The Great Negotiator Award, presented annually by Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation has historically been awarded to figures in business and international diplomacy. This year however, the award was given to artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, a married couple recently known for their 2005 project “The Gates” in Central Park, which featured over 7,500 bright orange structures erected along the park’s pathways.
Robert H. Mnookin, Harvard Law School professor and chair of the Program on Negotiation, as quoted in the Harvard Crimson stated, “What we look for in a great negotiator is someone who has demonstrated the capacity to overcome barriers and create solutions in a number of settings,” and “Christo and Jeanne-Claude had done this a number of times.”
Christo and Jeanne-Claude are currently working on a project entitled “Over The River”—a six-mile-long stretch of fabric panels suspended over the Arkansas River. It is expected to be completed in the summer of 2012, putting their award winning negotiation methods to the test once again.