Francine G. Pillemer

Francine PillemerFrancine Pillemer has worked in the field of negotiation and conflict management since 1985. Her advisory practice focuses primarily on the negotiation, collaborative decision-making, and relationship management issues that occur during consolidation efforts, contracting, and labor management disputes. Her approach to managing complex business problems draws heavily from the work of her mentors, Professors Howard Raiffa and the late Roger Fisher.

Dr. Pillemer's consultation work spans a number of industries. She has designed processes on strategy formation for senior executives and board members, facilitated governance discussions amongst stakeholders in merger and joint venture situations, mediated partnership disputes, devised strategies for negotiations with regulatory agencies (in the U.S. and Europe), and created processes for managing and sequencing complex, multiparty negotiations. In financial services, she helped design and deliver a relationship management strategy for handling tough conversations brought about by changes in corporate responsibility legislation (e.g., Sarbanes Oxley). Her most recent work has been focused on coaching executives/partners on high stakes internal and external negotiations.

Dr. Pillemer has done extensive work in the area of healthcare. Examples include facilitation of complex multiparty negotiations (e.g., a government-imposed merger of three independent Toronto Hospitals; intra-departmental disputes within a large teaching hospital system); preparation of pharmaceutical teams for difficult and often adversarial regulatory negotiations; and formulation of negotiation strategy on multi-million dollar acquisitions to generate scale/diversification for the purchaser. From 1998 through 2002, Dr. Pillemer was on special assignment, serving as senior advisor to the CEO of Health Care Service Corporation (d/b/a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Texas and New Mexico). In this capacity, she worked closely with the CEO and senior executives on negotiation issues related to expansion, provider relations, and internal alignment.

In addition to her consulting practice, Dr. Pillemer has taught negotiation in corporate, governmental and academic settings throughout the world. Along with Professor Roger Fisher, she has appeared in Getting to YES: The Video Workshop on Negotiation; Getting Schools to Yes (a video focused on collective bargaining); and the computer-based instructional CD-ROM, YES! The Interactive Negotiator. With Stephen Racioppo, former managing partner for Accenture's Global Financial Services Practice, she published articles on collaborative decision-making in strategic alliances and joint ventures.

Before co-founding CMI Concord Group, Dr. Pillemer held a number of key positions in the predecessor organization, Conflict Management, Inc. ("CMI").  As an integral member of the firm's management team, she served at various times as Chief Operating Officer, Managing Partner, Manager of the Consulting Staff, and co-Manager of the Merger and Alliance Practice Group. Since these responsibilities required less time on airplanes, she was delighted to spend more time with her three growing children, Abigail, Michael and Carter.

Dr. Pillemer began her career as a psychologist, working closely with the late Nobel Laureate (in medicine) Joseph Murray, M.D., on research related to the psychological impact of radical corrective surgery on disfigured children. Her career took a sharp turn when Professor Fisher recommended that she enroll in his Harvard Law School negotiation course to broaden her professional skill set. Inspired by the power of interest-based negotiation, she joined CMI shortly after it was co-founded by Professor Fisher and several of his colleagues.

Dr. Pillemer remains on the Harvard Medical School faculty as an Instructor in Psychology as well as on the staff of a Harvard-affiliated teaching hospital. Earlier in her career, she published a number of articles related to her hospital research. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received masters and doctoral degrees in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University.

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