CIArb News

Branch Focus - North America Branch

15 Mar 2021

CIArb's North America branch is home to our membership in Mexico and the United States, except for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, which are represented by CIArb's New York branch. As an integral part of the CIArb network, NAB provides its members with CIArb’s globally recognised certification training programs, a variety of educational programs and webinars for ADR practitioners, a forum for the exchange and in-depth examination of ideas, and networking opportunities with the finest minds in domestic and international ADR at the Branch level and around the world. NAB has a dozen geographically dispersed local Chapters with one more in formation. Its almost 600 members include some of the leading ADR practitioners in Mexico and the United States, a very active Young Members Group (YMG), and a growing number of student members. NAB is proud that its members include CIArb’s President, Ann Ryan Robertson C.Arb FCIArb, and CIArb’s Trustee for the Americas Region, Amb. (r) David Huebner C.Arb FCIArb.

At its core, NAB respects and appreciates different perspectives, beliefs, and ideas. NAB values diversity and inclusion and has actualized those values. By March of 2020, NAB’s board of directors had evolved over a period of 10-months from 1 female and 20 male directors to 14 female and 7 male directors with two LGBTQ directors among the total. The board has also evolved from 2 to 13 directors under the age of 50. NAB’s commitment to diversity continues to be reflected in its officers and directors today as can been seen on its webpage: Board of Directors - Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (

For 2021, NAB is actively creating and sponsoring programs focusing on: 1) education; 2) networking; 3) diversity; and 4) member support. In February, NAB launched its first webinar entitled, “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Alternative Dispute Resolution: From Contact to Contract.” A distinguished and award-winning panel of African American ADR practitioners shared their experiences and suggested ways to improve diversity in the ADR community. A recording of this program is available on NAB’s website along with recordings of many other NAB programs dating back to July of 2020. Other programs scheduled for 2021, include:  

On March 10, at 11 A.M. Pacific Time, NAB’s Los Angeles Chapter is co-sponsoring a live webinar, “Views from the Frontlines: Hot Topics in International Arbitration for 2021”.

On 22 March, a webinar entitled “Cost, Speed, Effectiveness, and Enforceability in Arbitration;”

In April, a webinar on Social Media and Branding that will bring in outside experts to discuss how to improve marketing for members and their businesses;

On 13 May, NAB will host a virtual Wine & Arbitration networking event for its members;

In April, May, and June, NAB’s YMG has announced a series of free, one-hour webinars to take place at noon Eastern time with the title “Climate Change, Decarbonization, and International Dispute Resolution”.

NAB’s website and social media provide information about the various programs and registration links. Please click the following link and look under Upcoming Events and Featured Programs for more information: Home - Chartered Institute of Arbitrators ( Finally, NAB’s Annual Meeting is in the planning phase and will take place in the last quarter of 2021.

NAB values interaction and collaboration with other Branches. For instance, members of its YMG are collaborating with others from around the world on CIArb’s YMG’s online event series, “CIArb YMG Word Tour: Arbitration and Mediation as a Global Force for Good”. NAB is also collaborating with the Brazil Branch for its annual Capacity Sharing Program (CSP). The CSP is designed to strengthen and expand the Branch’s commitments to advance legal education, multicultural professional literacy, and engage with developing ADR communities. For 2021, CSP will take place in Brazil at the following locations and dates: in Manaus on 25 October; in Goiânia on 27 October; and in João Pessoa on 29 October. This year’s program has institutional support from the University of Miami School of Law.

NAB also presents various training courses, at times in conjunction with other Branches or organizations. Even the COVID-19 pandemic could not derail its efforts as it collaborated with the New York and Canada Branches to virtually present the Accelerated Route to Fellowship (International Arbitration) Assessment over several days in September and October of 2020. NAB presented the Accelerated Route to Fellow course in-person last February in collaboration with the International Institute of Conflict Prevention & Resolution (“CPR”). For 2021, NAB has announced several training programs: Introduction to International Arbitration Associates’ Course (offered virtually on 9 and 10 April); the Accelerated Route to Fellow Course (offered virtually 15/16 & 22/23 May for two consecutive weekends); Accelerated Route to Fellow Course (offered virtually 19/20 & 26/27 August for two consecutive weekends); and Introduction to International Arbitration Course on 29/30 October (offered virtually). Each upcoming program will have highly respected tutors from multiple Branches whose combined experience spans multiple countries and arbitrations in civil and common law jurisdictions.  

