Board of Directors

The New England chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution is governed by a board of directors. The chapter seeks directors who reflect the diversity of the region's practitioners, show a strong commitment to the field of conflict resolution and are familiar with NEACR's mission. The current board of directors are a qualified and energetic group who strive to build upon the work of their many accomplished predecessors.

James Kerwin


through October 2018

James Kerwin is Assistant Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON), a position he has held since December 2001.   While at PON James trained as a mediator at the Harvard Mediation Program (HMP), and has been a certified mediator since 2002, having briefly served as a court liaison to the Quincy and Malden courts.  From 2009-2011 he co-taught a series of mediation courses in Bulgaria as part of a USAID project to train judges with the District Court of Sofia as they embarked on setting up a court referral program.  He has served as a volunteer facilitator with the former AmericaSpeaks in community dialogues in Boston and Cambridge, MA as well as Biddeford, ME, Akron, OH and Landover, MD.   In 2009 he initiated and hosted 3 community dialogues in Waltham, MA where he resides.    Prior to joining PON James was Operations Director at, an online portal for nonprofits to accept credit card donations online.   James earned a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University where he spent his junior year studying Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University in Cairo. 


Jessica Hynes

Past President/Member

through April 2018

Jessica Hynes is a mediator and trainer and an assistant professor at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. She received a B.S. degree in human development and family studies from Cornell University and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. Jessica practiced law at a large Connecticut law firm, clerked for the chief judge of the Connecticut Appellate Court, and spent eight years as a professor at two law schools before joining the Legal Studies faculty at Quinnipiac, where she teaches a variety of legal and conflict resolution classes. Jessica has completed training in basic mediation, divorce mediation, marital mediation, and USDA Agriculture mediation; has worked with community mediation organizations in Rhode Island and Connecticut; and has trained college students and adults in the mediation process. A board member of NE-ACR for the last year, she is also a member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, the Connecticut Council for Divorce Mediation and Collaborative Practice, and the Connecticut Mediation Network.

Kylie Millbern


through October 2018

Diana Chiang


through October 2018

Since moving to the Boston area in 2011, Kylie completed her Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from the University of Massachusetts (Boston). Her final project took her to the Middle East where she created an evaluation plan for Ultimate Peace, a coexistence sports program, uniting Israeli and Palestinian youth over the sport of Ultimate Frisbee. Kylie also worked with the Chill Foundation, which uses snowboarding to teach life skills to Boston youth. These experiences highlight her enthusiasm for the use of sports in conflict resolution and development. She currently works at The Mediation Group in Brookline where she assists the Organizational Development team with consulting and training projects among other administrative duties. She is a trained mediator and enjoys practicing her facilitation skills in a variety of settings, most recently with the City of Cambridge’s Participatory Budget Process. In her spare time, you might find Kylie playing Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, sewing, travelling, or listening to podcasts.


Diana Chiang is a mediator, trainer, and Director of Corporate and Court Programs at MWI. Diana oversees the Alternative Dispute Resolution Programs for MWI’s corporate clients including General Motors, BMW of North America, and 7-Eleven. She is the Director of MWI’s Court Program, overseeing a panel of 100+ pro bono court mediators. Through this program, she conducts seminars and trainings to provide continuing education and networking opportunities for MWI’s dedicated panel. Diana mediates in a variety of areas including divorce, civil cases, housing disputes, and harassment prevention orders. She provides coaching and mentoring services to mediators seeking to grow their skills. Diana is currently an adjunct faculty member teaching negotiation at Suffolk University Law School, and also taught at the University of New Hampshire as an adjunct faculty member of the Justice Studies Program. She earned a B.A. dual degree in Sociology and Justice Studies from the University of New Hampshire, and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School. Diana also serves on the Board of Directors of the New England Association for Conflict Resolution.

