Napolitano, Marten to be honored by San Diego-based National Conflict Resolution Center

National Conflict Resolution Center President Steven Dinkin. The organization will host its 27th annual Peacemaker Awards on March 12.
( / Courtesy)

As an international leader in mediation instruction and conflict resolution, the San Diego-based National Conflict Resolution Center is celebrating local and national peace builders during the 27th annual Peacemaker Awards March 12 in La Jolla.

“It takes leaders across the community and across the nation to build the momentum to create greater stability, to promote peace and to prevent violence,” said Del Mar resident Steven Dinkin, president and CEO of NCRC, a full-service alternative dispute resolution provider.

“We honor those individuals who are uniquely qualified and have gone beyond their daily job to help move the needle forward in this direction.”

Janet Napolitano will receive the National Peacemaker Award, and Cindy Marten will receive the Local Peacemaker Award. A committee of community members and individuals from NCRC selected both honorees.

A longtime American politician and lawyer, Napolitano served as governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009 and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013, under President Barack Obama. She has been president of the University of California system since September 2013.

As president of the UC system, Napolitano has put pragmatic solutions ahead of partisan ideology, whether when addressing sexual assault on campuses or promoting diversity through admission policies, Dinkin said.

“In her role as president of the UC system, she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to collaboration, diversity and inclusiveness in education,” Dinkin said.

Marten serves as superintendent of San Diego Unified School District.

As superintendent, Marten has led a fundamental shift in the way the district handles student misconduct, Dinkin said. Rather than simply suspending or expelling students, she engages students, parents and school administrators in discussions about problems and appropriate consequences, he said.

“It’s a more nuanced and compassionate approach to discipline,” Dinkin said. “If they’re able to come to an agreement and the student follows the agreement, the student is not suspended or expelled. It’s critical that students remain in the school system.”

NCRC’s three divisions, the Business Center, Training Institute and San Diego Mediation Center, provide specialized mediation and conflict resolution services. Based in downtown San Diego, the organization also has two field offices in City Heights and San Ysidro.

The University of San Diego Law Center and the San Diego County Bar Association founded NCRC in 1983. Since then, NCRC has managed more than 20,000 cases.

“Our overall goal is to build greater civility in all aspects of our lives,” said Dinkin, who has lived in Del Mar since 2003.

About 600 people are expected to attend the annual event, which takes place from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, March 12, at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine, 3777 La Jolla Village Drive. Tickets cost $250.

For information and to buy tickets, call 619-238-2400, ext. 222, or visit