Skip to:

Dayton Names Josh Tilsen to Lead Bureau of Mediation Services

February 08, 2011
Dayton appoints experienced mediator to head agency 
St. Paul—Governor Mark Dayton today appointed Josh Tilsen as the Commissioner of the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS). Tilsen is currently a full-time hearing officer and mediator with BMS.  He brings more than 30 years of experience to this position as a mediator, facilitator, administrative hearing officer, arbitrator, and trainer. Tilsen has brought labor and management together to achieve settlements in countless collective bargaining agreements. He has worked in nearly every county and school district in Minnesota, and has also served municipal, state executive and judicial branches.
The Bureau of Mediation Services works to promote stable and constructive labor-management relations.  It works collaboratively with parties to resolve contract and grievance disputes quickly and fairly, and also provides arbitration and labor-management conflict resolution training.
“Since 1939, the Bureau has had the responsibility for settling labor disputes constructively and fairly.  This work is important to the state’s economy and the state’s workers,” said Governor Dayton.  “Josh Tilsen is respected for his professionalism by both management and labor, and I am confident he will lead this agency well.”
"I am honored to be chosen by Governor Dayton to lead the Bureau of Mediation Services and serve the citizens of Minnesota," said Tilsen. "A constructive labor-management environment is critical to growing Minnesota's economy. Since 1939 the Bureau has played a central role in establishing stable and productive relationships between labor and management in Minnesota and in the years ahead we plan to continue that tradition.  Understood correctly, labor management relations are about problem solving, and I look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure that each matter before the Bureau is resolved fairly and efficiently."
Tilsen has worked as a full-time hearing officer and mediator with the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services since 1988, including 8 years (1995-2003) as manager of administrative hearings.  He has successfully mediated thousands of labor disputes. He has also been a leader in modernizing the Bureau’s technology and administrative services.  He has led projects to update agency computer systems, data management, on-line capabilities and communications.  Prior to working at the Bureau of Mediation Services, Tilsen was a local union representative and officer for Local 17 of the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees union in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. He is a graduate of San Francisco State College and currently lives in St. Paul.