Every day brings new challenges for professionals. We understand your desire to become better leaders.

Whether you are seeking to be more effective in your current role, transitioning to a new career, or pursuing lifelong learning, Harris is here to support your professional development. 

Show Up

Please join us in our upcoming professional development events. These webinars focus on providing insights and skills to guide you through your career “transitions,” and add to your communications skills toolbox. 

"Here’s the Deal"
A Webinar with Stuart Diamond

Negotiation Expert and Author of Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World
October 19, 2021, 2:00 pm CST
Virtual via Zoom

Register Here.

Attendees will receive a copy of Getting More via mail. 

A headshot of Stuart Diamond
Stuart Diamond

Please join us for a webinar with Professor Stuart Diamond, one of the world’s leading experts on negotiation. Professor Diamond will provide instructive teachings and anecdotes from his legendary and iconic course at Wharton, where it was the most sought-after class by students for over 20 years.

Professor Diamond’s innovative negotiation model, which focuses on emotional intelligence, perceptions, and cultural diversity instead of leverage and logic, shows how to get more collaborative success with governments, billion dollar deals, shopping, travel, kids, food trucks, and everything in between. Professor Diamond will draw on his advice to companies and governments large and small on forging better deals, improving government decision-making, showing school children how to reduce bullying, helping vendors negotiate on prices, advising the Navy SEALS, spearheading cross-border mergers and improving cyber security. 

His New York Times bestseller, Getting More, has been called the best negotiation book “of all time” by Inc. magazine, the “#1 book to read for your career” by the Wall Street Journal’s career site, and one of 25 success and leadership books to read in your life by Business Insider

Professor Diamond is credited with solving the 2008 Hollywood Writers Strike, served as Google’s chief negotiation instructor, worked for the U.N. and World Bank, taught managers and executives from more than 200 of the Fortune 500 companies, and served as the Associate Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project. 

Professor Diamond has a law degree from Harvard, an MBA with honors from Wharton, and in a previous career won a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter for The New York Times

The one-hour webinar will begin at 2:00 pm CST on Tuesday, October 19, 2021. Terri Brady, the Executive Director of Professional Development at Harris, will moderate. Please join us. 

Attendees will receive a copy of Getting More. Register Here.

Take Five with Terri

Terri Brady, Harris' Executive Director of Professional Development, wants to know what makes Harris Alumni tick. In Take Five with Terri, she asks Harris alums five questions about their life and careers after Harris, and the wisdom they gained along the way.

Interview with Melissa Rappaport Schifman
AM ’94, MBA ‘94

The following interview has been edited.

Melissa Rappaport Schifman
Melissa Rappaport Schifman
AM ’94, MBA ‘94

1. Tell us about your personal and professional journey (where did you grow up, where do you live now, and what do you do professionally).

I am a sustainability advisor, writer, and entrepreneur, as I have had my own firm and am working on a few start-ups. I grew up in Minneapolis, went to college at Georgetown, majored in American Government, and worked on Capitol Hill. I was a Legislative Assistant, handling issues of energy and the environment, which is what really piqued my interest in public policy. A Fellow in DC told me about the public policy degree and Harris seemed like the best one for me. I earned a dual degree with an MBA from Booth.

I wanted to work in the private sector before going into public service. I started out gaining a solid grounding in finance working for Northwest and America West airlines. Next I moved to a company that provided access to education. Then I read The Ecology of Commerce by Paul Hawken. Since then, I have dedicated my career to advancing sustainability – primarily in the green building world. I led the LEED certification of several million square feet of commercial and residential real estate. I wrote a book, Building a Sustainable Home, which was out in early 2019. I have been writing, speaking, and advising on more sustainable homes, businesses, and non-profits, which included two years as the Editor-in-Chief of Rise Home Design.

Now I am helping a summer camp become net zero energy and net zero waste by 2030. I have two books “in the works” as I have a lot of renovation stories to share. I am also working almost full-time on a mission-driven pet company that my husband is about to launch. I plug in where my skills are needed: on the financials and on the sustainability side.

2. Please describe a recent work project that you found particularly challenging or interesting and tell us why.

Currently I am working on a B Corp certification for Project Hive Pet Company. We were formed as a Public Benefit Corporation, but there is no real enforcement that requires our business to do anything other than legally state that we consider all stakeholders – not just shareholders – when we make our decisions. Working towards a B Corp certification is a major endeavor. It forces you to think about all aspects of your business and your impact.

