Office of the Director
The FMCS Director, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, has the responsibility for establishing and directing policy and for the overall administration and strategic direction of the Service. The Director serves as agency liaison with the White House, members of the President’s Cabinet and the Congress, and also provides direction for and participation in mediating major disputes.
Acting Director Richard Giacolone was selected by President Trump in June of 2018 to lead the Agency. Prior to that, Commissioner Giacolone had served in the Chesapeake, Virginia field office since 1995. In that capacity, Commissioner Giacolone functioned as a senior mediator handling cases of national significance, as well as serving as the former Director of the FMCS International/ADR Department and Special Assistant to the Director of FMCS. Prior to receiving his commission with FMCS, Mr. Giacolone served as a Labor Relations Advisor for the Department of the Navy and has an extensive background in labor relations as a management representative.
In his capacity as FMCS mediator, Mr. Giacolone mediated thousands of domestic labor and employment cases during his 23-year tenure, ranging from labor disputes at multiple symphonies and orchestras to bus and transportation disputes with coast-to-coast impact. His international experience at FMCS includes both mediation and the development and delivery of dispute resolution programs in some fourteen countries, including: Peru, Argentina, Panama, Dominican Republic, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Thailand, and the United Kingdom. He led the Agency’s mission to provide transition assistance during the transfer of the Panama Canal to the Republic of Panama. Mr. Giacolone represented the United States in the Peoples’ Republic of China, lecturing on the benefits of labor-management cooperation. In addition, he presented mediation training in Yangon, Myanmar.
FMCS Acting Director Giacolone’ s long Agency career included leading the facilitation of public meetings during the investigation of the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings on September 11, 2001 as well as negotiated rulemaking cases (Reg/Neg) as a means to avoid unnecessary litigation.
Among his professional honors, Mr. Giacolone was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal from the Department of Navy for his contributions in labor and employee relations and the Society of Federal Labor and Employee Relations Professionals Lifetime Achievement Award. He was elected National President of the Society of Federal Labor-Management Relations Professionals.
Mr. Giacolone holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Psychology and a Master of Public Administration degree from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. He has served on the faculty and has regularly lectured at a number of universities on topics such as collective bargaining and arbitration. These include Tidewater Community College, Old Dominion University, the College of William and Mary Law School, and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Deputy Director, Field Operations
Gary Hattal is the Deputy Director for Field Operations for the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, appointed by Acting Director Richard Giacolone.
Hattal has served as a Commissioner assigned to the Seattle, WA field office of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). As a Federal mediator, Mr. Hattal acts as a confidential neutral working toward amicable contract settlements primarily between management and labor unions. He received his commission in 1995.
For five years, he was the director of the FMCS Institute for Conflict Management, responsible for the creation and delivery, of courses in: Conflict Management, Mediation, Arbitration, Interest-based Problem Solving and other alternative dispute resolution (ADR) systems across the U.S. and internationally.
In addition to dispute settlement, Mr. Hattal works in the arena of preventive mediation, providing training, assessment, coaching, and facilitation skills that will achieve enhanced work relationships. He has varied and extensive experience in the phases of interest-based negotiations procedures, organizational culture, and labor-management partnership development.
He has served FMCS as a field mediator in three field stations (Washington, D.C., Oakland, CA and Seattle, WA), director of Arbitration Services for the FMCS, and as a special assistant to the FMCS’s former Agency Director. International assignments included diplomatic missions in Hanoi, Dublin, Stockholm, London, Canada, and Ecuador, and on the Agency’s behalf, he worked extensively in Panama prior to the Canal transition in 2000.
Mr. Hattal’s experience, prior to receiving his FMCS appointment, includes over 15 years in labor relations, contract negotiations, as well as directing training and development departments, supervising staff, and administered labor contracts for both labor and management.
Mr. Hattal has served as an adjunct professor for numerous colleges and universities (University of Maryland, George Mason University, The American University, Northern Virginia Community College), teaching semester length courses on a wide variety of topics in the organizational communication and development disciplines, as well as serving as the associate director for the Center for Professional Development in the Office of Continuing Studies at The American University in Washington, D.C. He has consulted for many corporations and businesses in the United States and internationally, as a facilitator and trainer, conducting seminars in interpersonal communication, public relations, group dynamics, team building, strategic planning, and oral presentations.
Mr. Hattal completed his formal education at the University of Maryland. His MA is in organizational communication and his Ph.D. research was in the field of organizational development. Post graduate work included advanced negotiations training at Harvard University and the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University.
Deputy Director/National Representative
The Deputy Director/National Representative reports to the Director and serves as the Agency’s “master mediator” of high profile collective bargaining disputes and is responsible for developing and coordinating increased engagement with FMCS customers for future relationship development and mediation opportunities in key industries and occupations. The Deputy Director also is responsible for mentoring the Agency’s next generation of major dispute mediators and serves as the management Chair of the Mediator Partnership Council. The Deputy Director handles a variety of assignments to support the initiatives, policies, and programs of the Director of FMCS and represents the Director in meetings of various national, state, and area organizations concerned with labor relations and conflict resolution matters to explain and promote the use of FMCS services by employers, unions, and government entities.
Scot L. Beckenbaugh, who serves as FMCS Deputy Director/National Representative, joined the Agency in 1988. He was appointed Western Regional Director in January 2004, having served as Regional Director for the Upper Midwestern Region since 1997. He was the Director of Mediation Services (currently Regional Director) for the Upper Midwestern Region for two years and, before that, he was a field mediator stationed in Des Moines, Iowa. In addition to providing the full range of FMCS services to the labor management community in Iowa, he served as the Minneapolis District Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator. Mr. Beckenbaugh has also served on an interim basis as the Agency’s Acting Director on three occasions.
Deputy Director Beckenbaugh is the Agency’s “master mediator” of high profile disputes. He has mediated national master agreements in the aerospace, national defense, professional sports, cereal, heavy equipment manufacturing, aluminum, grocery, health care, meatpacking, and maritime industries. He has extensive experience in public sector dispute mediation, as well as in regulatory negotiations, public policy, land use, and civil rights disputes. A long-time member of the Association of Labor Relations Agencies, Mr. Beckenbaugh also serves on the ALRA Executive Board.
From 1986 to 1988, Mr. Beckenbaugh was a Member of the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB). Prior to his appointment as Member, he was an Administrative Law Judge and Director of Mediation Services for Iowa’s PERB. He also had a private arbitration practice and was listed with FMCS. He has served on the Twin Cities Labor Management Committee and for two terms as Chairman of the Industrial Relations Advisory Council at the University of Minnesota. He has taught at the high school, junior college, and university level and was a bill drafter and research analyst for the Iowa Legislature.
Mr. Beckenbaugh holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.A.P.A., with an emphasis in Industrial Relations, from the University of Iowa.
Senior Advisor, Office of the Director
Commissioner David Thaler 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.