Lawrence Susskind

Founder and Chief Knowledge Officer

Lawrence Susskind is Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Founder and Chief Knowledge Officer of the Consensus Building Institute.break He has served on the faculty of MIT for over 35 years and currently directs the Graduate Program in Environmental Policy and Planning. He is also Vice-Chair for Instruction at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, which he helped found in 1982, where he heads the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program and teaches advanced negotiation courses. 

Past work includes leading CBI’s efforts to mediate Bedouin land claims in the southern desert of Israel. He has been involved in a wide range of initiatives to address the land claims of First Nations in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.

In his book, Breaking Robert’s Rules: The New Way to Run Your Meeting, Build Consensus and Get Results (Oxford University Press), Professor Susskind synthesizes what he has learned about consensus building techniques and strategies that work most effectively in the public arena. He is author of 15 other books including Built to Win: Creating a World-Class Negotiating Organization (Harvard Business Press), Multiparty Negotiation (Sage, 2008), Environmental Diplomacy (Oxford, 1995), Negotiating Environmental Agreements (Island Press, 1999), Dealing With An Angry Public (Free Press, 1994), and the award-winning Consensus Building Handbook (Sage, 1999).

Professor Susskind has mediated numerous disputes, including land use conflicts, facility siting controversies, public policy disagreements, and confrontations over water. He has served as a court-appointed special master and helped facilitate negotiations on arrangements of global environmental treaties. He offers a range of executive training programs each year and has served as guest lecturer at more than two-dozen universities around the world.

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