William L. Ury co-founded Harvard’s Program on Negotiation where he currently directs the Global Negotiation Project. He authored The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No & Still Get to Yes (2007) and co-author (with Roger Fisher) of Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. Ury is author of the award-winning Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People and Getting To Peace.
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, serving as a consultant to the Crisis Management Center at the White House. Most recently, Ury has served as a third party in helping to end civil war in Aceh, Indonesia, and to prevent one in Venezuela.
Ury is co-founder of the e-Parliament, which offers members of parliament around the world an Internet-based forum in which they can learn and discuss legislative solutions and tackle global problems such as climate change, energy efficiency, and terrorism. His most recent project is the Abraham Path Initiative, which seeks to address the growing chasm between the world of Islam and the West by creating a permanent path of tourism and pilgrimage in the Middle East.
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 but also among the Bushmen of the Kalahari and the clan warriors of New Guinea.