Client Projects

2013–2014 Projects

The Carter Center

The Carter Center is a not-for-profit founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter to prevent and resolve conflicts and enhance freedom and democracy. The Carter Center is developing a project to help undergraduate and graduate students learn substantive aspects of current U.S./China relations and practice ways to dialogue about those issues. To do so, the Carter Center hopes to host a negotiation competition between U.S. and Chinese students in August 2014. For this competition, Negotiators will create a negotiation simulation that engages two parties in an issue prominent in current U.S./China relations.

Lawyers for the Creative Arts (LCA)

LCA is a not-for-profit legal services firm in Chicago that links pro bono attorneys with artists in need of legal services, assisting them with matters such as contract drafting, publishing issues, and copyright issues. Harvard Negotiators is working with LCA to design and produce ADR and negotiation-based resources for artists.

International Peace and Security Institute (IPSI)

IPSI is a conflict resolution organization that works to train peacemakers, promote conflict resolution scholarship, and raise public awareness of peace and security issues.  Harvard Negotiators is working with them in conducting an assessment of violent conflicts in Latin America driven by extractive resources.

The Southside Hub of Production (SHoP)

SHoP is a donation-and-volunteer run cultural community hub made up of artists, writers, film makers, craftspeople, educators, and local civic organizations in Hyde Park, Chicago. Their aim is to engage creatively with the neighborhood and encourage local cultural activity. Harvard Negotiators has been asked to develop a strategic plan so that SHoP can use its programs to help alleviate some
of the conflict in the neighborhood.

Past Projects

NIH Project

This project with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the largest source of funding for medical research in the world, is an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness and perception of the NIH Office of the Ombudsman.  The project will involve analyzing feedback from NIH employees to create recommendations for implementing improvements to the dispute resolution processes for the Office.  Members of the NIH Project will have the opportunity to work with one of the leading practitioners of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the country while having a meaningful impact on one of our government’s most important agencies.

HN Consulting Project

The Negotiators Consulting project focuses on advising Harvard students on real‐life negotiation problems.  Members of the consulting group will learn to counsel individual students and/or student organizations on either (a) issues related specifically to entrepreneurship, or (b) issues internally or in negotiations with the administration or other organizations.  By helping students conduct a thorough preparation using negotiation pedagogy and proven approaches, these organizations will be equipped to communicate more effectively internally and have more successful negotiations externally.

HN Undergraduate Consulting Project

The Harvard Negotiators Undergraduate Consulting Project offers free services and advice to individual Harvard undergraduates and undergraduate student organizations on negotiations-related topics.  The scope of the Project includes: supporting clients in internal and external organizational conflicts and negotiations; consulting on personal negotiations, such as difficult conversations with roommates or salary and hours negotiations at new jobs and summer internships; and facilitating workshops for organizations on leadership and negotiation skills.

Guide to the Field

Whether you want to broker business deals, peace treaties, or improve personal relationships, the field of ‘conflict management’ can be ambiguous and difficult to penetrate.  In 2004, Prof. Bob Bordone and then LLM Andrew Lee began work on a manuscript that attempts to provide simple, practical advice on how to get involved in the field.  Currently at its draft stage, students will interview practitioners and update, edit, refine, and add to the book, which Prof. Bordone hopes to publish.  Students will have an opportunity to network with experts in the field and learn how best to pursue the variety of employment opportunities that fall under the umbrella of ‘conflict management.

The Freedom Project

The Freedom Project is an independent non‐profit organization dedicated to educational excellence and leadership development in Sunflower County, Mississippi.  The State of Mississippi ranks 50th in the U.S. in terms of health, economics, and education, and as part of the State’s Delta region, Sunflower County ranks below the rest of the state in all of these categories. The Freedom Project offers middle and high school students intensive academic enrichment, mentoring, and media production classes.  Last semester, the HN team worked to create 3 hours of a planned 5-hour negotiation and communication curriculum, including an introduction to the Seven Elements of negotiation and a mock negotiation. This semester, HN project members will continue developing the curriculum with a focus on negotiation in both personal relationships and professional settings. The goal of this training is to empower youths with key life skills in negotiation and communication. This training will serve as pilot curriculum and may result in partnership and distribution through other similar education programs in the Delta region.

FAIR Fund Project

FAIR Fund is a non-profit organization that works internationally to engage youth, especially young women, in civil society in the areas of anti-human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, and the development of youth capacity-building programs. In Spring 2009, HN members worked with FAIR Fund to provide a simple and accessible instructional guide for at-risk youth on how to communicate effectively with others. This semester, HN project members will build off the instructional guide to develop a real-time training for FAIR Fund to administer in conjunction with other trainings they conduct in local high schools and other venues. The goal of the training will be to prepare and empower high-school age youth to have difficult or uncomfortable conversations with people they may view as figures of authority – for instance, social workers, boyfriends, or even older girls.

Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP)

The Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) is a Houston-based non-profit organization that provides educational and mentorship programs for enterprising incarcerees. PEP aims to redirect the demonstrated entrepreneurial potential of PEP participants by bolstering the skills required for their successful, civic-minded reentry into society. Upon release, fewer than 5% of PEP graduates return to prison, and over 97% of them are employed within a month after release. PEP’s extensive curriculum blends business education with life-skills development trainings. This semester, Harvard Negotiators will develop an accessible, engaging negotiation training course to help PEP participants learn to communicate better and more deftly manage conflict in their personal and professional lives.

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)

This semester, Harvard Negotiators will be surveying attorneys in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers to determine best negotiation practices for renegotiating child support payments.  More specifically, in light of the economic downturn and increased unemployment rates, many parties will need to renegotiate their child support payment schedules, possibly either by increasing the time that support is paid or by providing an additional benefit that was not previously granted, such as daycare or college tuition.  After talking with members of the Academy, Harvard Negotiators will develop a best practices manual.  The manual will be distributed to lower-income practitioners or legal aid facilities that are dealing with the same issues but might not have the same know-how as Academy practitioners.  We will be speaking with Academy members in the month of October, and will be drafting the manual in November and early December.

Multilateral Negotiation Simulation

On November 14, the Negotiators offered a multi-party negotiation simulation involving 6-12 players.  Students from HLS and other schools represented claimants in a reorganization of a genetically-modified food producer that had been sued by multiple consumers of its food products and forced to file for bankruptcy.  Negotiators experienced a complex, multi-issue negotiation that helped prepare them for a career in business or tort negotiation, and simply bettered their understanding of the negotiations occurring in the bankruptcies resulting from the current economy.

Training Corps

The Harvard Negotiators Training Corps is an opportunity for HLS students with experience in negotiation training to design and deliver trainings to real-world clients.

Negotiators Consulting Project

The Negotiators Consulting project focuses on advising undergraduate students on real-life negotiation problems. Members of the consulting group will work in pairs to counsel individual students and organizations on specific issues internally or in negotiations with the administration or other organizations. By helping students conduct a thorough preparation using negotiation pedagogy and proven approaches, these organizations will be empowered to communicate more effectively internally and have more successful negotiations externally. We will generally meet once a week to check-in on progress with clients and help one another if pairs run into difficulty advising their client(s).  Part of our work this semester will involve continued consulting with clients from hour-long workshops given to members of undergraduate organizations last semester. We will also work to obtain additional clients through direct contact with the undergraduate Dean of Student Affairs.

Northfield Renewable Energy Project

The city of Northfield, Minnesota has appointed an Energy Task Force and adopted an action plan for developing clean and efficient local energy. Using various forms of analysis and working with key stakeholders, the Task Force has submitted a proposal including commitments to consider the climate, energy, and economic impacts of all decisions made by the city, and the creation of a new “green” industrial park. Students will assist the Task Force to develop and act on this stakeholder analysis. So far, students have helped assess support for the various initiatives by deploying a community survey. The project this semester will largely entail analyzing the results of this survey and preparing a presentation of the results to the Task Force.

Multilateral Negotiation Simulation

On March 14, the Negotiators will offer an intensive day-long negotiation simulation involving 10-18 players. Students from HLS and other schools will represent countries in an arms control conference aimed at stopping an arms race: the goal is to negotiate a possible ban on a new chemical weapon before a crisis breaks out. Negotiators will experience a complex, multi-issue negotiation where joint problem-solving and coalition-building are essential.

Negotiators Training Corps

The “Training Corps” is a new Harvard Negotiators program designed to offer experienced HN members with an opportunity to develop their training skills and build credentials while providing clients with valuable service. Each semester, HN receives many requests to provide negotiation trainings to a wide range of real-world clients. Members of HN’s “Training Corps” work with these clients to develop and present trainings on negotiation tools to help further the client’ mission. Many of these opportunities compliment existing projects of Negotiators. Examples of recent opportunities include: training lawyers in the rural South to help families resolve disputes in informal property regimes; working with Harvard College to train leaders of student organizations in negotiation and advocacy; and training facilitators to guide discussions between estranged Catholics and the Archdiocese of Boston.

