Kimberlyn Leary

Associate Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School

Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Program Director, Enabling Change, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Executive Director, Policy Outreach, McLean Hospital

Kimberlyn Leary has taught courses and seminars on negotiation, clinical technique, and public policy and mental health. She has also served as a tutor to third-year medical students. She sits on the editorial boards of Psychoanalytic Quarterly, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, Psychoanalytic Psychology, the Harvard Mental Health Letter, and Negotiation Journal. She is currently a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program and New America’s International Security Program, a senior advisor to the CEO at the National Math and Science Initiative, and a trustee of Amherst College.

In 1997, Leary published a paper on race and self-disclosure that won the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Karl Menninger Prize, and in 2007 she received the Ernest and Gertrude Ticho Award of the American Psychoanalytic Association. In 2010 she received the American Psychological Association’s Division of Psychoanalysis award for clinical scholarship and was selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow in 2014. From 2015 to 2016, she served as an advisor to the White House Council on Women and Girls for one year, developing the “Advancing Equity” initiative for improving life outcomes for women and girls of color, and as an advisor to the White House Office of Management and Budget’s Health Division.


M.P.A., Harvard Kennedy School

A.B., Amherst College

Ph.D., University of Michigan

Research interests

Role of first impressions in shaping initial dialogues, delineating interpersonal exchanges that promote change and collaborative decision making, relational perspectives in psychotherapy, diversity and inclusion in health care settings, effective practice in negotiation and mediation

Selected publications

  • “From the Balkans: Reflections on a Peace-building Trip to Serbia and Kosovo.” Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society 15, no. 1 (2010): 100–108.
  • “Race as Adaptive Challenge.” Psychoanalytic Psychology 29 (2012): 279–291.
  • With J. Pillemer and M. Wheeler. “Negotiating with Emotion.” Harvard Business Review, January–February 2013.
  • “When Medicine Is Not Enough: Negotiation Fundamentals for Physicians.” In Healing Under Fire: The Case of Southern Thailand, edited by Virasakdi Chongsuvivatwong, Louisa Chan Boegli, and Supat Hasuwannakit. The Deep South Relief and Reconciliation Foundation and the Rugiagli Initiative, 2014.

2 Responses to “Kimberlyn Leary”

  • I attended a presentation in NYC last week given by Professor Leary at the American Psychoanalytic meeting. I found it very engaging, instructive and valuable. The topic was leadership and negotiation. The talk was given to psychoanalytic professionals, but I found a good deal of it was applicable to business.

  • psychotherapy T.

    Kimberlyn Leary sure has a lot of achievements throughout her career. Thanks for sharing.


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