Learn More About Gautam Mukunda
Gautam Mukunda is a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. In his book, “Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter” (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012), he takes a hard look at the age-old question, “Does history make the man, or does the man make history?”
From historic icons like Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill, to high-impact contemporary leaders like Jamie Dimon and Judah Folkman, Mukunda identifies the unique circumstances when individual leaders really do make a difference. By illuminating the “filtration” processes undergone by all potential leaders, he expertly illustrates which leaders matter, when and why they do, and what we can learn from both their successes and their failures. In addition to his new release, Mukunda has previously been published in The Washington Post, Security Studies, Parameters, Politics and the Life Sciences, and Systems and Synthetic Biology. His past articles focus on leadership, military innovation, network-centric warfare and the security and economic implications of synthetic biology.
An accomplished academic, Mukunda is a member of both the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Security Studies Program and Program on Emerging Technologies. He is a Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellow, an NSF IGERT Fellow and a Next Generation Fellow of The American Assembly. He is a Principal Investigator on the National Science Foundation’s Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Chief of Naval Operation’s Executive Advisory Panel, and a Jeopardy Champion. Formerly, he was an assistant professor of business administration in the Organizational Behavior Unit of Harvard Business School and a Distinguished Visiting Professor for the Schwarzman Scholarship.
Before joining Harvard Business School, Mukunda was the National Science Foundation Synthetic Biology ERC Postdoctoral Fellow resident at MIT’s Center for International Studies. He received his PhD from MIT in political science and an AB in government from Harvard, graduating magna cum laude. Prior to his graduate career, Mukunda served as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he focused on the pharmaceutical sector.
In addition to his current work as author and assistant professor, Mukunda serves as founding managing director of The Two Rivers Group and is a member of the board of directors and chair of the Mentorship Committee of The Upakar Foundation, a national non-profit devoted to providing college scholarships to underprivileged students of South Asian descent. He is a Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellow, an NSF IGERT Fellow, a Next Generation Fellow of The American Assembly, a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership, and a member of the New England Regional Selection Committee for the White House Fellowship.
Gautam Mukunda is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.