Dr. Robert Livingston is a social psychologist and one of the nation’s leading experts on the science underlying bias and racism. For two decades, he has served as a diversity consultant to scores of Fortune 500 companies, public-sector agencies, and non-profit organizations. Prior to joining the Harvard Kennedy School in 2015, he held professorships at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and the University of Sussex, where he was the chair of the organizational behavior area as well as the founder and faculty director of Centre for Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity (LEAD).
Dr. Livingston’s research has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. His ranges from micro-level investigations of the psychological and physiological processes that underlie unconscious bias—to more macro-level examinations how biases impact organizational diversity, leadership representation, and social justice. For example, his research on the “Teddy Bear Effect” finds that Black CEO’s uniquely benefit from having facial features that make them appear warmer and less threatening (i.e., babyfaceness). He is also known for his research on the intersectionality of race and gender, and how the nature of bias systematically differs for White women, Black women, and Black men.
His work has been published in top-tier academic journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Academy of Management Journal, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and Leadership Quarterly. He is the author of The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth about Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations published by Penguin Random House in February 2021.
In his spare time, he enjoys jazz, wine and whiskey tasting, gastronomy, philosophy, interior design, real estate investing, hiking, and nature documentaries. He has resided in five countries and speaks four languages.