Lawrence Susskind

Lawrence Susskind is Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has served on the faculty for 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, and where he heads the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, and teaches advanced negotiation courses. In 1993, Professor Susskind created the Consensus Building Institute.

Professor Susskind’s most recent book, Breaking Robert’s Rules: The New Way to Run Your Meeting, Build Consensus and Get Results (Oxford University Press, 2006), 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 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 more than 50 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.

In his role as an environmental mediator he has been part of a range of efforts in various parts of the world to facilitate multistakeholder dialogues on the introduction of new technologies. Professor Susskind can be reached at susskind {at} mit(.)edu or via his blog at