It is the spring of 1997 and I am sitting in Pound 107 while Roger Fisher ’48, Williston Professor of Law, Emeritus, is telling a story about his serving as a weather reconnaissance pilot in World War II. As a teaching assistant for the Negotiation Workshop, I have heard the story at least a dozen times by now and feel my mind wandering. And yet, against my will, as the story reaches its crescendo and the combination punch line/negotiation lesson flows from Roger’s lips, I find myself involuntarily leaning forward and, a second later, helplessly bursting into laughter. The note I jot down to myself is: “All of life is about who tells better stories.”
Roger Fisher ‘48, a pioneer in the field of international law and negotiation and the co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project, died on August 25, 2012. A professor at Harvard Law School for more than four decades, Fisher established negotiation and conflict resolution as a single field deserving academic study and devoted his career to challenging students and colleagues alike to explore alternative methods of dispute resolution.
Harvard Law School has launched a new program to develop and distribute case studies, role plays, hypothetical problems and other experiential tools for the classroom. The centerpiece of the program is a website designed as a one-stop-shop for all participant-centered teaching tools developed and sponsored by HLS.
Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III was at Harvard on March 29 to receive the Great Negotiator Award, the annual honor created by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School to recognize individuals whose “lifetime achievements in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution have had a significant and lasting impact.”
Gene Sharp, an emeritus professor of political science at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and founder of the Albert Einstein Institution, is widely credited as one of the principal initiators of the Arab Spring. His 1993 book, “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” which promotes the principle of nonviolent struggle, is created with inspiring the revolution in Egypt, as well as in other countries all over the world.
Harvard Law School welcomed Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the Prime Minster of Trinidad and Tobago this month for a lecture on leadership and cooperation. Persad-Bissessar became the first female prime minister of the Caribbean nation in May, and was named one of the top 10 female world leaders by TIME Magazine in August.