2023 Diversity in ADR Award

Press Releases,




New York, NY, March 7, 2024 – The International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), a global non-profit organization that helps others manage conflict so that they might better pursue their purpose, is pleased to announce Dr. Emilia Onyema, Professor at SOAS University of London and independent arbitrator, is the recipient of the 2023 Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in ADR award.


In 2007, the National Task Force on Diversity in ADR created an Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in ADR to recognize a person or organization who has contributed significantly to diversity in the alternative dispute resolution field. Submissions for the Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in ADR are reviewed by a panel consisting of past winners, the co-chairs of CPR’s National Task Force on Diversity in ADR, and the CPR President & CEO.


Emilia Onyema, PhD, SFHEA, FCIArb is Professor of International Commercial Law at SOAS University of London and an international arbitrator. She is also the Director of the SOAS Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Centre. She is qualified to practice law in Nigeria and as a Solicitor in England & Wales.


Dr. Onyema’s contributions to efforts to promote diversity in ADR directly or indirectly are numerous. She is the convenor of the SOAS Arbitration in Africa conference series, which began in 2015 and has been held in Addis Ababa, Lagos, Cairo, Kigali, Arusha, Douala, Ghana and Cape Town to date. She is the Lead Investigator for the biennial Arbitration in Africa Survey. She is the co-author of the African Promise, a pledge that aims to improve the profile and representation of African arbitrators and to appoint Africans as arbitrators, especially in arbitrations connected with Africa.


Dr. Onyema founded and is now a Trustee of the Arbitration Fund for African Students, which was launched at the 2019 SOAS Arbitration in Africa conference in Arusha. The primary purpose of the fund is to advance education in the knowledge, skills, techniques, use and methods of arbitration by the provision of funding for students in Africa to attend arbitration related conferences, workshops and moots; and a website that will enable information relating to arbitration to be made available and accessible to the general public.


“I thank the CPR for this recognition of my research and knowledge exchange work which focuses on the engagement of Africans in international arbitration and the continued development of the skills of arbitration practitioners and acceptance of arbitration within the continent,” Onyema said. “I am very grateful and know that I am in good company of the past winners, all who continue to do excellent work on ‘diversity in the alternative dispute resolution field’.”


“We are excited to be able to give CPR’s Diversity Award to someone recognized across the continents for her exemplary work in increasing diversity in ADR. Dr. Onyema has spent the better part of her professional career championing the visibility of African neutrals in the ADR world. Her initiatives have had a direct, positive impact in the greater ADR community,” said Helena Tavares Erickson, Acting CEO and SVP of the CPR Institute. 


For more information, visit cpradr.org.



Established in 1977, CPR is an independent nonprofit organization that promotes the prevention and resolution of conflict to better enable the pursuit of purpose through the CPR Institute and its subsidiary, CPR Dispute Resolution Services LLC.

The CPR Institute builds capacity for dispute prevention and resolution through the thought leadership of its diverse members – companies, leading mediators and arbitrators, law firms, individual practitioners, and academics – who share best practices and develop innovative tools for dispute management through committee discussions and projects, publications, education and training, and hosting events.

CPR Dispute Resolution is a boutique provider of leading-edge dispute management services – mediation, arbitration, custom appointing services, a panel of dispute prevention specialists, and more – that leverages resources generated by the CPR Institute. The case administrators are responsive, efficient, and detail oriented, and have extensive backgrounds in alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The Panel of Distinguished Neutrals is a carefully curated, diverse group of prominent, experienced subject matter and ADR professionals based in 35 countries. And CPR Dispute Resolution’s Complete Case platform, a holistic end-to-end digital environment designed for ADR, handles matters efficiently and securely. To learn more, visit drs.cpradr.org.



Lili Schroppe
Director, Marketing and Communications
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