Naseem Khuri explores in academic year’s final webinar with NET Fellows why getting into political arguments can be so scary and shows how we can avoid common traps in sensitive political and personal conversations and debates

For our third and final Negotiation Education Masterclass webinar of the 2017-2018 academic year, PATHWAYS was thrilled to host Naseem Khuri, an experience trainer, consultant, mediator and facilitator specializing in negotiation, influence, and conflict management.

Referencing concepts and tools explored in the Fellowship, Naseem explored why getting into political arguments can be so scary. Outlining some of the traps we sometimes fall into when we engage in political debate, and drawing on academic research and personal experience, he offered a few simple ideas to avoid them.

Participants thought together about how we might be able to prepare and equip ourselves – and our students – to discuss sensitive topics with others who have different perspectives (without getting into political debates ourselves).

Participants in the webinar said:

“Thank you very much! I’ve learned so many insightful things: e.g., ‘to be persuasive you have to show that you can be persuaded.’ And, most important, to look at the same problem/dilemma from different perspectives, because this helps us move from competition to a learning stance. Personally it was really very helpful and I’ve got much food for thought, especially when relating it to my own personal and professional life.”

“I was totally intrigued by the studies on how speaking to someone through his/her lens is effective in persuading and finding common ground.”

About Naseem Khuri

Naseem Khuri is a senior partner at Dragonfly Partners, a senior facilitator at Vantage Partners, and a senior consultant at Oakbay Consulting and CMPartners. He is also an adjunct assistant professor of International Relations at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

In the private sector, Khuri offers training and consulting services to a diverse mix of Fortune 100 clients from the manufacturing, energy, consulting and banking industries.

In the public and NGO sectors, he works with foundations, non-profit and international organizations, and government institutions; manages strategic planning processes; delivers customized negotiation and influence training; and facilitates internal change conversations and initiatives. Among his clients are international diplomats and political leaders, the U.S. State Department, U.S. Navy SEALs, U.S. Senate staff, human rights organizations in Northern Ireland, and the World Bank.

Previously, he was a senior advisor to the Kennedy School Negotiation Project at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), where he developed and delivered customized capacity-building workshops to mid- and high-level public sector clients in Europe and Asia, and to local government staff, military personnel, and law enforcement agencies in the United States.

Prior to that Khuri was executive director of the Dubai Initiative at HKS, where he served as a bridge between the school and the Dubai School of Government. There, he oversaw the program’s budget and fellowship program, and created, developed and funded innovative research and outreach programs aimed at advancing scholarship in and increasing awareness of Middle Eastern issues at HKS.

Khuri has a master in public policy degree from Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor of arts degree from Bowdoin College. He is a member of the Truman National Security Project.

Avi Goldstein

Avi is Founder and International Executive Director of PATHWAYS.