CEO & Principal
When state and federal agencies look for a reliable resource to gather and disseminate information, and to keep the lines of communication open, Jonathan invariably is at the top of the list. He has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to bring the public and agencies together to solve problems and make solid decisions. Jonathan thrives on complex, high-stakes negotiations, especially in the areas of natural resources and transportation. Off the clock, Jonathan relaxes by playing the cello and by running the numerous paths surrounding his mountain home.
Senior Program Manager
Jeffrey helps projects with diverse stakeholders work better. He does this by providing facilitation and project management on projects’ strategy, communication, and implementation. He believes that by taking relationships into account, using creative problem solving, and seeking mutual gains solutions, projects are more successful and stakeholders are more satisfied.
Jeffrey has nearly a decade of experience internationally and in the U.S. He’s worked with government agencies, NGO’s, and companies in areas including land use, development, environmental sustainability, and organizational effectiveness.
Melissa is an engaging and dynamic facilitator, focusing on relationship building, community outreach, and collaborative decision-making. Melissa is particularly keen on designing innovative and unique community engagement spaces, where inclusivity, transparency, and access are underlying values of the process. Melissa designs and implements engagement strategies in a range of urban and rural communities, including identifying and engaging key stakeholders, facilitating difficult and potentially contentious conversations, strategizing online outreach to increase public participation, and analyzing public engagement data, both quantitative and qualitative, to assist decision-makers in their planning processes. She is particularly adept at bridging the gap between bureaucratic processes and public participation, creating ways for agencies to communicate with stakeholders through effective channels. Melissa has worked with a number of federal and state agencies convening working groups, facilitating stakeholder outreach, and building consensus around public land management and environmental issues.
Melissa holds an MA in International Development from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. Prior to moving to Colorado, Melissa attended the University of Georgia as an undergraduate and remains a loyal Georgia Bulldog during football season each year.
Daniel is a facilitator and stakeholder engagement specialist who focuses on building relationships through collaborative problem solving. He has experience facilitating complex projects across a variety of fields, including transportation, land management, and water resources. As a trainer and consultant, Daniel helps organizations build capacity to better manage conflict, conduct community outreach, and communicate effectively. He believes that organizations thrive when members and stakeholders understand each other’s interests, develop shared goals, and are empowered to engage in results-focused discussion.
Outside of work, you will likely find Daniel atop one of Colorado’s many mountain peaks (preferably with skis strapped to his feet) or front and center at one of Denver’s many performing arts venues.
Patrick explores his interests in public space, mobility, and urban development as he supports CDR’s transportation and planning practice areas. Empathy and understanding are central to his engagement with communities and clients, as is a systems-focused approach to problem-solving. He comes to CDR with a background in environmental sustainability and urban policy research and remains eager to facilitate solutions around these types of complex topics. Patrick excels at graphic communication and serves an important role in strengthening CDR’s engagement materials.
Patrick earned his bachelor’s degree in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 2020, where he was awarded the Urban Leadership Fellowship by the Penn Institute for Urban Research. Originally from New York’s Long Island, Patrick enjoys spending his free time hiking Colorado’s mountains and slowly working his way through knitting patterns.
Cara brings a vibrant sense of curiosity and adept understanding of complex socio-environmental issues to the CDR team. She carries with her a lifelong connection to agrarian communities, passion for the natural world, and dedication to understanding the nuances of systems-level change. She has significant experience with public lands management, stakeholder engagement, and collaborative project management. Connecting with communities and listening to their experiences and needs are at the heart of her approach to complex projects. Cara is eager to support a variety of the Land Management, Water, and Mobility + Transportation projects at CDR, making a concerted effort to elevate traditionally underrepresented voices from surrounding communities.
Cara graduated from the Masters of the Environment program at the University of Colorado, Boulder in December of 2021 with a specialization in Sustainable Food Systems and significant focus on natural resources policy and public lands management. She received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Systems Ecology from Oberlin College in 2018. On weekends, you can find Cara exploring the mountains, swimming in Boulder Creek, or working with horses, while her canine companion, Wilson, follows dutifully alongside.
Laura is a trained scientist with a passion for graphic communication, stakeholder engagement, and natural resource management. In May 2022, she completed a Master of Science in Biology from Virginia Commonwealth University and, prior to her graduate work, earned dual Bachelor’s Degrees in Biology and Environmental Studies from the same institution. This background makes Laura a go-to resource for information on a breadth of topics ranging from ecosystem ecology to environmental law to geographic information systems (GIS). Additionally, Laura is skilled in team-building, coordination, and instruction—drawing from experience across a variety of organizations, including the Virginia State Parks Youth Conservation Corps. Laura’s subject matter expertise—combined with her empathetic nature—brings an approach to CDR’s work that prioritizes communal understanding of even the most complex topics through transparency, thoughtful data visualization, and inclusivity. Outside of the office, you can find her soaking up the Colorado sunshine across hiking trails, ski slopes, and climbing crags.
