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2018 DOT Civil Rights Virtual Symposium Speaker Bios - Session 8

Session 8: Why Discussing Harassment Matters

Fern Kaufmann, Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution (CADR), Office of the Secretary (OST), USDOT

Fern Feil Kaufman is the Director of the DOT Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, where she is responsible for training and education, neutral services, and dispute resolution design and evaluation.  Ms. Kaufman mediates two-party and multi-party disputes, coaches managers and employees on improving communication and conflict management skills, and provides training in basic and advanced communications, interest-based problem solving, facilitation, and conflict management. Ms. Kaufman also represents the Department at conferences and seminars and on the Steering Committee of the Attorney General's Interagency Dispute Resolution Working Group.  Ms. Kaufman previously served DOT as an attorney in the Office of Chief Counsel for Dispute Resolution at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Before DOT, Ms. Kaufman was Director of the Collaboration and ADR program at the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).  At the FLRA, Ms. Kaufman provided alternative dispute Resolution services in pending unfair labor practice, representation, negotiability and bargaining impasse disputes and provided facilitation and training activities to assist labor and management in developing constructive approaches to conducting their relationships.  Prior to FLRA, Ms. Kaufman was Deputy Director of Mediation services at the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), where she directed the Federal Sharing Neutrals Program.  Ms. Kaufman has mediated hundreds of disputes throughout the government and has provided training and mediation for both federal and community mediation programs in the Washington metropolitan area.

Ms. Kaufman is a member of both the District of Columbia and the New York Bars.  She earned an undergraduate degree from Cornell University and a Juris Doctorate from Duke University School of Law.

Tammy Van Keuren, Executive Director, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Tammy L. Van Keuren is the Director, Accountability and Strategic Management; in her role with the FAA Accountability Board,   Ms. Van Keuren is responsible for chairing meetings and monitoring all reported allegations and their outcomes to ensure compliance with Federal regulation and the interests of the Agency are served. She also builds strategic alliances with Line of Business/Staff Office leaders to explore and determine options to resolve conflicts, problematic issues or concerns and eradicate systemic problems. Ms. Van Keuren has vast operational and human resources experience in supporting a culture of accountability, professionalism, transparency, and innovation. Throughout her career Ms. Van Keuren has actively promoted, supported, and participated in Equal Opportunity Programs and helped to identify and resolve EEO issues or complaints.

Prior to coming to FAA, Ms. Van Keuren held positions within Human Resource Management with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Department of the Navy, U.S. Office of Personnel Management and Department of the Air Force.

Ms. Van Keuren holds a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education/English from Eastern Washington University and a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management from Central Michigan University.

Beverly M. Onwubere, Esq., Associate Director, Departmental Office of Civil Rights (DOCR), USDOT

Beverly Onwubere is the Associate Director for the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Complaints and Investigations Division, and Acting Associate Director of the Complaints Adjudication & Program Evaluation Division, Departmental Office of Civil Rights.  In her role, Ms. Onwubere overseas the processing, adjudication and compliance of formal complaints of discrimination filed against the U. S. Department of Transportation. Ms. Onwubere has vast experience in the areas of labor and employment including Federal sector equal employment matters. Throughout her career, Ms. Onwubere has actively developed and supported policies and procedures aimed at the elimination of unlawful discrimination in the public and private sectors. 

Prior to her joining DOCR, Ms. Onwubere held positions within the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights and Farm Service Agency, Office of Civil Rights.

Ms. Onwubere is formerly a civil rights litigator and a current member of the Maryland State Bar and District of Columbia Bar. 

Last updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2018