About Common Ground Mediation Services

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Common Ground Mediation Services (CGMS) is a full-spectrum mediation agency, serving New Mexico since 1997. With an emphasis on family, divorce, business and workplace conflict resolution, CGMS strives to provide excellence, full service and satisfaction to individuals, groups and communities. CGMS has pioneered the wider application of mediation and alternative resolution in courts, school systems, government agencies and in tribal nations throughout New Mexico. We have a unique commitment to training and mentoring mediators, and launching new mediation programs wherever fertile soil can be found. As a result of a growing pool of mediation talent fostered by CGMS, our company can offer teams of mediators that will reflect the diversity of our clients, and thereby better meet their needs.

Mission Statement

The mission of Common Ground is to expand and engender the widest possible use and application of conflict resolution resources. Common Ground sees the principles of mediation and related collaborative processes as being capable of becoming an organizing principle for humanity. We believe that honest, transparent and fair negotiations, conducted on the basis of equality, dignity and clear communication, can transform a majority of current challenges into a brighter future of understanding and cooperation. Toward this goal, Common Ground provides mediation and facilitation services, teambuilding, training, and professional development.

About the Founder

Debra Oliver, founder of Common Ground, has been a mediator and trainer since 1989. She has served over ten thousand clients and trainees in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, New York, Nepal and Russia, logging over seven thousand hours at the mediation table. She serves a variety of businesses, non-profits and state agencies, as well as a substantial family clientele. Debra has mediated a wide array of cases for District Courts, including business, real estate, personal injury, workplace, community crises, land grant disputes, probate cases and divorce. Additionally, Debra has worked with a number of law enforcement agencies and municipalities, providing training and community dialogue services. Debra Oliver was a founding member of Tarrant County Association of Mediators (TCAM) and is a past board member of New Mexico Mediation Association (NMMA), where she initiated the "Resolution Day" project—a day of pro bono mediation serving New Mexico's First Judicial District Court. She chaired the New Mexico Mediation Association's Certification Committee for two years. Debra is also a partner in Community Dialogue Network, LLC, an organization that provides community-wide dialogues on public perspectives, especially in response to community crises.