|NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD|
|Washington, D.C. 20572
October 14, 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD
The National Mediation Board (NMB) is pleased to announce a cooperative initiative with George Mason University (GMU), which will enhance NMB staff expertise, serve airline and railroad labor and management, the larger dispute resolution community and the public. The initiative is a multi year project between GMU and the NMB to jointly develop, pilot and deliver dispute resolution and Railway Labor Act (RLA) courses with the goal of creating a long term cross-disciplinary relationship between GMU and the NMB. Once these courses are developed and piloted, they would be available to law school and other students and offered by the Board and the University to airline and railroad labor and industry and other interested parties.
Overseeing the initiative is NMB General Counsel Ronald M. Etters who will maintain offices both at GMU and at the NMB. While he remains NMB General Counsel and continues to participate in selected case review, performance management, ethics and other NMB matters, he is now spending substantial time and energy developing and preparing to launch the cooperative initiative with GMU. NMB Chief of Staff Stephen Crable will continue to be generally responsible for oversight of the legal and representation functions of the agency. However, day-to-day representation and legal functions will be handled by Senior Hearing Officers Benetta Mansfield (representation), Mary L. Johnson (litigation) and Sean Rogers (FOIA). Any questions normally handled by General Counsel should be directed to one of the above attorneys or the Chief of Staff. The Board has approved the delegation plan which is part of the agency's continuing efforts to improve the timeliness and quality of its services.
Ronald Etters's tenure with the Board spans an era of change which has profoundly affected the industries we serve. He witnessed economic downturns, deregulation, mergers, contractions, the extinction of carriers long associated with our nation's air and rail transport industries, and, most recently, the astounding growth of the airline industry. As we reach the new millennium, the Board believes it is important to use Mr. Etter's broad knowledge of the RLA and his deep institutional memory to reflect on the past, establish an accurate record of the Board's work and prepare for the future.
[For Mr. Etter's bio, click here, BIO]
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