2021 UCCR Peacekeeper Award

Michele Straube was a practicing lawyer for more than 15 years, representing private and public sector clients. For more than 20 years, she focused exclusively on alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, facilitation, training, and collaborative problem-solving. Michele has mentored and taught countless individuals throughout her two decades of service.

In 2012, Michele founded and directed the Wallace Stegner Center for Environmental Dispute Resolution (EDR) at the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources, and the Environment, S.J. Quinney College of Law, University of Utah. The program promotes collaboration, mediation, and other dispute resolution processes as a means to address contemporary environmental conflicts. Focusing initially on environmental and natural resource conflicts in Utah, EDRP is building capacity for expanded and improved collaboration and mediation, while also documenting and shedding new light on the extensive collaboration efforts already occurring in Utah and the Mountain West. As an adjunct professor, Straube designed and taught Environmental Conflict Resolution, as well as Conflict Management, a course designed to introduce students to the broad range of conflict prevention, management and resolution options available in addition to litigation. She also taught Conflict Management and Public Policy Collaboration as an Adjunct for the Masters of Public Administration Program.

Before coming full-time to the law school, Straube maintained a private mediation practice in which she designed and facilitated consensus-building processes and offered conflict management training. In addition to being on several national rosters for environmental third-party neutrals, she conducted mediations for the U.S. Postal Service REDRESS program and was a long-term-care ombudsman for Salt Lake County. From January 2008 to August 2010, Straube directed Salt Lake Solutions, SLC Mayor Ralph Becker’s collaborative government initiative. Salt Lake Solutions projects model collaboration by engaging all segments of the community to address difficult public problems.

While Michele retired from teaching in September 2017, she continues to practice ADR in service to the Utah community. Michele is a director of the Straube Group of Companies and Managing Trustee of the Straube Foundation, Inc.