Richard Barbieri


through October 2018

Richard has spent four decades in education, mostly at the K-12 level, and is now beginning a second career in the field of conflict resolution. He has been a college and high school teacher, director of the Massachusetts Advanced Studies Program, executive director of the Association of Independent Schools in New England, and interim head of eight schools from Maine to New Mexico, including schools in Newton and Cambridge, MA; Portland, ME, and Branford, CT. He has studied mediation and negotiation at the Harvard Project on Negotiation and at the McCormack Graduate School at UMass. He has written for such publications as Educational Leadership, Independent School, Trusteeship, the Providence Journal, the Maine Times, America, and the Boston Business Journal.




through January 2021

Amy Vaughan-Thomas is a trained mediator and currently an Adjunct Professor and the Director of Academic Success for the University of Massachusetts School of Law. As a professor, Amy coordinates ADR programming through her ADR and Professional Responsibility courses. Prior to joining UMass Law, Amy co-taught the California Western mediation clinic, coordinated conflict resolution intraschool competition programming and assisted in coaching the California Western ADR competition team in ABA negotiation and mediation competitions. She earned her B.A. dual degree in Political Science and American Studies from the University of Connecticut as an NCAA Division 1 Athlete, and a J.D. from California Western School of Law. She is licensed to practice law in California and practiced at a small San Diego firm before transitioning into academia and conflict resolution.

Justin Neiman


through January 2021

Justin Neiman serves as the Associate Ombudsperson for Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He is a skilled conflict resolution practitioner who has experience working in academic, corporate, and nonprofit sectors. Prior to coming to Harvard, Justin served as an Assistant Dean at Stanford University, working in student affairs and teaching courses on leadership and interpersonal learning. Earlier in his career, Justin worked as a management consultant, advising Fortune 500 companies, startups and healthcare organizations on topics related to conflict management and organizational change. He is a member of the International Ombudsman Association and serves on the organization’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Taskforce. He holds a MA from Stanford University and a BA from Dartmouth College.                        

Eileen DeVries


through October 2018

Eileen DeVries lives in Hamden, Connecticut, and practices law with the Intellectual Property firm of Lackenbach Siegel. She is a co-author of “Protecting Designs by Trademarks, Copyrights, and Design Patents,” in the treatise, Intellectual Property Counseling and Litigation. A graduate of Wellesley College, Ms. DeVries holds a J.D. from Cornell Law School and an M.A. in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota. During law school, she was a law clerk for the late Chief Judge Howard G. Munson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

Eron Hackshaw


through October 2018

Eron Hackshaw is a mediator with the Harvard Mediation Program (HMP), volunteering primarily in the Roxbury Municipal Court along with the Chelsea District Court. Eron graduated from Howard University School of Law (HUSL) in 2009. During his final year at Howard, Mr. Hackshaw participated in the HUSL Alternative Dispute Resolution Clinic and completed a yearlong placement at the Washington DC Field Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC WFO) where he served as student observer and co-mediator in a number of employment discrimination disputes. Eron also served as the President of the Association of Caribbean Law Students and was an active member of the HUSL law student community. He is an at large Director of the Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association and serves as the chair of the Marketing and Technology Committee.

Merriann Panarella


through October 2018

Merriann Panarella is an arbitrator, mediator and consultant in conflict resolution. A graduate of Wellesley College and the University of Virginia School of Law, Merriann began her conflict resolution career as a practicing attorney. Her work and interest in the quick and effective resolution of disputes and conflicts led her to pursue both mediation and arbitration opportunities with the American Arbitration Association, the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Intellectual Property Association, as well as a host of other ADR institutions and organizations. With ample Board of Director experience, Merriann hopes to contribute and coordinate conflict-resolution focused events in programs throughout New England.

Are you interested in becoming a member of the Board of Directors for NEACR? 

For additional information about Board responsibilities, the nomination process and elections, please contact us via email.

1770 Massachusetts Avenue, PMB 595 Cambridge, MA 02140-2808 

phone: 857-600-1424 | email:

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software