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Deborah Kolb is Deloitte Ellen Gabriel Professor for Women and Leadership (Emerita) and Distinguished Research Fellow at the Center for Gender in Organizations at the Simmons School of Management.   From 1991-1994, Kolb was Executive Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.  She is currently a Senior Fellow at the Program where she co-directs The Negotiations in the Workplace Project. Kolb is an adjunct professor at the INSEAD business school in Fontainebleau, France.

Professor Kolb is an authority on gender issues in negotiation and leadership.  Kolb has co-authored several books on this subject.  Everyday Negotiation: Navigating the Hidden Agendas of Bargaining (Jossey-Bass/John Wiley, 2003) shows women (and men) how they can become more effective in their everyday negotiations by attending to the dual requirements of the shadow negotiation – advocacy for oneself and connection with others.  Originally titled, The Shadow Negotiation, Harvard Business Review named it one of the ten best business books of 2000 and it received the best book award from the International Association of Conflict Management at its meetings in Paris, 2001.  Her most recent book, Her Place at the Table: A Women’s Guide to Negotiating the Five Challenges of Leadership Success (Jossey-Bass/John Wiley, 2010) describes how successful women negotiate for what they need to be effective in leadership roles at all levels of an organization.   She has a new book that will be out in 2015 entitled, Negotiating at Work: Turn Small Wins into Big Gains (with Jessica Porter) offers practical advice for managing your own workplace negotiations: how to get opportunities, promotions, flexibility, buy-in, support, and credit for your work It shows how negotiating for yourself can also result in small wins for you and your organization. 

In addition to her research, Kolb organizes and leads executive development programs for senior women and serves as a consultant to organizations interested in retaining and advancing their best women.  Among other firms, Kolb has recently done work with are:  BBN Technologies, Campbell Soup, Covidien, Dell Computer, Deutschebank; Deloitte and Touche; Eli Lilly; EMC; Encore Financial; Google; W.L. Gore; IBM; Illinois Tool Works; King and Spaulding; Mastercard International, Nationalgrid; Phillips Medical, Pricewaterhouse/Coopers; Thomson Reuters; Time Warner; Textron; and Unilever. Non profit organizations have included Dana Farber Cancer Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, The Ford Foundation, The Consultative Group in International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), Girl Scouts, USA, Harvard University School of Education, The Society for Human Resource Management, Financial Executives International, Financial Women’s Association, the Mayo Clinic, Network of Executive Women, Teachers College at Columbia University, Women in Technology International, among others.  An international expert in the field of gender and negotiation, Kolb has presented her work at major universities including Harvard, MIT, Stanford, University of Michigan, Northwestern, INSEAD, Washington University of St Louis, University of Seattle, University of Pennsylvania, among others.  She is a principal in Negotiating Women, LLC., a company that provides negotiation training and consultation especially designed for women.  Kolb was awarded the 2008 Outstanding Achievement Award for her contributions to women’s leadership issues by the Equality Commission of the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association. 

Professor Kolb is the author of The Mediators (MIT Press, 1983), an in-depth study of labor mediation and co-editor of Hidden Conflict In Organizations:  Uncovering Behind-The-Scenes Disputes (Sage, 1992), a collection of field studies about how conflicts are handled in a variety of business and not-for-profit organizations.  She has published a study of the practice of successful mediators, Making Talk Work: Profiles of Mediators

(Jossey-Bass, 1994).  Kolb is also the editor of Negotiation Eclectics:  Essays in Memory of Jeffrey Z. Rubin (Program on Negotiation, 1999).  She has authored over 100 articles on the subjects of gender, negotiation, conflict in organizations, and mediation.  Kolb is on the editorial boards of the Negotiation Journal, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, The Harvard Negotiation Newsletter, and the Journal of Conflict Resolution. 

Deborah Kolb received her Ph.D. from MIT’s Sloan School of Management, where her dissertation won the Zannetos Prize for outstanding doctoral scholarship.  She has a BA from Vassar College and an MBA from the University of Colorado.