William is a co-founder and Distinguished Senior Fellow of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation and one of the world’s leading experts on negotiation and mediation. He is co-author with Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton of Getting to Yes, a fourteen-million-copy bestseller translated into over thirty-five languages, and the author of Getting Past No, The Power of a Positive No, The Third Side and, most recently, the award-winning Getting to Yes with Yourself.
For the past four decades, William has served as a negotiation adviser and mediator in conflicts ranging from Kentucky wildcat coal mine strikes to wars in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. During the Cold War, he served as an advisor to the White House Crisis Management Center under President Reagan. Most recently, he served as a close advisor to President Santos in Colombia in bringing an end to the longest-running war in this hemisphere.
William is founder of the Abraham Path Initiative, which seeks to bring people together across cultures by opening a long-distance walking route in the Middle East that retraces the footsteps of Abraham and his family. ABC’s Christiane Amanpour calls the Abraham Path “an unprecedented initiative to break down barriers and foster communication in the most divided region of the world.” He has a popular TED talk about the Abraham Path, entitled “The Walk from No to Yes.” He is also co-founder of the Climate Parliament, which unites parliamentarians from around the world with civil society to bring about a transition to renewable energy.