My Story

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I am the Thaddeus R. Beal Clinical Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and the founder of the Harvard Law School Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program, which I directed for more than a decade. I am on sabbatical for the 2018-19 school year, but I typically teach several courses at Harvard Law School, including the school’s flagship Spring Negotiation Workshop, a seminar on dispute systems design which I created at Harvard Law School, an advanced workshop on multiparty negotiation, group decision-making, and teams, and an interdisciplinary research seminar on dispute resolution. Several years ago, I developed an innovative new class at Harvard Law School, entitled The Lawyer as Facilitator.

I have also taught thousands of executives, government leaders, healthcare professionals, and diplomats over the last two decades through the Program on Negotiation’s Negotiation and Leadership Executive Education Program and in the Harvard Negotiation Institute at Harvard Law School.

During my time at Harvard, I have served on the Executive Committee of the Program on Negotiation, as the faculty advisor to the Harvard Mediation Program, Harvard Negotiators, the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, the LGBTQ affinity group, and the Catholic Law Students Association. I have also served on the J.D. Admissions Committee of the Law School, the Clinical Appointments Committee, and on the Administrative Board.

I also serve on the Board of Directors of Seeds of Peace, the Board of Advisors for the Center for Empathy in International Affairs, and the Advisory Board for the Catholic Common Ground Initiative. In the past, I served on the Board of Overseers for the Center for Social Impact at Dartmouth College.

Research, Writing, and Media

My research interests include developing and testing methods of effective public dialogue on issues that cut to the core of identity, meaning, belonging, and belief and the assessment, reform, design, and implementation of dispute handling systems for organizations, societies, and institutions.

The second edition of my textbook, Designing Systems and Processes for Managing Disputes (Wolters-Kluwer 2019) has just been published. Written with my colleagues Nancy Rogers, Craig McEwen, and the late Frank Sander, it is the first textbook that integrates systems design literature and the latest research in dispute resolution.  I also co-edited The Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Jossey-Bass, 2005, with Michael Moffitt) and have authored articles in leading dispute resolution journals including the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Negotiation Briefings, and Negotiation Journal.

My writing and commentary have appeared in various print and broadcast media outlets including The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, CNN’S The Situation Room, America, and BBC Radio.

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Consulting

Mediation, Facilitation, Consensus Building, Coaching, Dispute Systems Design and Training in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, Conflict Resilience, Facilitation and Challenging Conversations

In addition I maintain a robust private practice, consulting for, coaching, and training businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

My private work spans a wide range of functions:

  • Training in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution, Conflict Resilience, Challenging Conversations, Facilitation, Empathy, and Managing Group Process

  • Mediation, Facilitation, and Consensus-Building Services

  • One-on-one or Group Coaching in Negotiation and Challenging Conversations

  • Dispute Systems Design

I have worked in many sectors, both in within the United States and internationally. I have a particular interest in working in healthcare contexts and on issues related to political dialogue and managing differences in faith communities.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with organizations as diverse as the Boston Symphony Orchestra,  Partners, the Swiss Foreign Ministry, Delta Airlines, Gap, Inc., Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Nestlé, the U.S. Department of Justice, Health Net, Edwards Lifesciences, and Coca-Cola.

I’ve also trained physician leaders at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and Tufts Medical Center, attorneys for Microsoft in Europe, and senior partners and associates at the international law firms of Freshfields, Bruckhaus, & Deringer, Clifford Chance, LLP, Shearman & Sterling, LLP, & Weil, Gotshal, & Manges, LLP.

Education & Other Experience

After graduating summa cum laude from Dartmouth College and cum laude from Harvard Law School, I clerked for Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts. Before joining Harvard Law School’s faculty, I worked briefly at Crowell & Moring, LLP in Washington, D.C., Cravath, Swaine, & Moore, LLP in New York, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Justice Department, the Boston Consulting Group, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather.

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Personal

My outside interests include politics, broadcast journalism, travel, volunteerism, and my puppy Rosie. I cherish time spent with friends discussing issues such as faith, identity, emotions, politics, and meaning. This is a true sign that I love having and teaching difficult conversations! I very much enjoy observing people in their daily interactions and I love to learn about their stories and life experiences.