Tara Taylor, MPA
Education & Outreach Director
Maryland Commission on Civil Rights
Tara Taylor is the Education & Outreach Director for the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) where she also previously served as the Mediation Program Director for 12 years. She is the Co-Founder & Program Director for the Maryland Equity & Inclusion Leadership Program, a collaborative year-long leadership development program sponsored by the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights and the University of Baltimore Schaefer Center for Public Policy.
Prior to joining MCCR in 2001, Tara managed dispute resolution programs for the Office of the Arizona Attorney General and the Office of the Maryland Attorney General. She also directed several leadership development and educational programs for the YMCA of Delaware and the YMCA Eastern Region. Tara recently served as Co-Chair of the Maryland Coalition Opposed to Violence & Extremism (COVE) and as past Chair of the Maryland Judiciary’s Maryland Program for Mediator Excellence Council. She is a recipient of the Governor’s 21st Century Award for Maryland Women in Responsive Government.
She holds a B.A. in Organizational Communication and a M.A. in Management & Public Administration and enjoys teaching as an adjunct faculty member for the Conflict Management & Negotiations graduate program in the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore as well as for other local colleges and universities.
Tara is also an independent contractor specializing in corporate training, coaching and large group facilitation for public and private sector organizations. In addition, she spends time volunteering as a mediator for the Maryland State Government Shared Neutrals Program and for her local county community mediation program.
Whether in her role as a trainer, a mediator or a facilitator, Tara is passionate about helping individuals and communities learn to have more meaningful, productive conversations across their differences. She lives in Maryland with her fabulous husband and two kids that keep her running!
Dr. Ann Cotten, C.P.A., D.P.A.
Director Schaefer Center for Public Policy
University of Baltimore
Ann Cotten is the Director of the Schaefer Center for Public Policy at the University of Baltimore and an affiliated faculty member in the College of Public Affairs. She has been working with government and nonprofit organizations for the past 25 years in the areas of program evaluation, survey research, policy analysis, management consulting, performance measurement, strategic planning, and professional development.
Dr. Cotten founded and directs the Maryland Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program designed to build management capacity in Maryland’s public sector. Prior to starting the Maryland CPM Program, Dr. Cotten directed the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Fellows Program, a leadership development program for non-profit executive directors, from 2007-2011 on behalf of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.
She is Treasurer for the National Certified Public Manager® Consortium and has previously served as President of the Southern Consortium of University Public Service Organizations, the American Society for Public Administration’s National Council, and President of the Maryland Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. Dr. Cotten also chairs the University of Baltimore’s Institutional Review Board and the Council on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.
In 2008, Dr. Cotten was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by the Maryland Daily Record. She is a member of Leadership Maryland Class of 2012 and the GBC Leadership Class of 2015. She teaches strategic management for government and nonprofit organizations in the University of Baltimore’s School of Public and International Affairs. She holds a Master’s Degree in Economics and Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Rae is currently an assistant professor in the School of Public and International Affairs within the College of Public Affairs at the University of Baltimore. She is also the incoming graduate program director for the Masters of Science program in Negotiations and Conflict Management at the University of Baltimore. Her research, consulting, and teaching interests intersect issues about workforce diversity, conflict management, and teams and groups in organizational contexts. As the academic director for the Maryland Equity and Inclusion Leadership program, she will primarily lead and manage the development and planning of curricular content and delivery, as well as the evaluation and assessment aspects of the program. Rae holds Ph.D., M.Phil., and M.A. degrees in Social and Organizational Psychology from Columbia University and a B.A. degree in Psychology and Communication from the University of Southern California.