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Project

What happens when negotiation theory meets social reality in the matrimonial law context? By surveying experienced matrimonial lawyers and identifying universal practices, we will develop a “guidebook” on effective negotiation in the matrimonial law context of child custody and access. Drawing upon existing negotiation pedagogy, students will develop inquiries into best practices, interview matrimonial lawyers from across the nation, and write a report explaining the findings and prescribing useful practices. The report will be distributed to new matrimonial lawyers as a guide to more effective settlement techniques that reduce the need for costly litigation.

Northfield Renewable Energy Project

The city of Northfield, Minnesota has appointed an Energy Task Force and adopted an action plan for developing clean and efficient local energy. Using various forms of analysis and working with key stakeholders, the city government has committed to considering the climate, energy, and economic impacts of all decisions, including the creation of a new “green” industrial park. Students will assist the Task Force to develop and act on this stakeholder analysis, including by assessing support for the various initiatives by deploying a community survey and analyzing the results.

Paulist Center Project

Boston’s Catholic community continues to suffer from a variety of traumas, including well-publicized abuses and church closings. To help pave the way toward reconciliation, Harvard Negotiation clinical students have worked with the Paulist Center Boston over the past two years to customize a dispute resolution system called the Safe Space Model, which will facilitate a dialogue between aggrieved Catholics and the Church. Now the Paulist Center Boston would like for the Negotiators to help implement this model within the community. This project will first involve the training of roughly 10 Paulist Center members in the Safe Space Model, active listening, and Difficult Conversations; next semester, students will have the opportunity to, together with the newly-trained Paulist Center members, facilitate community dialogues between aggrieved Catholics and members of the Church.

Harvard Labor Negotiations Case Study (full year project)

In June of 2007, Harvard University and the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers ratified a labor contract that was the result of one of the most ambitious implementations of interest-based bargaining (IBB) ever attempted in a union/management setting. Harvard Negotiators has been given a rare opportunity to see inside the negotiations and conduct a case study. Students with this project will work on a team to produce a case study that analyzes the negotiation. Work this semester will focus on conducting interviews, analyzing the dynamics of the negotiation, and drafting parts of the study.

MWI Negotiation Internship

MWI is a dispute resolution services and training firm specializing in improving our clients capacity to negotiate effectively and resolve difficult disputes. MWI seeks a Negotiation Programs Intern to work closely with the Director of Negotiation Programs on a variety of projects. The intern would contribute to the overall success of the department by working with the Director in developing, marketing, and implementing customized on-site and open-enrollment negotiation and conflict resolution programs with clients in the corporate, institutional, university and non-profit sectors.

Negotiators Consulting Project

The Negotiators Consulting project will advise Harvard students on real-life negotiation problems using the framework of Getting to Yes. At the beginning, Negotiators will advertise its services mainly to the Harvard undergraduate student community and will offer one or hour consulting sessions to help students prepare for wide variety of negotiations. Examples of negotiations might include: dealing with a landlord, a roommate, another student interest group, a clinical client, etc. Essentially, members of Negotiators will help the students conduct a thorough Seven Elements preparation so that they are able to have the most productive negotiation possible. Students can use the Consulting services on a one-time or an ongoing basis, depending on the nature of their negotiation.

Nepal Truth and Reconciliation Project

On July 17, 2007, the Nepalese Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction released a first draft of the Nepal Truth and Reconciliation Act for public comment. The draft drew sharp criticism on a number of key issues related to amnesty, reconciliation among victims and perpetrators, and the mandate, structure, procedures and independence of the TRC. Harvard Negotiators has the unique opportunity to work with Holland and Knight and the Appeal Foundation of the Nobel Peace Laureates to weigh in on this drafting process and help create an Act that incorporates community stakeholder interests and concerns.

Paulist Center Project

During the past 18 months teams of students from the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program have worked with the Paulist Center to develop methods for active listening, dispute resolution and pathways to reconciliation for alienated Catholics. One of the most positive effects of this work has been a gradual openness to this kind of dialogue and healing on the part of the institutional Church. The hierarchy and the ordained ministers of the Church have expressed interest in finding effective ways to speak among themselves. The students working on this project will help the Paulist Center created dialogue sessions for priests in the Boston area.

Active Listening Skills of Crisis Negotiators

Examine the effectiveness of active listening on negotiators with the Metropolitan Area Crisis Negotiators Association. Students will listen to the actual crisis negotiation calls and help code them for active listening behaviors that were more or less effective, both before and after the negotiators receive an active listening training.

Northfield Energy Task Force

Help a Minnesota Energy Task Force assess opportunities to develop local energy efficiency and clean energy, including environmental and infrastructure initiatives. Harvard Negotiators will conduct a stakeholder analysis of the goals of the task force, including creating/conducting surveys and interviews for the various stakeholders and analyzing the data as well as developing a training for the Task Force in negotiation.

