Negotiating for Leadership is chaired by Professor Iris Bohnet, one of the world’s leading experts on the role of gender in negotiation and decision making.
Iris Bohnet is Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School and the director of the Women and Public Policy Program. She is also an associate director of the Harvard Laboratory for Decision Science, vice-chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and a faculty chair of the executive program “Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century” for the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders. She is affiliated with the Center for Business and Government, the Center for Public Leadership, the Dubai Initiative, and the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, Harvard University. She is a member of the Global Agenda Councils on the Gender Gap and on Diversity of the World Economic Forum and serves on the board of the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, the advisory board of the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, and a large number of academic journals focusing on economics, management, negotiation, decision analysis and law.
Professor Bohnet teaches decision-making and negotiation in degree and executive programs. In addition to teaching at Harvard, she has been engaged in the teaching, training and consulting of private and public sector leaders in the United States, Europe, India and the Middle East. For example, she taught “Creating a High Performance Government: Public Sector Innovation” for the political leaders of the UAE, including HH, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, “International Diplomacy in the New Century” for the Ambassadors of Kuwait, and “Palestinian Leadership in Development” for leaders from Palestine.
A behavioral economist combining insights from economics and psychology, Iris Bohnet’s research focuses on decision-making, and on improving decision-making in organizations and society. In particular, she analyzes the causes and consequences of trust and the role of gender and culture in negotiation and decision-making. She has developed experimental tools to measure people’s behavior, dispositions and beliefs as accurately as possible in different parts of the world and has pioneered the experimental research in the Middle East, a region she is particularly passionate about. She has published widely in leading academic journals. She recently edited the first academic journal issue focusing on gender in negotiation (Negotiation Journal, October 2008, joint with Hannah Riley Bowles). Her work has been discussed in numerous newspaper articles and on television.
Iris Bohnet received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, in 1997, and has then spent a year as a visiting scholar at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley. She joined the Kennedy School of Government as an assistant professor in 1998 and was made full professor in 2006. She is married to Michael Zurcher, and she and her husband have two children. The family lives in Newton, Massachusetts.