Lecturer, Urban Planning and Negotiation
Director, MIT-Harvard Mexico Negotiation Program
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
At MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Dr. Verdini’s research focuses on cognitive and emotional insights from the fields of negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution; management strategies from the practice of adaptive leadership and collaborative decision-making; and the narrative structure of compelling political communication.
Dr. Verdini received MIT’s first ever interdisciplinary and interdepartmental Ph.D. in Negotiation, Communication, Diplomacy, and Leadership. His work, which explores how to improve transboundary natural resource management negotiations, won the 2015 Harvard Law School Award for the best research in negotiation, competitive decision-making, mediation, and dispute resolution. Selected from across diverse fields of study, including business, economics, law, government, and psychology, this is the first time that the annual award has been given to an MIT alumnus, as well as the first time it has been awarded to someone from Latin America.
During his time at MIT, Dr. Verdini has conducted work at the MIT Science Impact Collaborative and the MIT Environmental Policy and Planning Group. His latest research, to be published as a book in 2017, explores the negotiation and decision-making strategies by which government, corporate, and non-profit practitioners focusing on water can effectively increase river-basin supply, re-think the possibilities of irrigation and storage infrastructure, and restore ecosystems and habitats. Simultaneously, the book offers insights for energy resource management to enhance coordination between publicly traded and state owned companies, improve the adoption of new technologies, and re-define the scope and impact of diplomatic partnerships between developed and developing countries.
As Director of the MIT-Harvard Mexico Negotiation Program, under the mentorship of Professor Lawrence Susskind, Dr. Verdini is leading the creation and development of an Executive Negotiation Teaching and Training Program. The mission is to further support the skills and strategies available to public, private, and non-profit sector stakeholders involved in natural resource management negotiations in Mexico, fostering effective transition and planning, addressing the impacts associated with the siting of infrastructure, and improving resilience in the face of climate change.
Prior to coming to MIT, Dr. Verdini was Deputy Director for International Affairs at Mexico’s Ministry of Energy, where he was involved in the negotiations regarding the Ministerial meetings of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Atomic Nuclear Agency (IAEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the International Energy Forum (IEF), the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Latin America and Caribbean Energy Organization (OLADE), and the World Economic Forum (WEF). He was involved as well with the teams negotiating financial, technical, and scientific cooperation agreements with Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, India, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and the World Bank.
Dr. Verdini teaches MIT’s popular undergraduate course, the Art and Science of Negotiation. He has been a guest lecturer on negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution at the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, MIT Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program, and MIT Metropolitan Lab. He has served on the teaching team for training sessions at the National Science Foundation Water Diplomacy Program, Harvard School of Public Health, MIT Center for Real Estate, and Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.