On Wednesday, October 1, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School will present Stuart Eizenstat with its annual Great Negotiator Award. Eizenstat will be honored primarily for his work from 1995 to 2001 in mediating the complex series of negotiations relating to the efforts by the victims of Nazi Germany to seek compensation and restitution for the injuries they had suffered from European governments, corporations and banks. The daylong series of events will include a panel discussion with Eizenstat at the ASEAN Auditorium at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. This panel discussion is free and open to the public.
The award will be presented at an invitation-only dinner that will be webcast live to the general public.
“Stu Eizenstat is one of the great statesmen of our time,” said Harvard University President Lawrence Summers, who will be introducing Eizenstat. “No one else in his generation has his demonstrated capacity for working through difficult and contentious issues on the international scene.”
A 1967 graduate of Harvard Law School, Eizenstat has served in a range of senior government positions including U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, Under Secretary of Commerce, Under Secretary of State and Deputy Secretary of Treasury. In 1995, he was named Special Representative of the President and Secretary of State with responsibility for negotiating the return of religious property confiscated by the Nazis during World War II. Ultimately, Eizenstat’s role expanded and he created settlements with the Swiss, Germans, Austrians and French that resulted in compensation for thousands of victims of World War II. His new book, Imperfect Justice, recounts the negotiations that led to these settlements.
“Each year the Program on Negotiation honors an individual whose achievements as a negotiator have made a significant and lasting impact,” said Susan Hackley, Managing Director of the program. “Stuart Eizenstat’s work in an extremely difficult and complex international environment resulted in a landmark settlement–$8 billion in restitution for victims of Nazi Germany.”
Previous winners of the Great Negotiator Award have included former Senator George Mitchell for his work in leading the peace talks in Northern Ireland and Charlene Barshefsky, former U.S. Trade Representative, for her efforts to develop and implement trade policy objectives. Last year’s recipient was Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations secretary general’s special envoy to Afghanistan.
The Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation was founded in 1983 to design, implement and evaluate better dispute resolution practices; to promote collaboration and communication among practitioners and scholars; to develop educational programs and materials for instruction in negotiation and dispute resolution; and to increase public awareness and understanding of successful conflict resolution efforts.