Biography

Iris Bohnet is the Albert Pratt Professor of Business and Government and the co-director of the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School. She is a behavioral economist, combining insights from economics and psychology to improve decision-making in organizations and society, often with a gender or cross-cultural perspective. Her most recent research examines behavioral design to de-bias how we live, learn and work. She is the author of the award-winning book What Works: Gender Equality by Design, (an example of a book talk can be viewed HERE) and advises governments and companies on the topic around the world.

Professor Bohnet served as academic dean of Harvard Kennedy School from 2011-2014 and 2018-2021. She is also the faculty co-chair of the executive program “Global Leadership and Public Policy for the 21st Century” for the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders. She serves on the boards, advisory boards or as a patron of Credit Suisse Group, Applied, Edge, We Shape Tech, Women in Banking and Finance, and the UK Government’s Equalities Office. She was appointed to the Gender Equality Advisory Council of the G7 in 2021. She was named one of the Most Influential People in Gender Policy by apolitical in 2018 and 2019, a Leading Thinker of Victoria, Australia, 2016-2019, and has received an honorary degree from the University of Lucerne, Switzerland, in 2016. 


A Swiss citizen, she received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Zurich in 1997 and spent a year as a research fellow at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley from 1997-1998. She joined the Harvard Kennedy School as an assistant professor in 1998 and was made full professor in 2006. She is married and the mother of two children.