Photo of Lawrence Susskind

Lawrence Susskind

Founder and Chief Knowledge Officer

Lawrence Susskind is Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at MIT and head of MIT’s Science Impact Collaborative ( He is also an experienced mediator and negotiation trainer who has worked in more than 30 countries. He is co-founder of the inter-university Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School where he has worked for three decades to improve the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution ( He is Vice-Chair of Instruction at PON and Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program. More than 25 years ago he founded the Consensus Building Institute to help provide mediation services in some of the most difficult resource management disputes around the world.

 Areas of Focus

Larry provides facilitation, mediation, and dispute systems design services along with advanced negotiation and mediation training to both public and private sector clients. His areas of expertise include: the management of transboundary waters, renewable energy facility siting, the management of common pool resources (like the Arctic and the ocean), the use of serious games as public engagement tools, innovation in the use of online tools and techniques for joint fact-finding, the rights of indigenous peoples, entrepreneurial negotiation, socially responsible real estate development, public-private partnerships for urban development, and cybersecurity for critical urban infrastructure.  

Exemplary Projects

  • Arctic Devising Seminar
  • OECD development of mediation system for their National Contact Points (NCPs)
  • Canadian Judicial Institute
  • Bedouin Land Claims (creation of JEMS)
  • Collaboration with Alberta Environmental Appeals Board to build and implement mediation system
  • Mediation of conflict between MWRA, Governor’s Office and member communities regarding water allocation priorities in the MWRA system  


The following is a partial list of clients:

Federal Agencies in the U.S.

  • U.S. Department of Interior
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • U.S. Department of Energy
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration
  • U.S. State Department


Federal Agencies Elsewhere in the World

  • Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM)
  • Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment – Rijkswaterstaat (now reorganized)
  • Ministry of Energy, Green Technology and Water of Malaysia


International Agencies

  • World Bank
  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
  • United Nations Environment Programme
  • United Nations Development Programme
  • Group of 77 (G-77) 


State Agencies in the U.S.

  • Massachusetts Department of Public Health
  • Puget Sound Commission, State of Washington
  • Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission



  • Pacific Gas and Electric
  • State Street Bank 

Education and Affiliations

Larry graduated from Columbia University in 1968 with a B.A. in English Literature and Sociology. He received his Masters of City Planning from MIT in 1970 and his Ph.D. in Urban Planning from MIT in 1973. He has been a member of the faculty of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning for the past 48 years including Associate Chair and Chair. He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, Stanford Law School, Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs, European University Institute (in Italy), Rhode Island School of Design, University of Hawaii and University of California-Berkeley.

He received the Peacemaker of the Year Award (2011) from Mediators Beyond Borders for dedication, excellence, and commitment to the field of conflict resolution. He received the Global Environmental Award (2007) presented by the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) for outstanding, sustained, and unique contribution to the field of environmental conflict. In 2005, he was named Distinguished Educator of the year by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning in acknowledgment of service and contribution to the field of urban planning. He also received the Pioneer Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution (New England Chapter) for pioneering efforts and outstanding contributions to the field of alternative dispute resolution. 

Books and Articles

Larry is the author of more than 20 books that have been published in 10 languages.