Frank Dukes, Ph.D. is a mediator and facilitator who directed the Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN) at the University of Virginia (UVa) from 2000 to 2015. He has convened and facilitated numerous collaborative change processes, ranging from discussions involving communities affected by the Duke Energy coal ash release to Appalachian communities undergoing transition in the coalfields. He also led an assessment of stakeholder experiences of the Chesapeake Bay TMDL, the largest cleanup effort of its kind.
He chaired a working group appointed by UVa President Sullivan of survivors and parents of survivors, advocates, trauma counselors, alumni, students, and faculty that on April 30 2015 submitted consensus recommendations for how the University of Virginia should respond to sexual violence. He also serves as an advisor to the student group University Mediation Services.
He also is founder of the University & Community Action for Racial Equity (UCARE), which addresses the university’s legacy of slavery, segregation and its impact on the wider community.
His courses currently include PLAN 3250/5250, Mediation Theory and Skills, and PLAC 5240, Collaborative Planning for Sustainability, as well as a University Seminar “Righting Unrightable Wrongs” (issues of restorative justice and reparations). He is co-instructor of an occasional course titled “UVA History: Race and Repair”, an outgrowth of UCARE.
He has worked as a mediator at local, state, and federal levels on projects involving environment and land use, community development, education, and health, with a particular emphasis on the Appalachian coalfields and Chesapeake Bay watershed regions.
He is co-founder and core faculty of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute. As part of IEN’s “Collaborative Stewardship Initiative,” he initiated the “Community-Based Collaboratives Research Consortium” seeking to assess and understand local collaborative efforts involving natural resources and community development, and the “Best Practices Guidance Project” resulting in the publication of Collaboration: A Guide for Environmental Advocates and, in 2011, Community-Based Collaboration: Bridging Socio-Ecological Theory and Practice.
Another book, Resolving Public Conflict: Transforming Community and Governancedescribes how public conflict resolution procedures can assist in vitalizing democracy. With two colleagues he is co-author of Reaching for Higher Ground: Tools for Powerful Groups and Communities, which describes how diverse groups and communities can create expectations for addressing conflict with integrity, vision, and creativity.
His most recent book is Mountaintop Mining in Appalachia, written with Susan Hirsch and published in 2014.
He is the winner of the 2012 Sharon M. Pickett Award for Environmental Conflict Resolution, presented by the Association for Conflict Resolution, and the 2016 Casteen Diversity Award, presented by the University of Virginia.
He was previously operator of a piano restoration business for over 10 years in Albemarle County.