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Prof Brian Ganson
Head: Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement at USB
Areas of expertise
Business, conflict and development; Conflict prevention; Socio-political risk assessment and risk management; Management in complex environments; Negotiation and mediation
+27(0)21 918 4381


  • Harvard Law School. Juris Doctorate awarded cum laude 1989.
  • The Fletcher School, Tufts University. Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy awarded 1989.
  • University of Michigan. Bachelor of Arts awarded magna cum laude 1985.


  • Extraordinary Associate Professor, University of Stellenbosch Business School (since 2015)
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (since 2014)
  • Research Associate, Centre On Conflict, Development And Peacebuilding, The Graduate Institute, Geneva (since 2012)
  • Senior Fellow, Council on Emerging Market Enterprises, The Fletcher School, Tufts University (since 2010)
  • Teaching Fellow, Harvard Negotiation Project, Program On Negotiation At Harvard Law School (1989-1998)
  • Clinical Supervisor, Harvard Mediation Program, Harvard Law School (1990)


  • Brian Ganson Consulting. Consultant to senior public and private sector leaders on socio-political risk, conflict prevention and collaboration (since 2000)
  • Conflict Management Group (Cambridge, Massachusetts). Director for Private Sector Programs (1998-2000)
  • Mitchell Madison Group (New York, New York). Manager and co-founder of the Organisation Practice of a global strategy consulting firm (1996-1998)
  • US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (Washington, DC). Chief of Staff to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (1993-1996)
  • Texas Rural Legal Aid, Inc. (Brownsville, Texas). Attorney focusing on minority rights and education rights (1989-1993)
  • Teaching Fellow, Harvard Negotiation Project, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (1989-1998)
  • Clinical Supervisor, Harvard Mediation Program, Harvard Law School (1990)


  • Member, Consensus Building Institute Network of Consensus Building Scholars working to promote collaborative approaches to sustainable development challenges (current)
  • Steering Committee Member, ACCESS Senior Practitioners Forum, helping companies, communities and governments implement rights-compatible, interest-based approaches to working together (current)
  • Chair of the Expert Panel for the evaluation of the work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in post-crisis transition (2013-2014)
  • Member, Global Agenda Council on Fragile States & Conflict Prevention, World Economic Forum (2012-2014)
  • Expert Advisor to the United National Develop Program on its extractive sector strategies in Africa (2013)
  • Expert Advisor to the Government of Canada on its approach to conflict-sensitive business practices (2013)
  • Member of the Expert Reference Panel for the Sub-Commission on Nation-Building of the National Planning Commission, Presidency of the Republic of South Africa (2011-2012)
  • Steering committee member for the Group of Madrid funded "Walking Together" initiative in South Africa to improve dialogue and civic engagement for economic, social and political transformation (2011-2012)​


Books and chapters

  • Best co-author with Achim Wennmann of Business and Conflict in Fragile States (2015, forthcoming). London: International Institute for Strategic Studies.
  • Editor and lead author of Management in Complex Environments: Questions for Leaders (2013). Stockholm: NIR.
  • Co-author with Diana Chigas of Grand Visions and Small Projects: Notes from the Field in South Eastern Europe, in Imagine Coexistence: Restoring Humanity After Violent Conflict (2003, Antonia Chayes & Martha Minow, editors). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Co-author with Roger Fisher et al. of Coping with International Conflict: A Systematic Approach to Influence in International Negotiation (1997). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
  • Editor of Roger Fisher et al., Beyond Machiavelli: Tools for Coping with Conflict (1994). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Articles and papers

  • Author of Business in Fragile Environments: Capabilities for Conflict Prevention (2014). Negotiation and Conflict Management Research Journal, 7(2): 121-139.
  • Co-author with Achim Wennmann of Business and institutional reform in hybrid political orders. Delivered at the 3rd Institutions for Sustainable Peace Network Conference: Institutional Reforms in Post-war and Divided Societies – Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution? 27-28 May 2014 in Geneva.
  • Author of Challenges & Opportunities for Mediators in the African Context (2013). Cape Town: Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement Working Paper.
  • Co-author with Achim Wennmann of Confronting Risk, Mobilizing Action: A Framework for Conflict Prevention in the Context of Large-scale Business Investments (2012). Berlin: FES International Policy Analysis.

Case studies and teaching materials

  • Co-author with Kate Kopischke of Advanced Training for Company-Community Mediation in Complex Environments: Model Curriculum (2014). The Hague: ACCESS Facility.
  • Author of Resolving Labour Issues in the Electronics Industry in Mexico (2013). The Hague: ACCESS Case Stories Series No. 2.
  • Author of Scania in Iraq and Colombia – "How can we be a force for good?"; Electrolux In Poland – "How can we help labour become the partner we need?"; Tetra Laval Food for Development Office – "How do we put all the pieces together?"; and Atlas Copco in South Africa – "How can we better link social performance and business goals?" In Management In Complex Environments: Questions for Leaders (2013). Stockholm: NIR.
  • Author of Risk and Risk Mitigation in the Oil and Gas Sector in Uganda (2012). Geneva: Geneva Peacebuilding Platform Working Paper.​


  • Business, conflict and development
  • Systems for rights compatible, interest-based resolution of conflict
  • International policy responses to business and human rights
  • Mediation and negotiation pedagogy



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