As NAB continues to grow and evolve, it welcomes interaction and collaboration with other Branches and is a proud member of CIArb’s international network. Thought leadership in ADR, another core value of NAB, requires listening and learning from our CIArb colleagues. NAB encourages CIArb members around the world to share insights and experiences with NAB members so that all may benefit and grow professionally and personally.

Interview with Katherine Smith Dedrick FCIArb, NAB Chair

What do you want to see in your Branch this year?

During my term as Chair, I look to raise the awareness of CIArb’s and the North America Branch members’ superb training, education, experience and collaboration among one another and different branches which leads, in my opinion, to “best in class” arbitrators and mediators. Part and parcel of this goal is to continue NAB’s interaction and collaboration with different branches in different countries, work to increase diversity and inclusiveness and continue to spread the benefits of arbitration and mediation in resolving disputes.

How will you implement and deliver success?

Communication is key. The experience, training, education, and hard work of our members, in addition to their outreach and collaboration with different Branches and countries, must be effectively communicated.

For 2021, our communication efforts will focus on four areas: 1) education; 2) networking; 3) diversity and 4) member support. Education will build on NAB’s strong foundation of training and educational programs. Networking will encourage members to interact with and help one another achieve their respective goals. Diversity focuses on increasing the overall inclusiveness that should be the backbone of ADR; and finally, member support will provide programs to benefit NAB members and their businesses such as branding, marketing and entrepreneurship.

Do you have a social media presence as a Branch? (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)?

Yes. We greatly expanded our social media presence over the last 2 years. NAB is now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn with a page available to the public and a private group that any CIArb member may join. We invite all to follow and interact with NAB on social media and all CIArb members to join the members only LinkedIn Group. You can find NAB on Facebook, on Twitter at @CIArbNAB, on LinkedIn and on Instagram at ciarb_nab. There is also a members-only LinkedIn Group which we invite CIArb members to join.

How have you used social networking?

NAB has grown its social media footprint substantially in a relatively short time. Except for Twitter, all of NAB’s social media accounts are less than 2 years old. To date, NAB has used its different social networks to stay in touch with our members and engage with the ADR community by keeping them informed of different events and programs organised or sponsored by NAB or which may otherwise be of interest to NAB membership. We are currently working to use social media to promote the exchange of ideas and opinions among members, primarily by requesting comments on posts on its monthly feature on Facebook and in its members only LinkedIn Group entitled “What Do You Think?”

Recently, NAB has made a concerted effort to use social media, particularly Instagram, to engage with younger followers, some of whom will eventually become members. NAB will feature student members in our social networks which will introduce them to ADR practitioners and provide a space to share their experiences and interest in ADR. Our social media team is always eager to hear from other Branches about what has worked for them.

What have you done to engage younger members/students?

NAB has a very active YMG that has a seat reserved for it on NAB’s board of directors. Our YMG has been very active in creating and participating in programs such as timely and interesting webinars and in running a Student Writing Competition that NAB supports and helps publicize. Information about NAB’s YMG is found on our webpage along with the names and contact information of the members of its Steering Committee.

In addition to outreach to students through YMG and coaches in moot competitions, NAB includes its student members on its communications. In January, NAB invited all student members to submit a video or text about themselves to be featured on various NAB public media platforms. NAB also makes members aware of the free student membership and encourages them to advise students about CIArb’s free student membership and its benefits. Our student member ranks grew substantially last year and NAB looks forward to continuing that trend.

How will you communicate more effectively with your members?

The NAB is a diverse community that is spread across large expanses of territory and multiple time zones. In February, NAB began a monthly email to members about upcoming programs, events, and news. We anticipate polling our members for their suggestions on how NAB’s communications and programs might be improved. And, of course, officers and board members are reachable by email at addresses found on NAB’s website. Opinions and suggestions from members about how to improve communications, or make the content more useful, interesting, or relevant, are always welcome.

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