Professor Bruno Verdini, Ph.D
PON Affiliated Faculty
Lecturer of Urban Planning and Negotiation, MIT
Executive Director, MIT-Harvard Mexico Negotiation Program
At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), ranked number one in the world, Dr. Verdini’s research and teaching focuses on cognitive insights, emotional skills, and management strategies in the areas of negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution; adaptive leadership; collaborative decision-making; and political communication. Dr. Verdini received MIT’s first ever Interdisciplinary and Interdepartmental Ph.D. in Negotiation, Communication, Diplomacy, and Leadership. The work was conducted under the mentorship of Lawrence Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at MIT’s DUSP, Co-Founder and Vice-Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
Dr. Verdini’s doctoral research, which examines how to enhance transboundary water, environmental, and energy negotiations between developed and developing countries, won the Harvard Law School’s Award for the Best Research of the Year in Negotiation, Decision-Making, Mediation, and Dispute Resolution. This is the first time in the history of the award that it has been given to someone from MIT, as well as the first time it has been awarded to someone born and raised in Latin America.
As Executive Director of the MIT-Harvard Mexico Negotiation Program, part of the inter-university MIT Harvard Public Disputes Program, Dr. Verdini leads the binational teaching, research, and training initiative. In partnership with public sector and research institutions in both countries, the mission is to further support the skills and strategies available to public, private, and non-governmental stakeholders involved in domestic and international water, energy, and environmental disputes. The focus is to contribute to the stakeholders’ efforts to boost energy transition and planning, strengthen ecosystem restoration, enhance infrastructure development, and improve resilience in the face of climate risks. Mexico’s Ministry of Energy launched the binational partnership in late 2016 with the responsibility of establishing a Negotiation Center in Mexico City by 2019, underpinned by binational pedagogy.
Dr. Verdini created and teaches “The Art and Science of Negotiation” and “Leadership in Negotiation: Advanced Applications”, two of MIT’s highest ranked and most popular electives across campus, with over 600 STEM professionals from 20 different departments pre-registering per year. As a recipient of the 2017 MIT D’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education, Dr. Verdini has been entrusted by MIT with helming the university-wide efforts among its five Schools (Architecture and Planning; Engineering; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Sloan; and Science), to create MIT’s Concentration in Negotiation and Leadership, on pace to launch, as scheduled, at the start of the 2019 academic year.
Dr. Verdini is the author of Winning Together: The Natural Resource Negotiation Playbook. The book, published by MIT Press in December 2017, opened as Amazon’s number #1 best-seller in Environmental and Natural Resource Law for four weeks in a row. The book builds upon the research he has conducted at the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, the MIT Environmental Policy and Planning Group, and the MIT Science Impact Collaborative, where he is currently Assistant Director.
In the fall of 2016 and 2017, Dr. Verdini was an official speaker at the Conference of the Parties (COP 22 and COP23) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco and in Bonn, Germany. He was invited to present insights from his research on negotiation and leadership by the International Center on Comparative Environmental Law and the President of the UN COP 21, Ms. Ségolène Royal, the French Minister of the Environment, Energy, and Seas. In the fall of 2018 he was an official speaker at the 13th Meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the United Nations Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Dr. Verdini’s work has been made possible through continued support from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT’s Department of Political Science, MIT’s International Science and Technology Initiative, Mexico’s National Council on Science and Technology, Mexico’s Ministry of Energy, Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, France’s National Foundation of Political Science, Goldman Sachs, and Fulbright, among other initiatives and institutions. A Mexican and French national, fluent in Spanish, French, and English, trained in international affairs and public policy at Mexico City’s Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) and the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po), he frequently collaborates with partners in Washington D.C., Paris, London, Singapore, Tokyo, Riyadh, Buenos Aires, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Madrid, Kuala Lumpur, and Vienna.
Prior to coming to MIT, Dr. Verdini was Deputy Director for International Affairs at Mexico’s Ministry of Energy, where he was involved in the preparatory work and the negotiations regarding the ministerial meetings of the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Atomic Nuclear Agency (IAEA), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), International Energy Forum (IEF), Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Latin America and Caribbean Energy Organization (OLADE), World Bank (WB), and World Economic Forum (WEF).
Dr. Verdini has been involved as well with the teams negotiating financial, technical, and scientific cooperation agreements between Mexico and Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, India, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.