Raiffa Receives Honorary Degree From Harvard University

By PON Staffon / News, Students

Howard Raiffa, Director Emeritus of the Program on Negotiation’s Negotiation Roundtable received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at Harvard University’s 2002 Commencement Excercises. Raiffa is Harvard University’s Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Managerial Economics Emeritus, and a pioneer in the field of decision analysis. A mathematician by training, Raiffa is an originator of the now famous “decision tree,” and has done extensive work on developing techniques to help decision makers think more systematically about complex choices involving uncertainties and tradeoffs. As a scientific adviser to McGeorge Bundy, White House assistant for national security under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and Philip Handler, president of the National Academy of Sciences, Raiffa helped to negotiate the creation of an East-West think tank with the aim of reducing Cold War tensions. Raiffa received his doctorate in mathematics in 1951 from the University of Michigan. He was an assistant professor of mathematical statistics at Columbia University before coming to Harvard in 1957. Raiffa became a professor in 1960, and in 1964 was named to the Ramsey chair, a joint chair held by the Business School and the Kennedy School of Government. He has also held professorial positions in the Department of Economics and in the Department of Statistics. With Roger Fisher at Harvard Law School, Raiffa helped to launch the Program on Negotiation. He has received numerous honorary degrees, and, in 2000, received the prestigious Dickson Prize for Science, conferred annually by University Professors at Carnegie Mellon University.