Libby Mahaffy

Libby Mahaffy is a seasoned mediator, facilitator, and conflict resolution trainer. She is the Assistant Director for Conflict Resolution at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, MA. Libby is also a panel member of Mediation Works, Inc. in the Boston court system and the Community Dispute Settlement Center in Cambridge, mediating small claims and summary process cases. She has received additional training in elder and adult family mediation and has worked with Elder Decisions, LLC. With an academic background in Spanish, social science, and urban and environmental policy and planning, she brings a social- and environmental-justice perspective to her communications work. A Toastmasters mentor and natural extrovert (not to mention native Midwesterner!), she is a confident and engaging public speaker. As a consultant, she has provided her communications trainings to the private and non-profit sectors, and has a particular interest in inter-cultural competency and communication.


Lesley Foster

Lesley Foster is a Negotiation Trainer, Mediator and Staff Member at Active Neutrals. As a negotiation trainer, Lesley has coordinated, designed and co led trainings for students and activists focused on fossil fuel divestment.  Most recently she conducted a conflict management focused training for lobbyists in Washington, DC. In the spring of 2015, Lesley taught a semester long course at Yale University on Negotiation and Behavior Change. Lesley’s mediation practice areas include Divorce, Harassment Prevention Order Cases, and Summary Process and Small Claims volunteer mediations referred by District Courts. This experience has earned her positions as a Mediation Trainer, Coach and Guest Lecturer at the New England School of Law. She has also assisted in coordinating and conducting mediation and negotiation training at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the UMASS Dartmouth School of Law. As Active Neutrals Chief Operating Officer, she provides strategic oversight and management of Active Neutral’s services and offerings, with the goal of achieving the organization’s vision and maximum potential.

Prior to Active Neutrals, Lesley worked for Mediation Works Incorporated (MWI) in Boston MA, as a mediator, mediation trainer and case manager. A large part of her role was also to oversee MWI’s District and Municipal Court Mediation Program, coordinating mediators daily in twelve courts across the Boston area. As a case manager she provided administrative and substantive oversight including intake, convening, logistics and follow-up for many of MWI’s corporate clients including General Motors, BMW of North America and Lehman Brothers.

Lesley holds a Bachelors’ of the Arts Degree in Communication from Hamilton College. She has completed training programs in Basic Mediation, Summary Process Mediation, Divorce Mediation services and Advanced Negotiation skills. Lesley has also completed the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School’s advanced negotiation workshop on the Difficult Conversations framework.


Justin Wright

Justin Wright is an experienced ADR practitioner and consultant. He has expertise providing transactional assistance, behavioral change, facilitations and both mediation and negotiation training and coaching. In addition to his work with Habitus and Active Neutrals, he serves on the training team at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation and at Northeastern University Business School. His teaching experience includes a college seminar course on Negotiation at Yale University and six weeks terms in Shanghai for legal professionals. He has extensive practice in mediation including business, interpersonal, contract, housing and harassment prevention order matters referred by the Massachusetts Trial Court. Justin brings this wealth of hands-on experience and application to his negotiation training and coaching practice.     

Justin has designed and led trainings for corporate, educational and non-profit institutions in the US and abroad. More specifically, he has trained individuals at companies such as, Eastman Chemical, Bank of America, Anika Therapeutics Inc, Commonwealth Financial, NeighborWorks, Bavaria, FINCA, Funcación SIGNUM - Colegio de Notarios, IBM Europe, IFC Cantabria, Better Future Project and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.

Wright is also the co author of the forth coming book End the Job Hunt, which focuses on the use of negotiation, collaboration and influence instead of typical networking and job searching to attain a meaningful career.

Because of his focus on ethics and resource economics while at Yale University, Justin is particularly interested in improving the productiveness of conversation or negotiation between activist groups and decision makers around resource management. Most recently, he has been working to facilitate conversations within various communities about how to respond to climate change and with student activists at a wide range of colleges and universities.

Before entering the field of conflict management, Justin co-founded NextGEN, an international NGO that works to inspire and support youth to take action toward creating a sustainable world. In 2010, he worked with the Transition Town Movement in Media, Pennsylvania to assess the town's ecological footprint and create a vision of a sustainable future. Justin graduated from Yale with a BA in Ethics, Politics and Economics.

Nora Wright

Nora Wright is a coach, mediator and group facilitator. In alignment with the Active Neutrals' mission, Nora teaches effective communication strategies in places that need them the most. She offers negotiation, communication and mindfulness workshops in prisons, with women at universities and with environmental activists. Her prison work also makes use of her training as a mediator and group facilitator. This powerful work helps inmates develop a better relationship with themselves – guiding them towards an understanding of their past and growing their awareness of the lasting impact they have on others. In her work with universities, Nora specializes in programming for graduate student women in the areas of self-trust, empowerment and salary negotiations. Nora also coaches college activists in negotiating for important campus based environmental policies.

Before working for Active Neutrals, Nora was the founder and director of Sustainable Neighborhoods Nicaragua, an international design-build organization at Cornell University. As director, Nora facilitated a community visioning process for a housing cooperative in Nicaragua. Her work included program design, supervision of field research and participatory planning activities. Nora has taught for organizations including the Pendle Hill Retreat Center, Tufts University, Boston University's prison degree program and Project Common Bond, a program for teenagers affected by terrorism.

Nora is a Co-Active Coach and a member of the Institute of Coaching Professional Association. She holds a certificate in Expressive Arts Therapy from John F Kennedy University and a certificate in Pravada Sound Healing. Nora seeks to integrate creativity and mindfulness into all her work. She has a Masters of City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts from Scripps College.