Rawi Abdelal

Inquire About This Speaker

Foremost Authority on How Globalization and Geopolitics Shape Contemporary Business; Award-winning Professor of International Management, Harvard Business School

Biography

Changes in the global marketplace – exacerbated by the economic effects of the pandemic and a growing systemic shift toward more protectionist policies – have many business leaders looking for guidance on how to navigate the changes. This is the terrain of award-winning Harvard Business School Professor Rawi Abdelal, renowned expert on geopolitics and globalization. As an advisor, speaker and educator, Abdelal helps organizations better understand international policies affecting the production of goods and services, their distribution, and flows of capital.

With decades of research, experience and historical perspectives, Abdelal helps leaders better understand the stakeholders they are dealing with and the implications of their decisions when conducting business with other countries and amidst geopolitical turmoil. His vast knowledge of international markets and government policies gives decision makers the insights they need to identify and leverage potential opportunities and avoid potential risks, especially in the face of disruption, like the current pandemic.

“At its core,” says Abdelal, “my work is about helping organizations develop a successful model for conducting business in a world that may look different, to plan a new future based on a changing economic and geopolitical landscape so they can better navigate going forward.”

An engaging speaker, storyteller and widely published author, Abdelal has a gift for explaining complex topics with elegant simplicity. He teaches, writes and speaks widely about the direction of major industries and policies across the globe. His ability to piece together disparate parts of “the big picture” has organizations in many countries seeking out his expertise, especially in the context of doing business across borders and continents.

Abdelal’s panned out view of the world offers leaders insights into such governing factors as the global financial system, international politics, the influence of multinational firms on world politics and the transformation of energy markets in Europe and Eurasia. He is also a global authority on policies affecting and emerging from Russia, China and India. By offering comparative models on the development of economies and regimes in different nations, Professor Abdelal can also provide keen insights into the impact of crisis-driven economic transformations.

With the future of businesses and international economic systems top of mind, Abdelal is currently working on two book projects. The Fragile State of the World explores the interrelated challenges that undermined the first era of globalization (circa 1870-1914), and The Profits of Power explores the current geopolitics of energy in Europe and Eurasia.

While acknowledging the undeniable downsides of the current pandemic, Abdelal also sees an opportunity for cross-national cooperation and scientific collaboration, and he is particularly interested in how and why some countries have done better than others in responding to the crisis with their fiscal and monetary policies. In all his work, he continues to help leaders read the seemingly perplexing, scattered signs and anticipate changes so they can adapt their business models to survive and thrive.

# # #

Professor Rawi Abdelal is the Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management at Harvard Business School, Faculty Co-Chair of the Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Initiative, and Faculty Chair of the Harvard Business School/YPO Presidents’ Program. He has won the HBS Student Association’s Faculty Award for outstanding teaching several times, as well as the Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Apgar Award for Innovation in Teaching.

During his 20 years on the HBS faculty, Professor Abdelal has served in a number of leadership roles, including as course head for the core course Business, Government and the International Economy, and as chair of the MBA required curriculum. In addition, he has chaired custom executive programs for firms around the world and has twice earned the Greenhill Award for service to Harvard Business School.

Professor Abdelal earned his doctorate in government from Cornell University, where he also received his master’s degree. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a President’s Scholar and graduated with highest honors.

Rawi Abdelal is available for paid speaking engagements – including virtual and in-person keynote speeches, panel discussions, interactive workshops and advisory/consulting services – through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Videos

Books & Research

Constructing the International Economy

(Cornell University Press, June 2010)

Capital Rules: The Construction of Global Finance

(Harvard University Press, September 2009)

Measuring Identity: A Guide for Social Scientists

(Cambridge University Press, April 2009)

The Rules of Globalization Case Book

(Wspc, March 2008)

National Purpose in the World Economy

(Cornell University Press, November 2001)

A-Z Name

Abdelal, Rawi

Biography

Changes in the global marketplace – exacerbated by the economic effects of the pandemic and a growing systemic shift toward more protectionist policies – have many business leaders looking for guidance on how to navigate the changes. This is the terrain of award-winning Harvard Business School Professor Rawi Abdelal, renowned expert on geopolitics and globalization. As an advisor, speaker and educator, Abdelal helps organizations better understand international policies affecting the production of goods and services, their distribution, and flows of capital.

