William L. Ury co-founded Harvard’s Program on Negotiation where he currently directs the Global Negotiation Project. He is the author of 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, a five-million-copy bestseller translated into over twenty languages. "No other book in the field comes close to its impact on the way practitioners, teachers, researchers, and the public approach negotiation," comments the National Institute on Dispute Resolution. Ury is also author of the award-winning Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People and Getting To Peace (released in paperback under the title The Third Side.)
Over the last 30 years, 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. In that capacity, he served 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 a civil war in Aceh, Indonesia, and helping to prevent one in Venezuela.
Ury has taught negotiation to tens of thousands of corporate executives, labor leaders, diplomats and military officers around the world. He helps organizations try to reach mutually profitable agreements with customers, suppliers, unions, and joint-venture partners.
Ury is also co-founder of the e-Parliament, which offers the 25,000 members of congress and parliament around the world an Internet-based forum in which they can learn from one another other about legislative solutions that work and together 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 that retraces the footsteps of Abraham, the unifying figure of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
Ury is the recipient of the Whitney North Seymour Award from the American Arbitration Association and the Distinguished Service Medal from the Russian Parliament. His work has been widely featured in the media from The New York Times to the Financial Times and from ABC to the BBC.
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 and at the bargaining table but also among the Bushmen of the Kalahari and the clan warriors of New Guinea.