Mnookin honored by International Academy of Mediators with Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Robert Mnookin ’68, chairman of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, was honored by the International Academy of Mediators with a lifetime achievement award.

The IAM Award is presented to a person who has made exceptional contributions throughout his or her career by personally advancing alternative dispute resolution and inspiring others to do so. A leading scholar in the field of conflict resolution and mediation, Mnookin is the author of “Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight,” “Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes” (with Scott Peppett ’96 and Andrew Tulumello ’96) and “Negotiating on Behalf of Others” (with Lawrence Susskind). He has applied his interdisciplinary approach to a wide-range of negotiation and conflict resolution problems, both public and private.

“Bob Mnookin’s original and powerful work has helped advance the links between scholarship and practice in the field of alternative dispute resolution by ranging across game theory, psychology, history, institutional design, politics, and law. It is terrific to see his vital work on the art and science of negotiation, ‘dealing with the devil,’ and bargaining in the shadow of the law so wonderfully recognized,” said Dean Martha Minow.

Mnookin was presented with the award during the organization’s fall 2012 conference. This year’s conference, “Exploring the Frontiers of Conflict Resolution: From the Banks of the Charles to the Distant Shores of Cyberspace,” was held in Cambridge, MA., in September.

Mnookin led the conference’s first session, titled “Caucus Considerations: Questionable or Indispensable?” Other HLS faculty who presented at the event were Professor Guhan Subramanian J.D./M.B.A. ’98, on “Strategic Negotiations: The K-Dow Joint Venture Case Study”; Clinical Professor Robert Bordone ’97, director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program, on “Building the Mediator’s Toolkit: Skills of Diagnosis and Design; and Sheila Heen ’93, lecturer on law and founder of Triad Consulting Group, on “Pull: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback, Even When It’s Off-Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and Frankly, You’re Not In the Mood.”

In April, Mnookin will participate in a symposium on child custody decision-making, sponsored by the Journal of Law and Contemporary Problems. In 1975, the journal published an article by Mnookin on child custody regulation, “Child Custody Adjudication: Judicial Function in the Face of Indeterminacy,” which has been described as “the most famous article ever written on child custody regulation, and one of the most important in family law scholarship altogether.” The goal of the symposium, which will be held April 27 at Duke Law School, is to undertake an analysis of developments in the law and in practice since Mnookin wrote his pathbreaking article 37 years ago. Organized by Kate Bartlett and Buffy Scott, the symposium will bring together leading legal scholars and social scientists who study child custody and who have the knowledge and perspective to analyze the changes and continuities over two generations.

The mission of the International Academy of Mediators is to define standards and qualifications for the professional mediator of commercial disputes and to promote the mediation process as the preferred means of resolving disputes. The academy promotes the study and understanding of the mediation process, and educating the public, courts and legislative bodies on effective and appropriate uses of mediation are at the core of IAM’s mission.

—Sophy Bishop