Negotiation Consultation

Advise Harvard students on real-life negotiation problems using the framework of Getting to Yes. Examples of negotiations might include: dealing with a landlord, a roommate, another student interest group, a clinical client, etc.

Simulation: Ship Bumping Case

Vessels from the United States Navy equipped for electronic espionage recently entered Russian territorial waters and proceeded to within seven miles of the Russian naval installations at Sevastopol. Both governments now want to engage in negotiations in order to reduce the chance of such scenarios in the future. This case has a unique two-phase approach that is designed to give students experience with the principal-agent tension, followed by a debrief and training.

Simulation: Global Management of Organochlorines

The Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has decided to gather a Working Group composed of representatives from eight countries, as well as four representatives from various relevant non-governmental organizations to produce a draft of an international environmental treaty. This simulation is an intensive, day-long multilateral simulation that involves large numbers of players (13-26 people representing 13 sides) with a complex mix of interests. Participants will learn the basics of multilateral negotiation, including coalition-building, group drafting, working in a multinational environment, and working to meet a deadline in a consensus-based situation.

Center for Research on Women at Wellesley

Students worked with Monica McNamara, a Visiting Research Scholar at the Center for Research on Women at Wellesley and a consultant who works in the Spring Negotiation Workshop. Students helped to design and deliver a program to integrate negotiation and decision making skills in a special curriculum for middle school girls that increases their awareness of issues related to body image and eating disorders. The curriculum included leassons on assertion and self-agency techniques for women.

Williston Competition

At the request of HLS Dean of Students Ellen Cosgrove and Bob Bordone, the Harvard Negotiators agreed to organize, supervise, and judge the Williston Competition. Fifty-four first-year students participated in the competition.


The Public Interest Intellectual Property Advisors asked the Harvard Negotiators to help them launch an international dispute resolution program aimed at resolving international intellectual property related disputes (usually involving a group in a developing country). The Harvard Negotiators conducted extensive research and produced a 60-page report proposing a system to deal with cross-cultural disputes.

Mapleton Ohio School District

Harvard Negotiators provided critical negotiation/mediation advice to parties involved in a heated dispute over school funding in the Mapleton School District in Ohio, arising subsequent to the 2002 DeRolph v. State decision of the Ohio Supreme Court. They drafted an editorial on behalf of the school board that was published in the local Maple competition. The team of students working on this project was particularly proud of the real contribution they made to facilitate a problem solving orientation to the conflict. Several students received personal phone calls and letters of thanks from parents, school board members, and local ministers in the community.

Nepal Project

Led by an LL.M. in the class of 2006 with connections to officials in Nepal’s democratic movement, a number of students researched white papers to be used by Nepalese government officials in negotiations to persuade the monarchy in Nepal to restore Parliament and a constitutional democracy.

Se San Project

Working in conjunction with students in the Advocates for Human Rights, several Negotiators began a project involving a Vietnamese dam that is causing serious downstream impacts on indigenous populations in Cambodia. The goals of this project included brainstorming ways to get the relevant stakeholders to the negotiation table and how to sequence and structure the negotiation in a way that might end the continued pollution of the river and the deleterious effects on the indigenous population.

Strong Women, Strong Girls Workshop Design

During the spring semester several Harvard Negotiators worked with the organization Strong Women, Strong Girls to deliver a one-day training to women who serve as mentors for this program. Strong Women, Strong Girls is a non-profit organization that finds mentors for at-risk teenage girls in inner cities. The program developed and taught by Harvard Negotiators helped equip the mentors with negotiation skills to better communicate with the girls they mentor, especially when they are in times of conflict and crisis.

Initiative for Peace

During the summer of 2006, Greek and Turkish Cypriot students from Cypress traveled to the Harvard College campus to participate in a series of workshops on peace building. The Harvard Negotiators worked with the undergraduate student organizers to design and develop several training programs for the event.

Abraham Path Initiative

Members of Harvard Negotiators worked with the Abraham Path Initiative at the Program on Negotiation to research issues related to a peace-building project to establish an international Middle Eastern route retracing the steps of the prophet Abraham.

Pan American Institutions

Negotiators worked with author and historian Elizabeth Borgwardt on a book project on the development of Pan American institutions.

U. of Milwaukee Peace Studies Program

Members of Harvard Negotiators assisted The Peace Studies Program and the Brandeis Co-Existence Initiative on non-violent ways of addressing state-level conflict.

Legal Aid University

Negotiators assisted with curriculum development for Legal Aid University, which provides online, multi-week negotiation workshops for legal aid attorneys throughout the country.