Robert Wilkinson

Robert Wilkinson

Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School

A negotiation and leadership specialist, Wilkinson is on the faculty at Harvard Kennedy School, where he teaches graduate courses on leadership in complex environments and negotiation theory and practice.

Wilkinson has won several Dean’s Teaching Awards at Harvard, and also served as a special advisor on negotiation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Previously, he was on the faculty at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy for eight years.

As management consultant, Wilkinson has nearly 25 years of experience in more than 45 countries, within the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. From General Mills and IBM to the Gates Foundation and World Wildlife Fund, he has helped numerous Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, international organizations, and charities increase their effectiveness.

Wilkinson has worked overseas on a variety of international negotiation projects, including spending three years in Rwanda working with Hutu and Tutsi communities and two years working with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Angola.


B.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.S., Stanford University

Research interests

Negotiation theory and practice, leadership, management, community development

Selected publications

  • Negotiating toward the Paris Accords: WWF & the Role of Forests in the 2015 Climate Agreement. HKS Case No. 2118.0. Harvard Kennedy School, 2018.
  • With Eileen Babbitt and Diana Chigas. Theories of Change (THINC): Concepts and Primers for Conflict Management and Mitigation. USAID, 2013.
  • Preventing Violent Conflict. Department for International Development, March 2006.
  • With Jamie Balfour-Paul. Poverty in the Midst of Wealth: The Democratic Republic of Congo. Oxfam International, 2002.

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