Gautam Mukunda

Assistant Professor of Business Administration

Gautam Mukunda is an Assistant Professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit of Harvard Business School and a Distinguished Visiting Professor for the Schwarzman Scholarship. His research focuses on leadership, international relations, and the political and economic implications of technological change. He is a Principal Investigator on the National Science Foundation’s Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Chief of Naval Operation’s Executive Advisory Panel, and a Jeopardy Champion. Before joining HBS he was a Postdoctoral Fellow resident at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies. He received his PhD from MIT in Political Science and an A.B. in Government from Harvard, magna cum laude, where he was Team Captain of its National Champion Quiz Bowl Team.

Before graduate school he was a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he focused on the pharmaceutical sector. He is on the Board of Directors and Chair of the Mentorship Committee of The Upakar Foundation, a national non-profit devoted to providing college scholarships to underprivileged students of South Asian descent. He is a Paul & Daisy Soros New American Fellow, an NSF IGERT Fellow, a Next Generation Fellow of The American Assembly, a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership, and a member of the New England Regional Selection Committee for the White House Fellowship. He has published articles on leadership, financial reform, military innovation, network-centric warfare, and the security and economic implications of synthetic biology in Harvard Business Review, Foreign Policy, Security Studies, Parameters, Politics and the Life Sciences, Systems and Synthetic Biology, the Washington Post, Fast Company, and Slate. His first book, "Indispensable: When Leaders Really Matter," was published in 2012 by Harvard Business Review Press. His work has been profiled in The New York Times, the Economist, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and All Things Considered.

  1. Winner of the 2015 HBS Women's Student Association Outstanding Case Award for "Cynthia Carroll at Anglo American" (HBS Case 414-0019, with Lisa Mazzanti and Aldo Sesia).

  2. Selected as a Finalist for the 2012 Fredric M. Jablin Doctoral Dissertation Award from the International Leadership Association.

  3. Selected as a Regional Finalist for the 2011 White House Fellowship.

  4. Received a 2011 BioBricks Foundation Fellowship to present at Synthetic Biology 5.0 at Stanford University.

  5. Winner of the 2010 SynBERC Poster Award at the SynBERC Annual Retreat.

  6. Selected as a 2010 Next Generation Fellow at the American Assembly.

  7. Received a 2009 American Political Science Association Travel Grant.

  8. Awarded a 2007-2009 National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (NSF IGERT) to study the forecasting, management, and implications of emerging technologies.

  9. Received a 2008 BioBricks Foundation Fellowship to present at Synthetic Biology 4.0 in Hong Kong.

  10. Awarded the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching in 2008 from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning.

  11. Awarded a 2007 Seminar on Public Policy and Nuclear Threats Fellowship from the Institute on Global Conflict & Cooperation.

  12. Received a 2007 Synthetic Biology 3.0 Travel Fellowship to present at Synthetic Biology 3.0 in Zurich, Switzerland.

  13. Awarded a 2005-2007 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans.

  14. Selected to attend the 2006 Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation Seminar on Public Policy and Biological Threats.

  15. Awarded a 2006 Carnegie Endowment Biosecurity Fellowship to attend a Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation Biosecurity Seminar.