Bruno Verdini

Bruno’s research and teaching focuses on the journey to test our own blind spots, nurture our imagination, and strive to develop the moral compass, cognitive insights, and emotional skills to genuinely enhance management strategies in:

  • Negotiation, Mediation, and Conflict Resolution
  • Leadership
  • Collaborative Decision-Making
  • Political Communication

Dr. Verdini proposed, created, and received MIT’s first ever Interdisciplinary and Interdepartmental Ph.D. in Negotiation, Communication, Diplomacy, and Leadership.  His doctoral work, involving mentorship from outstanding faculty in four different departments at MIT and Harvard University, examined how to address power disparities and enhance transboundary water, environmental, and energy negotiations between developed and emerging economies. His work won Harvard Law School’s Award for the Best Research of the Year in Negotiation, Decision-Making, Mediation, and Dispute Resolution. Selected from an array of studies and publications across diverse fields, including business, economics, education, government, law, neuroscience, psychology, and public policy, the annual award is named in memory of Professor Howard Raiffa, Emeritus at Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, founding father of the negotiation and decision science fields as research disciplines. This is the first and only time in the multi-decade-long history of the award that it has been given to someone from MIT, as well as the first and only time it has been awarded to someone born, raised, and educated in Latin America.

A recipient of the MIT D’Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education, Dr. Verdini designed from scratch and teaches MIT's top-ranked electives 11.011 The Art and Science of Negotiation & 11.111/17.381 Leadership in Negotiation: Advanced Applications, for which him and his outstanding students have been featured on MIT's HomepageMIT News, and more recently MIT's Open Learning, amidst the pandemic. 

In the spring of 2016, Dr. Verdini created an entirely new 11.011 syllabus from scratch, as he prepared to teach the course for the first time, which had been previously taught with great expertise by distinguished faculty from Harvard Business School and MIT, directors and vice-presidents of some of the most prestigious consulting firms and foundations in the world. With his new pedagogy in place, enrollment numbers increased 1,450%, going from 40 to over 620 STEM students from 20 different departments pre-registering to vie for 72 roster spots per year, breaking all departmental records of the past 5 decades combined. Subsequently, Dr. Verdini was entrusted by MIT with helming the university-wide efforts to create MIT’s Concentration in Negotiation and Leadership, which was launched in Course 11 at the start of the 2018-2019 academic year, serving Schwarzman, Rhodes, Fulbright, DAAD, Mitchell, and Marshall scholars across campus. In tandem with his design and launch in the spring of 2018 of 11.111 Leadership in Negotiation: Advanced Applicationswinner of the 2020 Teaching with Digital Technology Award, MIT became one of the first major universities in the U.S. to offer year-long MBA-J.D.-professional-level negotiation training strictly for undergraduates

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. The mission is to further support the skills and strategies available to public, private, and non-governmental stakeholders involved in local, regional, and international water, energy, infrastructure, and environmental disputes. The breakthroughs emerge from and extend beyond Mexico’s natural resource management experiences across North and Central America, by cross-pollinating insights from an array of partnerships involving economies across Latin America, the Caribbean, South East Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. The responsibility is to strengthen best practices that boost energy transition and planning, strengthen ecosystem restoration, enhance infrastructure development, and improve resilience in the face of climate risks.  

Dr. Verdini has designed and led high-stakes coaching, advising, and trainings for presidents, supreme court justices, and senior executives from over 80+ countries, across continents. In addition to his responsibilities as an affiliated faculty at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and visiting faculty at the Asia School of Business + MIT's Sloan School of Management, he annually delivers keynotes and leads conference panels at several world-leading institutions including:

  • Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • Harvard Kennedy School of Government 
  • Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Harvard University’s Department of Government  
  • MIT Center for Real Estate 
  • MIT School of Engineering 
  • MIT Sloan School of Management 
  • National Science Foundation Water Diplomacy Program
  • National University of Singapore

In the fall of 2016, 2017, and 2019, Dr. Verdini was an official speaker at the Conference of the Parties (COP22, COP23 & COP25) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakech (Morocco), Bonn (Germany), and Madrid (Spain), to present insights from his research on negotiation and leadership to natural resource management stakeholders from around the world.  

Bruno Verdini is the author of Winning Together: The Natural Resource Negotiation PlaybookThe award-winning book, published by MIT Press in December 2017, opened as Amazon’s number #1 bestseller in Environmental and Natural Resource Law for four weeks in a row, going out of stock twice. 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 the Assistant DirectorThe focus of his work, manifested in articles in premier journals and book chapters in leading handbooks in the field, has been on exploring how resource management practitioners can re-negotiate high-stakes agreements to counter-intuitively increase river-basin supply in the face of drought, enact investment strategies to resiliently improve irrigation infrastructure and water storage, deliver pulse and base flows to restore ecosystems and habitats with native flora, create windows of opportunity to boost energy production between publicly traded and state owned companies, and persuasively communicate with the public-at-large, in television interviews, and across social media to re-define the scope and impact of North-South diplomatic partnerships

A Mexican and French national with Italian roots, fluent in Spanish, French, and English, trained in international affairs and public policy at Mexico City’s distinguished Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE), and accrued experience at the renowned Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences-Po), he frequently collaborates with partners in D.C., Paris, London, Tokyo, Dubai, Buenos Aires, Stockholm, Bogotá, Hong Kong, Madrid, Rome, Kuala Lumpur, Santiago, and Vienna.

Prior to coming to study at MIT, Dr. Verdini was the youngest-ever 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 Economic Forum (WEF), and World Bank.