The Ottawa Citizen obituary may be found here.
Though it is with great sadness that we note the passing of our dear friend Jennifer
Lynch, we also want to celebrate Jennifer’s full life and the many contributions she
made to ACR - and to the lives of her many colleagues who remember her with
great respect and affection.
Jennifer leaves behind her husband Pierre Richard, two stepchildren and their spouses, and
six grandchildren, as well as legions of friends and colleagues around the world. Her kindness,
compassion and generosity will be missed, as will her formidable energy and spirit. Her monument
is the many lives she enriched.
Jennifer Lynch excelled easily in
many different worlds. In a university
you would call her a star…But in my
professional world, she was more like
the sun. People and ideas would grow
and thrive in Jennifer’s presence, as
a garden does in abundant sunshine.
I felt warmed, immediately, twenty-
five years ago, when she called
asking about conflict management
within organizations. Jennifer
came into the world of conflict
management with enormous energy,
brilliant creativity, and extraordinary
listening skills. She illuminated my
world, and inspired countless people. I
know, because I am one of those who
was—and is—inspired by her. Here is
one reason why.
The concept of “collaboration” is central
in negotiation and dispute resolution.
We talk a lot about the theory and
practice of collaboration. But theory, by
itself, actually accomplishes very little.
(As all of us know, many people have
theories, but achieve little.) Jennifer did
“have the theory”—but, in addition, she
lived the practice of collaboration.
Jennifer Lynch achieved more than
anyone else I know, to put theories of
conflict management into practice. She
did this with individuals of every status….
and throughout her beloved Canada
and its government agencies, and in
the US. She put theory into practice
in the struggle for Human Rights
of “integrated conflict management
systems” to thousands of people—and
then helped to build these systems. She
was a sensationally collaborative friend
and colleague, and very effective.
Today I remember her grace, her
humor, her focus and commitment,
her intense interest in understanding
the world, her generosity, her joy
in anything that was beautiful and
elegant. I am sure that I am not alone in
saying that I learned much more from
Jennifer than I could ever have given
back. Her ideas will continue to inspire.
As Mary Rowe said at Jennifer’s funeral:
A trusted and well-respected lawyer, mentor,
and advisor to her friends and colleagues around
the world Jennifer will be fondly remembered for
her knack of connecting and supporting people,
for livening up meetings and events with her
warmth and humor and for generously providing
her wisdom and knowledge. Jennifer served on
the ACR Board of Directors from 2002-2005
and as the co-chair of the Organizational Conflict
Management Section from 1997-2002. She was
an innovator, recognized expert and leader in
the theory and design of conflict management
systems. Among her many publications on
this subject, Jennifer was a co-author of the
internationally acclaimed “Designing Integrated
Conflict Management Systems – Guidelines
for Practitioners and Decision Makers in
Organizations” published in 2001. She played a
significant role in drafting these guidelines while
serving on the ADR in the Workplace Initiative of
SPIDR (one of ACR’s predecessor organizations).
In her work at PDG Group Jennifer advised
large organizations (including the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police, Canada Department
of National Defence, Canada Revenue Agency,
the U. S. Transportation Security Administration,
and the World Bank) in the design, practice
and implementation of integrated conflict
management systems. She also served as the
Chief Commissioner of the Canadian Human Rights
Commission from 2007-2012. She believed and
lived by the principle enshrined in the Canadian
Human Rights Act that “all individuals should have
an opportunity equal with other individuals to
make for themselves the lives they are able and
wish to have.”
and Mary Rowe
who died on
2013 in Ottawa,