Charles Barker has been providing negotiation and conflict management services for over 25 years. During that time he has helped governmental, commercial, public interest clients in most regions of the world as an advisor, teacher, mediator, and negotiator. Mr. Barker also has taught negotiation and conflict management courses at law schools and seminaries, written articles, and created and/or appeared with Professor Roger Fisher in interactive asynchronous training and numerous instructional videos based on Getting to YES and more recently emerging negotiation theory.
Currently, Mr. Barker's commercial focus is in health care, financial services, and management consulting. He is helping pharmaceutical, health care, and insurance clients improve their organizational negotiation capacity, internal strategic alignment, market access, and working relationships in negotiations with North American, European, Asian, Latin American and Middle Eastern payors, regulators, and providers. He also works with clients in the auditing, consulting, and financial services industries to manage difficult relationship negotiations prompted by the current recession, various industry trends, and legislation promoting corporate accountability. From 1998 through 2002, Mr. Barker served as Senior Advisor to the CEO of Health Care Service Corporation (d/b/a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Texas, and New Mexico) on merger, provider relations, governance, and related negotiations.
In his public sector work Mr. Barker serves as an advisor and instructor in civil society initiatives of Mercy Corps in Iraq and as an advisor to the Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Committee of the Episcopal Church of Sudan with whom he is working on mediation programs to help the society of southern Sudan return from over twenty years of civil war to peaceful civilian life. Mr. Barker also is working on integrating formal negotiation and conflict management curriculum into seminary studies and the life of religious communities. Mr. Barker's research interests correspond closely to these projects. With the Global Negotiation Insight Initiative and the Hoffman Institute he is exploring the role of wisdom traditions, clinical psychological practice and religious belief in negotiation and conflict management. With Michael Palmer of Ethics by Design, he is coauthoring a book on negotiation theory and practice as a foundation for ethical action within commercial and governmental organizations.
Before co-founding CMI Concord Group, Mr. Barker conducted his commercial practice for a decade as a partner of Conflict Management, Inc. ("CMI"), a spin-off of the Harvard Negotiation Project. He pursued his public sector work for clients such as the United Nations in Latin America and the various South African political parties and nongovernmental organizations as part of CMI's not-for-profit allied organization, Conflict Management Group – now a part of Mercy Corps.
Before joining CMI, Mr. Barker was an equity partner in the Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution Departments of Jenner & Block, a Chicago based firm of 400 attorneys, where he conducted numerous complex negotiations and all phases of trial and appellate litigation. Mr. Barker also served as a law clerk to United States District Judge Charles Joiner and to the Attorneys General of Minnesota and Massachusetts. He has taught negotiation and conflict management at Seabury Western Theological Seminary, DePaul University College of Law, John Marshall Law School, ITT Chicago-Kent College of Law, and in the Negotiation Seminar of the Program of Instruction for Lawyers at Harvard Law School. Mr. Barker received an A.B. degree from the University of Michigan and a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law. He participates in continuing education with the Harvard Negotiation Project, the Global Negotiation Insight Initiative and the Hoffman Institute.
Mr. Barker was a practicing trial lawyer at Jenner & Block in Chicago when he was enticed into the field of negotiation and conflict management by the late Prof. Roger Fisher in 1980. As an advisor to a board of directors on which Mr. Barker served, Prof. Fisher demonstrated the power of the negotiation theory then being developed at the newly founded Harvard Negotiation Project. For several years thereafter, Mr. Barker collaborated with Prof. Fisher on American Bar Association negotiation projects and first studied and then taught with Prof. Fisher and Prof. Howard Raiffa at Harvard. In 1987 he withdrew from Jenner & Block to join Prof. Fisher at CMI.
Mr. Barker is a United States citizen residing in Chicago, Illinois.