, in the Alewife neighborhood right in CBI’s backyard, as well as the national and international stage, with the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Department of Defense, the United Nations and the World Bank. As affiliated faculty at the Harvard Program on Negotiation, Toby teaches courses on collaborative problem solving and dispute resolution to law students, executives, and professionals from around the world.

Areas of Focus

Toby’s work bridges CBI’s U.S. and international programs. He works locally in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the U.S. to problem-solve and build consensus on issues including energy, transportation, urban development, land use, climate change adaptation, environmental restoration and conservation, and oceans and water resources.

Internationally, Toby works with international organizations, donors, and community groups to address or prevent conflict around development projects, inter-community violence, and human rights. He has worked internationally on consensus-building and human rights issues in Sierra Leone, Nepal, Nigeria, Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, and elsewhere.

Toby is also an expert in organizational capacity building for collaboration and a skilled and sensitive mediator. As a trainer, he focuses on delivering memorable learning experiences that resonate with participants on both personal and professional levels. And as a mediator, he leverages his legal training and conflict resolution background to help parties find creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems or disputes.

Exemplary Projects

  • MassMoves, Developing Statewide Vision for a 21st-Century Transportation System
  • World Bank, Conflict Prevention for Nepal Transmission Line Projects
  • Guidestar, Convening and Facilitating Advisory Group on Capturing and Sharing Non-Profit Data
  • Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, Strategic Planning for the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Program
  • U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Institute, Assessment and Redesigning Advanced International Negotiations Training Curriculum
  • United Nations System Staff College, Design and Delivery of Curriculum on Consensus Building for the Sustainable Development Goals 


 The following is a partial list of clients:

 Federal Agencies

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Department of Interior
  • U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Institute
  • U.S. Department of Defense

Municipal, State & Regional Agencies and Organizations

  • Boston Planning and Development Agency
  • Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
  • Northeast Regional Ocean Council

Nonprofit Organizations and Foundations

  • Mastercard Foundation
  • Oxfam International
  • Conservation International
  • Guidestar
  • PEAK Grantmaking
  • Barr Foundation

International Organizations

  • The World Bank
  • United Nations System Staff College

Private Sector

  • Pfizer
  • Mercer
  • Norwegian Bar Association

Education and Affiliations

Toby is a certified mediator in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and the American Bar Association. He was admitted to the New York bar in 2013. He received his J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2010, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review and a mediator with the Harvard Mediation Program. He also received a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2010, where he was awarded the Zuckerman Fellowship for academic excellence and commitment to public service.   

Books and Articles