Shared Neutrals and the SN Roster

Shared Neutrals (SN), also known as Sharing Neutrals, is an interagency mediation program in the National Capital Region including the Washington, DC area and Baltimore, that first began as a pilot in the mid-1990s. Management of the program was transferred from the Department of Health and Human Services to FMCS in December, 2018. Upon request, SN assists participating federal agencies through a pool of trained, collateral-duty federal employees who provide mediation services to agencies other than their own in exchange for like services to the program from the recipient agency.

Who is involved?

More than 50 federal agencies and sub-agencies currently participate in SN. The roster primarily serves the Washington-Baltimore metropolitan area although SN will mediate elsewhere if travel costs are paid by the requesting agency. In some regions of the country, Federal Executive Boards (FEBs) have organized programs that they administer separately for agencies within their geographic area. FMCS can handle program administration in coordination with any FEB that requests it.

Who are the Shared Neutrals?

Shared Neutrals Roster members are federal employees who mediate as a collateral duty or government retirees who volunteer their services . They start out as a “co-mediator,” trained in basic mediation skills but with limited experience. To become a “lead” mediator in the program, a co-mediator must have: (1) at least 40 hours of basic mediation skills training; (2) at least three co-mediations with a qualified mediator or five independent mediations and positive evaluations from a qualified trainer/evaluator; and (3) at least two references from two qualified mediators or trainer/evaluators.

For general information about our Shared Neutrals program and its leadership, use the side navigation on the left for other categories of information, including Requesting a Shared Neutral. Please check out the Frequently Asked Questions.

For more information about the program, please email Shared Neutrals staff at

The general telephone number for Shared Neutrals is (202) 796-1533. The Shared Neutrals Coordinator, Maya Hester, and the Program Director, Arthur Pearlstein, may be reached at this number or via email at