The Leadership

Inspired leadership is at the heart of The Pearson Institute’s aggressive agenda to apply innovative approaches and methodologies to explore the roots of violent conflicts. Institute Director James Robinson is supported in his mission to guide The Pearson Institute’s growth and expand its sphere of influence by University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Daniel Diermeier.

James Robinson

Institute Director, The Pearson Institute
Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies and University Professor, Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago

On June 1, 2016, University Professor James Robinson was appointed the Reverend Dr. Richard L. Pearson Professor of Global Conflict Studies and Institute Director of The Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts. A prominent political scientist and economist, Robinson has conducted influential research in the field of political and economic development and the factors that are the root causes of conflict. His work explores the underlying relationship between poverty and the institutions of a society and how institutions emerge out of political conflicts.

As institute director, Robinson guides The Pearson Institute’s research agenda, engages the international academic and practitioner community through The Pearson Global Forum, and oversees the curriculum that teaches future generations of leaders and scholars.  

Robinson aspires to help make The Pearson Institute the intellectual home for anyone who works on or cares about these critical global issues. He is mobilizing the best minds and the most innovative approaches and methodologies to get to the roots of violent conflict and understand how to create a world more at peace.

“I am excited by the opportunity to build research agendas that I care passionately about and to reach a new audience of policymakers,” Robinson says. “There’s going to be an exciting paradigm shift in the next decade toward recognizing more fundamentally what these problems are all about. It will be very exciting for The Pearson Institute to be at the forefront of making that paradigm shift happen.”

Robinson’s work explores the underlying relationship between poverty and the institutions of a society and considers how institutions emerge out of political conflict.

Daniel Diermeier

David Lee Shillinglaw Distinguished Service Professor at the Harris School and the College
The University of Chicago

The University of Chicago Provost Daniel Diermeier is personally committed to ensuring that The Pearson Institute achieves its mission to confront the most important foreign policy challenge of our time. As former dean of the Harris School of Public Policy, he guided the initial launch, the recruitment of faculty, and outreach to the community of global conflict scholars. In his role as provost, he is responsible for academic and research programs across the University and the University’s budget. As such, he oversees The Pearson Institute’s many initiatives to identify new strategies rooted in innovative and data-driven research approaches that will transform how we understand and approach global conflicts.

Diermeier’s teaching and research focuses on formal political theory, political institutions, the interaction of business and politics, text analytics, and public perception, as well as crisis and reputation management. He has published two books and over 90 research articles in academic journals, mostly in the fields of political science, economics, and management, but also in other areas ranging from linguistics, sociology, and psychology to computer science and applied mathematics.

“We are proud to be the home for The Pearson Institute and The Pearson Global Forum,” Diermeier says. “We are committed to push the boundaries of knowledge in addressing and solving these challenges, and to meaningfully engage policy leaders and practitioners to find new solutions to mitigate and resolve global conflicts.”

2018 Pearson Global Forum

The inaugural Pearson Global Forum was held at the University of Chicago in October 2018.

Anne Ryan / The Pearson Institute