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Karen Suzuki-Okabe
Former Executive Director
Utah State Department of Human Resource Management

Benefits of Mediation in the HR Process

Karen has a long history managing the human resource function of government entities. In 1993, Governor Mike Leavitt appointed her executive director of the Utah State Department of Human Resource Management, a position she held for 10 years. She previously served as the director of the State Labor Commission’s Division of Labor and Anti-Discrimination, as well as the executive director of the Department of Human Resource Management for the Salt Lake City Corporation.

Karen earned a bachelor’s degree at Northeastern Illinois University, an MPA from Brigham Young University, and a certificate in conflict resolution from the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. She taught for a number of years at Brigham Young University, and currently teaches at the University of Utah.

Karen will focus on the benefits of using mediation to resolve organizational conflicts such as grievances, discrimination complaints, and problems between co-workers and/or supervisors. She will discuss the EEOC Guidelines which empower employers to establish an in-house mediation program to attempt to resolve complaints before they end up in court.
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