Senior Program Manager
Taber is a results-oriented attorney and facilitator with a broad range of experience in collaborative problem solving; conference planning and implementation; process design, and organizational and strategic development. She facilitates dialogues and partnerships between governments, communities, industries and stakeholders and provides technical and policy analysis.
Taber possesses substantive expertise in the areas of transportation; natural resource management; stakeholder engagement and public input processes; agriculture; conservation; and project management. Taber is adept at working across and between sectors with social entrepreneurs, activists, government, non-profits, and business leaders — her expertise and insights have helped individuals and organizations in the public and private spheres advance innovate approaches to resolving conflicts and meeting both short- and long-term project goals.
Prior to joining CDR, Taber earned a law degree at Colorado Law School in Boulder. After graduating, Taber practiced public health and natural resource law for the State of Colorado and also founded Mountain Flower Goat Dairy, a non-profit urban agriculture project with a mission to train the next generation of farmers while stewarding the land and providing humanely produced dairy products to the community. In her free time, Taber can be found mucking around with goats or on a hike in the beautiful Colorado mountains.
Senior Program Manager
James Hess has 30 years of experience in conflict management, consensus building and natural resources management. Prior to his retirement from the Department of the Interior in July 2020, James served as Chief of Staff for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), which built and operates many of the largest and most iconic water and hydropower projects in the world—including Hoover Dam. In that role he facilitated operational, administrative and logistical decision-making, and oversaw a program to negotiate agreements between Reclamation, water users, Tribes and other stakeholders to facilitate the transfer of ownership of federally owned water facilities to non-Federal entities. In addition, he managed Reclamation’s internal workplace conflict management program. and developed and delivered training workshops on interest-based negotiating, conflict management and collaborative decision-making for Reclamation staff and its customers.
Senior Program Manager
Prior to joining CDR, Tracy Winfree’s career as an innovative local government leader in Transportation and Land Management established deep and diverse experience in policy development, master planning, regional collaboration, stakeholder relationship building, organizational operations and business practices, board and council liaison responsibilities and change leadership. Tracy served 17 years as department director for three different City of Boulder departments (Public Works/Transportation, Open Space and Mountain Parks, and Parks and Recreation) preceded by 11 years of innovative city project and program planning, development and implementation. Most recently, Tracy served a six-month assignment as interim Parks, Recreation and Open Space Director for the City of Louisville, CO.
Herman is passionate about engaging different stakeholders to generate joint solutions to the challenges they face. Besides his position at Centre for Development Innovation (CDI) at Wageningen University & Research, The Netherlands, Herman partners with CDR Associates to create capacities to deal with public and environmental conflicts. As an accredited Partnership Brokering Association (PBA) broker, Herman is supporting local and global partnerships, mainly in food security and natural resource management, in more than 25 countries. He divides his time between governments, companies, civil society organisations and research institutions. Herman is lead author of the acclaimed MSP Guide: How to design and facilitate multi-stakeholder partnerships, which has been referred to as an “invaluable management tool for identifying the core principles, tools and considerations needed to optimise your organisation’s approach to engagement”. This book, which has recently been translated into French and Spanish, is accompanied by The MSP Tool Guide which contains 60 tools to make MSPs more effective.
At home around the world, Chris has worked in close to 50 countries and cultures. He specializes in assisting diverse parties – government agencies, the private sector and non-governmental organizations – design innovative dispute resolution systems and mechanisms to resolve a range of types of conflicts and build capacities for implementation. Chris also provides professional process design, facilitation and mediation assistance to help successfully settle complex and contentious disputes over public policies, water, land, natural resources, energy development and species issues. Chris provides leadership in the design of peacebuilding initiatives and increasing citizen access to justice after violent conflicts and major political transitions. Chris is enthusiastic and trustworthy and makes an ideal partner for navigating rough waters.
As a child, Susan couldn’t decide between becoming an ambassador for the United Nations or the conductor of the Boston Symphony. As it turns out, her career path neatly encompasses elements of both her passion for international peacebuilding and her ability to orchestrate harmonious accords among diverse constituents. Susan thrives on puzzles and paradox, which makes her an especially innovative and energetic mediator. Curious by nature, she relishes the challenges in resolving development conflicts in the United States as well as on the other side of the world. Susan leads the firm’s sustainable development practice, and is an experienced mediator and systems thinker.
In 30 years of serving as a mediator, Mary Margaret is well versed in the intricacies of coming to fair and amicable agreements – whether in South Africa, Eurasia, or the United States. As a result of practicing in some of the world’s most tense and conflict-ridden areas, Mary Margaret can diffuse explosive situations with ease. Her keen sense of humor comes in handy, as well as her ability to communicate under pressure.