Brian Spisak
Research Associate

Brian Spisak

Research Associate

Health Policy and Management

bspisak@hsph.harvard.edu


Overview

I research how and why leadership and organizational behavior develops in large-scale social networks by blending social psychology with the study of biological and cultural evolution. I then apply these data-informed insights to issues relevant in business and society such as conflict, innovation, sustainability, and the alignment of operational behavior with strategic goals.

My primary passion is tackling difficult challenges. For example, I explored methods for reducing intergroup conflict with the United States Office of Naval Research (ONR) and NATO. I am also collaborating with (a) Facebook Data for Good to map large-scale climate conversations with the goal of increasing public engagement and (b) Facebook AI to raise awareness of privacy preserving technologies and methods for debiasing data-informed policy. My applied work is also migrating towards the (prudent) use of machine learning in organizations - e.g., using ML to support the leader selection and development workflow.

My research is published in top academic journals such as Academy of Management Review, Psychological Science, and The Leadership Quarterly. In addition, my contributions are featured in popular media outlets such as Harvard Business Review, New Scientist, Time Magazine, and The Washington Post.

I'm from Western Pennsylvania and have since lived in the UK, the Netherlands, and New Zealand. When I'm not exploring human behavior and this beautiful planet, you'll likely find me powerlifting in the gym.

PhD, Social and Organizational Psychology
VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Bibliography