Kessely Hong

By — on / Affiliated Faculty, PON Faculty

Kessely Hong

Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

Faculty Chair of the MPA Programs and the Mid-Career MPA Summer Program, Harvard Kennedy School

A highly skilled negotiator and educator, Kessely Hong was presented with the Manuel C. Carballo Award for Excellence in Teaching by the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) graduating class of 2015, and the Holly Taylor Sargent Award for Women’s Advancement by the Women and Public Policy Program in 2018. As a lecturer in public policy and faculty chair of the Mid-Career MPA Summer Program at HKS, she teaches both degree program and executive education students. She has been a fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program at HKS, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and the Harvard University Native American Program.

Hong is interested in exploring how gender and other status differences influence trust, stereotypes, negotiation, and partisan perceptions. She is working to develop teaching materials that demonstrate strategies low-power parties can use to influence others through negotiation, as well as strategies that can be used to make progress in partisan legislative negotiations. Before coming to HKS, Hong worked for the management consulting firm McKinsey and Company and taught English in Ecuador.


B.A., Harvard College

M.P.A., Harvard Kennedy School

Ph.D., Harvard Kennedy School

Research interests

Negotiation, decision making, partisan legislative negotiations, gender and other status differences

Selected publications

  • “PON Sunday Minute Tip.” Program on Negotiation,, April 10, 2016; reprinted November 6, 2016.
  • “Question & Answer: Negotiating with Yourself.” Negotiation Newsletter, Program on Negotiation, May 2013, p. 8. (Reprinted in Executive Leadership, a newsletter published by Business Management Daily, vol. 28, June 2013, p. 7.)
  • With Iris Bohnet. “Status and Distrust: The Relevance of Inequality and Betrayal Aversion.” Journal of Economic Psychology 28 (2007): 197–213.


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