Brian Ganson

Head, Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement,
Extraordinary Associate Professor, University of Stellenbosch Business School
"The current narrative around business is quite negative, especially in places where some businesses benefit from corruption and the lack of state institutions. Making difficult changes takes time and commitment from various stakeholders."
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Brian Ganson is Head, Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement and Extraordinary Associate Professor, University of Stellenbosch Business School, and also Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business. His research and teaching focus is business, conflict and development. He previously taught international negotiation and law & development as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at The Fletcher School, Tufts University, and was Senior Researcher with the Fletcher School Center for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution. Brian has also trained diplomats, business executives, attorneys and civil society leaders at Harvard Law School with the Harvard Negotiation Project.

Brian is an expert on socio-political risk management, conflict prevention and collaboration, and third party roles in particularly challenging environments. He consults to companies, local and foreign governments, international organizations, and civil society. His work helps multi-national corporations and other international organizations meet their full range of goals – technical, financial, legal, reputation and social responsibility – in emerging economies and post-conflict societies. Brian currently serves as Editor in Chief for ACCESS, a global platform for company-community conflict prevention and resolution, as well as on the global steering committee of its Senior Practitioners Community of Practice.

Brian integrates academic and field perspectives to provide practice- and policy-relevant insight. Most recently he is editor and lead author of the book, Managing in Complex Environments: Questions for Leaders, and co-author of the forthcoming book Confronting Risk, Preventing Conflict: Rethinking the Nexus Between Business and Security in Fragile States. He is author of Business in Fragile Environments: Capabilities for Conflict Prevention in the Negotiation & Conflict Management Research Journal 7(2) 2014, and co-author with Achim Wennmann of Operationalising Conflict Prevention as Strong, Resilient Systems: Approaches, Evidence, Action Points (Geneva Peacebuilding Platform No. 3, 2012).

Brian was previously a Director of Conflict Management Group, a non-profit consulting firm founded to apply the innovative approaches of the Harvard Negotiation Project to intense or protracted conflicts of public importance. He was a co-founder of the Organization Practice of Mitchell Madison Group, where he consulted to Fortune 500 companies across a variety of industries. Earlier he served as Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Education. He began his career as a civil rights attorney in Texas, expanding access to quality education for underserved populations.

Brian received his Bachelor of Arts in history with high distinction from the University of Michigan, his Master of Arts in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University, and his Doctor of Laws with honors from the Harvard Law School.

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