When I was a full-time sustainability consultant, we marketed ourselves as “your outsourced sustainability director” or chief sustainability officer. That title didn’t exist before, but we’ve seen it pop up everywhere in the past decade. I think that title will morph into Chief Impact Officer, because that is what businesses really need to consider: what impact are we having on our employees, our customers, our supply chain, our environment?

B Corp certification dwarfs LEED certification because it is holistic, and in its lasting impact. I think of it as the savior of capitalism.

3. What aspects of your Harris education have been most valuable to you in your career?

It’s important to pull in public policy concepts where it matters and when it’s appropriate. For example, a lot of people don’t know what to do to help combat climate change. They want to do something, but they are tired of hearing things like walk or bike instead of drive, or turn off the lights when you leave the room. Harris helped convey the idea that there is a wide variety of public policies that don’t necessarily interfere with capitalism but use people’s motivations to change behavior. One example is that the city of Minneapolis requires buildings over 50,000 square feet to utilize Energy Star to enter their energy usage. It’s not burdensome. It’s a simple rule that relies on the fundamental principle that what gets measured gets managed. I have seen it work!

Harris really provides the foundation of understanding that there are local, state, and federal policies that influence our behavior and can actually have a real impact. It’s a bigger awareness.

4. What is an ideal fun day off for you?

Skiing or hiking all day long outside with family and friends.  When I lived in Arizona, I would take people to Sedona. I would ski and hike in the mountains.

Mountain Climbing - Melissa Rappaport Schifman


5. What piece of “counter-intuitive” advice would you give your “Harris self” now?

When I arrived at Harris from working on Capitol Hill, I was focused on federal policy and thought that was what really matters. I thought of local policy as small and messy, and not really impactful. Now, I think the opposite is true. Local policy is where you can really make a difference. You can take that model and make it work elsewhere through speaking and writing and collaborating.

When I was at Harris, I wanted to learn more about environmental and energy policy, and that concentration wasn’t offered at the time. I would tell my Harris self to take more classes in housing policy and education policy, even if you think you are not interested in them, because they are all interrelated. Absorb as much as you can.

Read Up

Stay informed about important professional development and leadership topics. Our curated and insightful articles highlight connections to our webinar speakers. 

High-Performing Professionals Run on Self Awareness
A commentary by Terri Brady about developing self-awareness, which requires curiosity, humility, and courage.

How to Network When There Are No Networking Events
Our initial webinar speaker, thought leader Dorie Clark, wrote a piece in Harvard Business Review on how to network when there are no networking events.

Weighing the Risk Ethics of Requiring Vaccinations
Our recent webinar guest, Michele Wucker, author of The Gray Rhino and You Are What You Risk, explores how workplaces can manage their risks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Master of Influence: The “Notorious RBG” Used Persuasion to Advance Equality
A commentary by Terri Brady about how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg used the persuasion tools of framing, building relationships, and asking strategic questions to change policy and laws.

The Power of Networking: A Harris Connection Story
When Harris alumna Mary Michaud, MPP ’95, connected with Analiese Wagner, MPP ’20 and Sarah Gill, MPP ’20 it triggered a powerful chain of subsequent connections and events. And it all began with a single email.

Listen Up

Explore our collection of webinar series and individual events to hear from experts on a range of topics related to professional development and leadership.

Listen to past webinars from the Transition Series, the Influencing Series, and more.

“You Are What You Risk” with Michele Wucker

Crain’s Chicago has described Michele Wucker as a “global thought leader.” She is a sought after global strategist, speaker, and writer. Michele is the author of four books, including the international best seller The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore. Her TED talk about gray rhinos has attracted more than 2 million views. Recently we talked with Michele about her new book You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World. Listen to learn:

  • A bold new framework for understanding and re-shaping our relationship with risk and uncertainty

  • What contributes to our individual “risk fingerprints” and why understanding them opens us up to more insights about ourselves such as our need for control and our discomfort with ambiguity

  • Strategies for shaping our “risk muscle” so we make better decisions, including how to get out of our comfort zone

  • Why the biggest risk you take may be “standing still”

Watch “You Are What You Risk,” a conversation with Michele Wucker (1 Hour).

Speak Up

Partner with us in our efforts to support lifelong learning and Harris community building!

Ask a question

If you have questions about professional development, or you would like us to explore specific subjects, contact Terri Brady, Executive Director of Professional Development at tbrady@uchicago.edu.


Do you want to contribute your opinion in writing?

The Chicago Policy Review invites all Harris alumni to submit opinion editorials for their Commentary section. Promote your professional brand to an audience of policy experts. 

Submit your editorial.

Send questions to the Chicago Policy Review editor in chief at editor.in.chief@chicagopolicyreview.org.