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Harvard Law Establishes New Endowed Fellowship Fund
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Roger D. Fisher

Summary: A recent donation to the law school will establish an endowed fellowship fund in the name of Roger D. Fisher.

Roger D. Fisher, a Harvard Law School professor for 40 years, is referred to as a pioneer in international law and negotiation. In a school press release, they announced that his family donated $4 million to the law school for the creation of an endowed fellowship fund to support research and teaching fellowships in conflict resolution and negotiation.

  
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Harvard Law Dean John Manning said, “Roger Fisher was a pioneering visionary who helped to create the academic field of negotiation and conflict resolution and who put his own ideas into practice resolving conflicts large and small around the world. With intellectual rigor and creativity, he approached the fundamental problem of how human beings can get past seemingly intractable disputes that threaten peace and stability. Because he was adept at explaining process and principles clearly and simply to experts and lay people alike, his work resonated from kitchen tables to cabinet meetings, from classrooms to Camp David and beyond. We are deeply grateful that the Fisher Family has chosen to honor and carry on Roger’s legacy by establishing this fellowship fund.”

The Roger D. Fisher Fellowship Fund will honor the life and work of Fisher ‘48, the Williston Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School. His family said, “Our father spent his life trying to reduce the risk of war, to resolve conflicts of all kinds, and to improve our collective understanding of how we can reconcile and negotiate differences through mutual understanding and agreement. We are pleased to be able to honor him and his work by encouraging new generations to improve, extend, teach, and apply the ideas and insights that help us reconcile conflict and reach agreement.”

Fisher was responsible for starting a seminar in 1979, the first of its kind at Harvard Law, were he explored negotiation as a process that could be broken down and taught. He also co-founded the Harvard Negotiation Project, directing it for several years. He also helped create a multi-university Program on Negotiation.

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The fellows will be selected by the dean for terms of either one or two academic years. They will be selected from a diversity of backgrounds of both academic educators and scholars as well as practitioners and professionals with direct experience in conflict resolution. Fellows will add to the breadth of ideas, insights and skills regarding negotiation and conflict resolution as well as advance the pedagogy of negotiation and communicative a practical approach to resolving a persistent conflict of major significance.

The Fisher Family also gifted the Harvard Law School Library with two books from Fisher’s collection. One was a first edition of Charles Dickens’ “Bleak House.” The other was an 1826 edition of “The Federalist Papers,” which was previously owned by his grandfather Henry E. Dummer, a friend of Abraham Lincoln and one of the earliest students at Harvard Law School.



The Law Library already has off of Fisher’s papers from a previous donation by the family.

Do you think negotiation skills can be learned by anyone or are some people just gifted with a more natural talent of negotiating? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

To learn more about Harvard Law School, read these articles:

Photo: news.harvard.edu



 

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