With decades of research, experience and historical perspectives, Abdelal helps leaders better understand the stakeholders they are dealing with and the implications of their decisions when conducting business with other countries and amidst geopolitical turmoil. His vast knowledge of international markets and government policies gives decision makers the insights they need to identify and leverage potential opportunities and avoid potential risks, especially in the face of disruption, like the current pandemic.

“At its core,” says Abdelal, “my work is about helping organizations develop a successful model for conducting business in a world that may look different, to plan a new future based on a changing economic and geopolitical landscape so they can better navigate going forward.”

An engaging speaker, storyteller and widely published author, Abdelal has a gift for explaining complex topics with elegant simplicity. He teaches, writes and speaks widely about the direction of major industries and policies across the globe. His ability to piece together disparate parts of “the big picture” has organizations in many countries seeking out his expertise, especially in the context of doing business across borders and continents.

Abdelal’s panned out view of the world offers leaders insights into such governing factors as the global financial system, international politics, the influence of multinational firms on world politics and the transformation of energy markets in Europe and Eurasia. He is also a global authority on policies affecting and emerging from Russia, China and India. By offering comparative models on the development of economies and regimes in different nations, Professor Abdelal can also provide keen insights into the impact of crisis-driven economic transformations.

With the future of businesses and international economic systems top of mind, Abdelal is currently working on two book projects. The Fragile State of the World explores the interrelated challenges that undermined the first era of globalization (circa 1870-1914), and The Profits of Power explores the current geopolitics of energy in Europe and Eurasia.

While acknowledging the undeniable downsides of the current pandemic, Abdelal also sees an opportunity for cross-national cooperation and scientific collaboration, and he is particularly interested in how and why some countries have done better than others in responding to the crisis with their fiscal and monetary policies. In all his work, he continues to help leaders read the seemingly perplexing, scattered signs and anticipate changes so they can adapt their business models to survive and thrive.

# # #

Professor Rawi Abdelal is the Herbert F. Johnson Professor of International Management at Harvard Business School, Faculty Co-Chair of the Bloomberg-Harvard City Leadership Initiative, and Faculty Chair of the Harvard Business School/YPO Presidents’ Program. He has won the HBS Student Association’s Faculty Award for outstanding teaching several times, as well as the Williams Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Apgar Award for Innovation in Teaching.

During his 20 years on the HBS faculty, Professor Abdelal has served in a number of leadership roles, including as course head for the core course Business, Government and the International Economy, and as chair of the MBA required curriculum. In addition, he has chaired custom executive programs for firms around the world and has twice earned the Greenhill Award for service to Harvard Business School.

Professor Abdelal earned his doctorate in government from Cornell University, where he also received his master’s degree. He received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was a President’s Scholar and graduated with highest honors.

Rawi Abdelal is available for paid speaking engagements – including virtual and in-person keynote speeches, panel discussions, interactive workshops and advisory/consulting services – through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Speech Topics

Weathering Changes in the Global Marketplace

As a rule, business leaders and policymakers base their decisions on economic forecasts and analyses driven by traditional predictors and trends. In recent years, however, that process has become more complex as globalization and multilateralism are being eclipsed by unilateral and protectionist policies around the world. Global politics are affecting free trade and the way multinational organizations choose or are forced to conduct business due to changing regulations and policies. This quickly shifting new order – further complicated by the pandemic-driven meltdown – is influencing political and economic relationships between countries, and sometimes within industries, leaving decision makers in almost every sector grappling with questions about where and how to wisely and profitably do business. Through keynotes, workshops and advisory roles, Harvard Professor Rawi Abdelal, a leading authority on the global economy, shines a light on the current world economy, explains what lies ahead and offers leaders and policymakers insights into how they can respond and adapt to the new landscape in order to sustain and drive growth.

