Robert Livingston

Lecturer of public policy, Harvard kennedy school

Dr. Robert W. Livingston is a Lecturer of Public Policy at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. Prior to joining Harvard, he held full-time faculty positions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and the University of Sussex in England, where he was also Director of the Centre for Leadership, Ethics, and Diversity (LEAD). In addition, he has held visiting faculty positions at Princeton University and Carnegie Mellon University.

Broadly speaking, Dr. Livingston’s research focuses on diversity, leadership, and social justice. More specifically, Dr. Livingston’s research ranges from micro-level experimental investigations of the psychological and physiological processes that underlie implicit bias (e.g., stereotyping, prejudice)—to more macro-level examinations of discrimination in society and the workplace, particularly in upper-level leadership positions. For example, his research on the “Teddy Bear Effect”, finding that Black CEO’s (but not White CEOs) uniquely benefit from “disarming mechanisms” (e.g., babyfaceness) that make them appear warmer and less threatening, has been widely cited. He is also known for his research on “intersectionality” which explores variability in perception and treatment of individuals within the same gender (e.g., Black women--White women) or racial (e.g., Black men--Black women) categories.

His work has been published in multiple top-tier academic journals such as the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Psychological Science, and the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and has been featured in prominent media outlets such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, BBC, Newsweek, Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, Financial Times, ABC News, The Guardian, CNN, Yahoo, and MSNBC. He has also authored several book chapters and co-edited an award-winning book on social identity and intergroup relations.