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About Jessica

Essential Partners prevents & transforms conflict driven by deep differences in identity, beliefs, or values—through #dialogue.


Conversation Starter: Dialogue Across Political Differences

November 03, 2015

Phil Neisser teaches political theory at the State University of New York at Potsdam, where he also serves as the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences. Jacob Hess is an ...


Trust and the Table: A Series on the Iran Deal. Part 1: Trust Beyond the Negotiating Table

September 09, 2015

Leading up to Negotiations: Trust Beyond The Negotiation Table 

If you’ve tuned into the news about the recently issued plan to contain Iran’s nuclear arms program, you may have noticed the ...


Trust and the Table: A Series on the Iran Deal. Part 2: Negotiating with the Devil

September 09, 2015

To catch you up, zoom in on 2012: the U.S. and Iran meet amidst mutual suspicion, despite 35 years of diplomatic silence. From there, negotiators met in secret for two years around the Iranian nuclear program and international security. But even after meetings turned public, they hesitated to build personal bonds with their counterparts. Diplomats ate meals separately…for 20 months. “At a certain point, it just started to feel strange that they had never actually shared a meal together,” an aide for the U.S. team said.

Trust and the Table: A Series on the Iran Deal. Part 3: What Happens Now?

September 09, 2015

The first two parts of this series established relationships as the cornerstone to building trust in negotiations. In the absence of trust, policymakers built informal relationships for twenty years before formalizing diplomatic relationships. Even after returning to diplomatic functions, representatives met in private to build a foundation in personal relationships before taking the risk of making negotiations public.

A Better Question: Dialogue Across the Red/Blue Divide

November 03, 2015

Election Day: when we cast our voice on matters of public concern and celebrate democracy . It’s also a time we are repelled by partisan bickering and the lack of ...



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