About John

John Ford, BA LLB (UCT) is an experienced workplace mediator and soft-skills trainer.

jf_headshot John studied law at the University of Cape Town before moving to Namibia, where he practiced from 1988 to 1995. Initially, he focused on representing survivors of human-rights abuses. After Namibian independence in 1990, his focus shifted to labor and employment law.

John moved to California in 1996 and trained as a mediator. He has since successfully mediated hundreds of workplace disputes, and has worked with numerous teams to help them deal successfully with conflict.

John has provided training to thousands of employees at all levels in the workplace, across a wide range of industries. His workshops focus on the development of soft skills, such as communication, negotiation, facilitation, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, customer service and mediation.

John teaches negotiation at UC Berkeley School of Law, mediation to graduate Business and Psychology students at Golden Gate University, and organizational collaboration online through Creighton University.

He is a past president of the Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California (ADRNC), and was the managing editor of www.mediate.com from 2000 to 2011. Currently, he is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and the ADRNC.

John is the current trainer of a two-day Mastering Workplace Mediation seminar for members of the Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA). He also teaches a longer version of this class through UC Berkeley Extension.

It is this training and his passion to make the world a more peaceful place that inspired him to write Peace at Work: The HR Manager’s Guide to Workplace Mediation, and to found the HR Mediation Academy.


“John Ford is a highly ethical and inspiring teacher. He is most gracious and professional in practicing his trade and base it on in-depth understanding of conflict and resolution thereof. He can teach! In teaching he has helped numerous managers and others master the crucial skill of conflict resolution. Many lives are enriched by John's superb inputs. I strongly recommend John as trainer and as practitioner.”
-- Manie Spoelstra, Director at International Negotiation Academy



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