Curriculum Vitae

"Your Specialized Skills and Knowledge are Exceptional. You Handled Some Difficult Issues Very Diplomatically."

Work Experience

For over 30 years Marsha A. Ostrer has been the founder and president of Ostrer & Associates, International -- a conflict resolution training, negotiation, mediation and consulting firm now headquartered in Chatham, Massachusetts. She is also the owner and developer of the website In 2006 she and her family moved to the Cape, where she founded Family Mediation of Cape Cod.

A lawyer,negotiator, mediator and trainer, Ms. Ostrer is experienced in representing and negotiating well crafted agreements for her clients. See Conflict Resolution Services. She is also accomplished in creating and implementing customized, skills based training programs. See, Our Trainings. An adroit neutral, she specializes in entering and defusing highly charged conflicts. See, Mediation Services. With the economic downturn Family Mediation of Cape Cod began offering Foreclosure Avoidance and Foreclosure Defense Services. See Avoid Foreclosure Help.; Loan Modification Services. Short Sale Services.

Her trainings and services consistently exceed consumer expectations as evidenced by her consistent trainings ratings of 4.6+ (out of 5) and testimonials from satisfied clients, Testimonials. She is a strong strategic thinker and team builder. And, is experienced in managing process and contracts for major initiatives both in the U.S. and abroad.

After years of consulting and training in dispute resolution for corporate and Government clients in the U.S., see Partial Client List, Ms. Ostrer received her first international contract, in 1987, to provide negotiation and conflict resolution training and consulting services to one of the sides negotiating an end to the Angolan Civil War.

She was contacted as the result of a referral by a satisfied client. The negotiations were successfully concluded with the signing of peace accords. The work of OAI and its partner EnDispute, a pioneer boutique mediation and ADR firm, was credited as a contributing factor to the signing of the peace agreement.

Subsequently Ms. Ostrer was contacted by Arbitrazh, the Civil Court of the then Russian Federation to develop a program to introduce Alternative Dispute Resolution practices to up-and-coming business people and entrepreneurs in the new Russian Republic. Working with a consortium of U.S. conflict resolution specialists, Ms. Ostrer co-developed and was the principal presenter for "Making Mediation Work in the Russian Republic."

Shortly thereafter Ms Ostrer was contacted by a representative of the U.S.A.I.D. mission in Zambia. The privatization process was badly off course primarily due to the lack of understanding of how to negotiate the agreements to sell state owned enterprises. After three years only seven companies had been offered for privatization -- none larger than a dry cleaning establishment. Two had actually privatized, three were in the Zambian courts, the subject of heated litigation, and two had fallen through. The process was years behind its projected milestones and completion dates.

During a three and a half year intervention Ms. Ostrer developed customized training and consulting to build capacity and get the privatization process back on track. The customized negotiation skills training program, "Successful Privitsation: Negotiating Strategies and Techniques," was given extensively to members of the Zambian business community and lawyers charged with negotiating the sale of all state owned enterprises, as well as government officials, politicians and members of the press. Programs were also attended by representatives of the privitisation program in Malawi and U.S.A.I.D. mission personnel.

The training and technical assistance consulting was credited in an independent evaluation of the program conducted by (then) Coopers & Lybrand in conjunction with SRI International, with shortening the time of negotiating agreements from 2 years to 2 months and, in some cases, 2 days while improving their overall quality. "Overall momentum for privatization has been built and there are no major bafflers in sight for privatizing the remaining 145 or so companies in WA's divestiture sequence plan." See Zambia Evaluation

Ms. Ostrer's next assignment was to provide training and technical assistance to the Government of South Africa to facilitate the negotiations, between white management, a labor union representing black workers and a labor union representing white workers, for a change in management structure of a gold mine in South Africa after the election of Nelson Mandala. The training was credited with educating and empowering all sides to negotiate meaningfully and to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.

In the years between the conclusion of the South Africa assignment and the move to Cape Cod, in addition to her ongoing training work, Ms. Ostrer, the mother of two boys, one with learning disabilities, brought cutting edge dispute resolution techniques to the highly contentious field of educating children with special needs. Her advocacy and negotiating skill led to mutually acceptable resolutions between her clients and their respective school systems, without resort to the courts, in 95% of her cases.

Ms. Ostrer began her career, after graduating from law school, as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division where she was responsible for prosecuting criminal violations. A six month stint as a Special Assistant for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington D.C. convinced her to apply for and pursue one of these coveted positions.

She was subsequently hired as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland in Baltimore. During her eight years she tried over 100 federal criminal cases before judges and juries achieving a 97% conviction rate. She also supervised several grand jury investigations and was responsible for the successful prosecution of the first international child prostitution and pornography ring in the U.S. under the then new statute.

After leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office she joined the California based company High Performance Dynamics as a Vice President and Director of the Washington Office. During her tenure she collaborated in the Development of the Achieving Sustained High Performance training and consulting program. She was also responsible for developing and implementing a sales and marketing strategy that introduced and established the ASHP program in the Washington D.C. area.

Mediation Training and Volunteer Activities

Ms. Ostrer's mediation training includes successful completion of

30 hour "Family Law Mediation Training," in 2007 sponsored by the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education arm of the Massachusetts Bar Association;

District of Columbia Superior Court Mediator Certification Program, 1993; and

40-hour George Mason University, National Center for Conflict Resolution, Certification program course, 1993.

She participated, as a volunteer mediator, in the early court annexed mediation programs in Superior Court, Washington D.C. and currently volunteers for the Community Mediation Program in the Orleans District Court.


Ms. Ostrer received a B.A. in history, minor - anthropology, from New York University; and a

J.D. from Northeastern University Law School.

Bar Membership

District of Columbia


Published Works include:

“Mediators Can Ease the Way,” To Your Good Health,” February, 2009.

Successful Negotiations: The Key to Privatization, 1996.

Patterns for Achieving Sustained Success, a problem-solving workbook, 1992.

"Mediation, Preventive Medicine for the High Cost of Litigation," Washington Business Advisor, June 1992.

"Working in Sync," Executive Update, May 1991.

"Achieving High Performance: Maximum Achievement with Minimum Stress," Of Counsel, (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), May 1985.

She is the developer and webmaster for the website, and lives in Chatham, Massachusetts with her two sons.

To learn more about about us, click on any of the links below.

To learn more about other conflict resolution topics, click on any of the links below.

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