Dinner Series

Dinner Series – Managing Conflict in Disaster Relief Coordination

Tuesday, October 10, 2023, from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

1233 37th St NW (The Green House)

*Dinner will be served
If interested, please fill out a brief application form by Wednesday, October 4 @ 5:00 pmspace is limited.

About the Speakers

Jonathan S. Rosenthal, Director of FEMA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Division, brings over 25 years of ADR experience to the agency. Before joining FEMA in 2020, he served as the Director of the Maryland Judiciary’s Mediation and Conflict Resolution Office (MACRO), where he worked to promote ADR availability and quality throughout Maryland’s courts.

During his tenure at MACRO, Jonathan focused on increasing the understanding and use of ADR in Maryland courts, educating stakeholders and the public on ADR benefits, and supporting high-quality ADR programs with research and grant funding.

Previously, he served as the Executive Director of ADR Programs for the District Court of Maryland, where he expanded and improved statewide ADR programs. Jonathan also served as an adjunct professor teaching negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

Jonathan has held leadership positions in various ADR organizations, including the Maryland Mediator Excellence Council (MEC) and the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). He has presented numerous workshops and trainings on ADR-related topics and has received awards for his outstanding contributions to the field.

Jonathan’s extensive ADR training includes facilitative, transformative, and inclusive mediation, collaborative law, arbitration, conflict coaching, large group facilitation, and more. He holds a JD from the University of Maryland Carey School of Law and degrees in Public Relations and Political Science from Syracuse University.

Karen Bell Smith serves as the Cadre Coordinator for FEMA’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Division. Her journey with FEMA began in January 2017 as a Reservist ADR Advisor within the cadre. Following deployments to multiple disasters, including her involvement in coordinating ADR services during the 2017 Harvey, Irma, and Maria Disasters, Karen joined the Cadre Management team on November 13, 2017, in the role of Reservist Program Manager.

Before joining FEMA in January 2017, Karen held the position of Programs Manager at the Conflict Resolution Center of Montgomery County (CRCMC). In this role, she served as the primary trainer in conflict management, facilitated dialogue circles, and mediated various disputes, including juvenile restorative justice in-school mediations, reentry mediations, parenting/child access mediations, and senior mediations. Karen also conducted facilitations for special education-Individualized Education Program (IEP) and police community dialogues. She actively contributed as a Board member and served as the Co-Chair of the CRCMC Senior Mediation Task Force. Additionally, Karen worked as a Settlement Conference Attorney, Day of Trial Mediator, and Code Violation Mediator in the District Court of Maryland’s ADR program.

Karen’s professional background includes over 25 years as an attorney specializing in criminal law, civil torts, family law, Civil Rights, Police Misconduct hearings, and Federal Employees Liability Act actions. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BS in Business Management from Hampton University and earned her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. Karen holds active licenses to practice law in both Maryland and the District of Columbia.

A lifelong native of the Washington area, Karen is the proud parent of two adult children, Rebecca and Clayton Smith.

Dinner Series