Office of Rep. Derek Kilmer announcement.
The Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress (Modernization Committee), led by U.S. Representative Derek Kilmer (WA-06) from 2019 to 2023, has earned the Frank E.A. Sander Innovation in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Award. The award, given by the nation’s leading legal professional organization, the American Bar Association (ABA), recognizes significant achievements in developing ways to resolve disputes outside the courtroom.
“One of the decisions the Modernization Committee made from the start was that if we wanted things to work differently in Congress, we had to do things differently,” said Rep. Kilmer. “This recognition from the American Bar Association is a testament to the dedication exhibited by the Democrats and Republicans on our committee as we collaborated to build a Congress that works better for the American people.”
“For four years, Chair Kilmer helped lead the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress, comprised at Chair Kilmer’s insistence of six Democrats and six Republicans and requiring a two-thirds vote to pass any recommendation,” said Bruce Patton, Co-Founder and Distinguished Fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Project and Director of the Rebuild Congress Initiative. “Yet in its four years of service this Committee made 202 recommendations, most of them unanimously, and with 130 of those recommendations already fully or partially implemented. It is no wonder the Washington Post dubbed this effort ‘the most important committee you’ve never heard of.’”
The Modernization Committee was formed in January 2019 and disbanded in January 2023. Its goal was to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency of Congress for the American public’s benefit. Notably, the Modernization Committee was one of the few truly bipartisan committees in Congress, with equal representation of Democratic and Republican members.
In February 2023, Washington Post contributing columnist Amanda Ripley called the story of the Modernization Committee one of “shocking function,” a stark contrast to numerous tales of shocking dysfunction in Congress.
The Frank E.A. Sander Award, named after the famed Harvard Law School professor Frank Sander, celebrates exceptional achievements and novel approaches to conflict resolution. The award is a joint initiative between the ABA Center for Innovation and the ABA Section for Dispute Resolution. The Section of Dispute Resolution hosted the award ceremony during the Annual Spring Conference on May 11, 2023.
C Martin says
A huge thank you to Rep Kilmer and committee for your initiative and creativity!