Office of International Affairs
Internationally, the FMCS, at the request of the U.S. Departments of State, Labor, and others, strives to build local capacity for effective industrial relations systems, including labor administration, inspection, collective bargaining, mediation, and dispute resolution. Additionally, the FMCS has also been asked to brief or train judges, mediators, and arbitrators on dispute resolution techniques, and has provided assistance in establishing mediation agencies. FMCS international program development, project management, and service delivery are provided by professional staff with significant international experience. In addition, the Agency draws on the expertise of field staff of 165 full-time mediators to deliver the Agency’s international services. For more than two decades, FMCS has delivered training services in more than 50 nations and addressed a wide variety of instructional and development needs.
Senior Advisor, Office of the Director
Commissioner David Thaler leads the Office of International Affairs and is a Senior Advisor in the Office of the Director. Prior to his appointment as Senior Advisor, Commissioner Thaler served as a mediator in the Iselin, NJ Field Office of FMCS, where he mediated disputes involving collective bargaining, grievances filed by employees to enforce their rights under collective bargaining agreements, and employment discrimination cases in the equal employment opportunity context for multiple federal sector agencies. In addition to his dispute resolution caseload, Commissioner Thaler designed and facilitated labor-management committee cooperation efforts involving major hospitals and unions in the New York City area, and also trained labor and management partners in many industries in core relationship and communications skills to help them better administer their collective bargaining agreements.
Internationally, Commissioner Thaler has trained officials from several U.S. and foreign government agencies in mediation and conflict management. He has worked in Argentina, Bangladesh, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Hungary, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama, Peru, South Korea, Thailand, Uganda, and Vietnam, in addition to training incoming delegations from China, Haiti and Tajikistan. In 2015, Commissioner Thaler was named to the international roster of mediators for United Nations and United Nations Staff Management Committee.
Commissioner Thaler holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University, a J.D. from New York University, where he was a Norman Ostrow Scholar and an editor on the Moot Court Board, and a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish, Summa Cum Laude, from Tulane University. Mr. Thaler has also authored or co-authored several publications relating to workplace issues for several international organizations and U.S. government agencies. Since 2014, Commissioner Thaler has been an Adjunct Professor of Conflict Management at Drew University, where he was the 2018 recipient of the Thomas H. Kean Award for excellence in graduate teaching.