Biography

William Ury co-founded Harvard's Program on Negotiation and is currently a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Harvard Negotiation Project. He is the author of The Power of a Positive No (2007) and co-author (with Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton) of Getting to Yes, an eight-million-copy bestseller translated into over thirty languages. "No other book in the field comes close to its impact on the way practitioners, teachers, researchers, and the public approach negotiation," comments the National Institute on Dispute Resolution. Ury is also author of the award-winning Getting Past No and Getting To Peace (released in paperback under the title The Third Side.)    

Over the last 30 years, Ury has served as a negotiation adviser and mediator in conflicts ranging from corporate mergers to wildcat strikes in a Kentucky coal mine to ethnic wars in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. With former president Jimmy Carter, he co- founded the International Negotiation Network, a non-governmental body seeking to end civil wars around the world. During the 1980s, he helped the US and Soviet governments create nuclear crisis centers designed to avert an accidental nuclear war. In that capacity, he served as a consultant to the Crisis Management Center at the White House. Ury has served as a third party in helping to end a civil war in Aceh, Indonesia, and helping to prevent one in Venezuela.

Ury has taught negotiation to tens of thousands of corporate executives, labor leaders, diplomats and military officers around the world. He helps organizations endeavor to reach mutually profitable agreements with customers, suppliers, unions, and joint-venture partners.

Ury is also co-founder of the e-Parliament, which offers the 25,000 members of congress and parliament around the world an Internet-based forum in which they can tackle global problems such as climate change and energy efficiency. Time magazine described it as a "Google for global politics."

His most recent project is the Abraham Path Initiative, which seeks to build bridges between cultures and faiths by opening a walking trail and cultural route in the Middle East that retraces the footsteps of Abraham and his family...ABC's Christiane Amanpour calls it "an unprecedented initiative to break down barriers and foster communication in the most divided region of the world."

Ury is the recipient of the Whitney North Seymour Award from the American Arbitration Association and the Distinguished Service Medal from the Russian Parliament. His work has been widely featured in the media from The New York Times to the Financial Times and from CNN to the BBC. He has a popular TED talk entitled The Walk from No to Yes.

Trained as a social anthropologist, with a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. from Harvard, Ury has carried out his research on negotiation not only in the boardroom and at the bargaining table but also among the Bushmen of the Kalahari and the clan warriors of New Guinea.