Doing Business in Europe: How Political and Social Movements Are Affecting the Economy

The European macroeconomic, political and social environment in which we do business is at an inflection point. The European Central Bank has resumed its policies of quantitative easing and much of the Continent faces negative interest rates. A rising tide of both left-wing and right-wing populist movements is transforming national governments in the West and relations between Russia and the West are greatly strained. These trends have resulted in the Brexit crisis, political and financial instability in Italy and elsewhere in southern Europe, and disagreement within the European Union about the way forward. Through keynotes, workshops and advisory roles, Harvard Business School professor Rawi Abdelal, a renowned expert on globalization and geopolitics, outlines what this all means for stakeholders conducting business outside and inside Europe so they can make more informed decisions, optimize their investments and reshape their business model accordingly.

How Businesses and Governments Can Mitigate Disinformation

Once upon a time our information technology revolution promised something extraordinary: the entire world would have access to the same facts and knowledge would become universal. But that dream never materialized. What we got instead was very nearly the opposite: a fragmentation of often misused, misdirected information. How can societies engage in civic and political discourse when we can no longer agree on what is true and not true? How can we avoid both domestic and foreign disinformation when we deliver to ourselves this extraordinary vulnerability? Through keynotes, workshops and advisory roles, Harvard Business School Professor Rawi Abdelal, a leading authority on globalization and geopolitics, discusses our collective responsibility to resolve this fundamental challenge and shows businesses how they can do their part to mitigate the negative effects of disinformation.

Media

Array

Books & Research

Array

Workshops

Leading in the Global Marketplace

What trends are influencing your business and how do you know if you are looking at the right signposts? In this powerful workshop, Harvard Business School Professor Rawi Abdelal – a leading expert on how political and economic trends shape contemporary business – offers participants a rare opportunity to ask and answer such questions, propose and explore alternate scenarios, discuss their current perceptions and share their future expectations. Acting as tour guide, coach and mentor, he works with participants on backcasting then forecasting possible futures so they can identify their challenges and goals. After going through Abdelal’s probing exercises, participants find their perspectives shifted by the surprising answers that come back, which not only translate to the way they conduct business going forward but to the perceptions they have of the world in which they operate.

Recommendations

“I would like to wholeheartedly endorse Dr. Rawi Abdelal, who has worked with us for more than 10 years. His breadth and command of his subject matter are truly impressive. On numerous occasions, Rawi delivered superb, stimulating, and memorable presentations to our investors. He connects extremely well with his listeners and was always one of our most popular speakers.  Rawi is a truly unique academic with a flair for both educating and entertaining his rapt audiences. It is for these reasons that I strongly recommend Professor Abdelal. I don’t normally take the time to write recommendations such as this one, but in this case, it is so richly reserved.”

— Gregg S. Fisher, CFA, Founder, Portfolio Manager – Gerstein Fisher, Portfolio Manager, Quent Capital LLC

“We invited Rawi to be our keynote speaker at the Intel Executive Forum and he didn’t disappoint. In fact, our customers unanimously requested that he return the following year. He has a current and deep grasp on world politics and globalization and connects well with a diverse audience. He left our group entertained, better informed, and challenged our thinking as we navigate the world’s complexities.”

— Daniel Gutwein, Director, Intel Corporation, Internet of Things Group

“Rawi’s lectures distill an array of information and complex world events into coherence and help make sense of political systems and geopolitics.  You will watch him unravel seemingly unrelated events and magically bring them together with references to literature, pop culture, history, and philosophy. His words, analysis, forewarnings, and insights will stay with the world citizens to guide them for months to come.”

— On behalf of Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Istanbul Chapter, Emin Ozgur & Gamze Dinckok Yucaoglu

“As one of the world’s great academics, Rawi Abdelal is the best person on earth to give a tour of our international landscape. We had the honor of him doing just that at one of our executive leadership sessions, bringing us unprecedented clarity and insight into the complicated world we live in — and how we can use these insights to best serve our global constituents. Rawi is thought-provoking, rich with applicable teachings, and simply a delight to learn from.”

—Sonia Nijhawan Mehra, Chief of Staff – Product, Uber

“Rawi is a gifted, passionate story-teller who is capable of illuminating the most complex political and economic phenomena without intimidating his audience or leaving anyone behind. You end up feeling smarter and more insightful about how the world is changing around you.”

—Frances Frei, Harvard Business School

Social Media

Similar Speakers

Array