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Robert Kegan, PhD

English language


Robert Kegan, is the Meehan Professor of Adult Learning and Professional Development at the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. The recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards, his thirty years of research and writing on adult development have contributed to the recognition that ongoing psychological development is at once possible and necessary to meet the demands of modern life. Judging from the books, dissertations, syllabi, and blogs that draw on his work, Kegan has had an influence on a wide range of intellectual disciplines and professions, including psychology, education, theology, literary criticism, leadership studies, executive coaching, psychotherapy, management, medicine, law, political science, and public service. At Harvard alone, his work is read in courses at the Schools of Education, Business, Government, and Medicine. His seminal books, The Evolving Self and In Over Our Heads, have been published in several languages throughout the world.

With long-time colleague, Lisa Lahey, he is also the author of How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work, and, most recently, Immunity to Change, which has now been published in seven languages. Kegan and Lahey are credited with a breakthrough discovery of a hidden dynamic which impedes personal and organizational transformation. This work (on what they call “the immunity to change”) has now found its way into the core practice of leaders and senior teams in educational, business, and governmental institutions in the United States, Europe, and Asia. They received from Boston University the Gislason Award for exceptional contributions to organizational leadership, joining past recipients Warren Bennis, Peter Senge, and Edgar Schein; and, in 2013, they received the highest award from the Harvard Institute of Coaching for the contribution of their work to the coaching profession. Kegan and Lahey have served as invited faculty at the annual Davos Conference sponsored by the World Economic Forum, and their work has been featured in such diverse periodicals as The Harvard Business Review, The New York Times Sunday Business Section, Oprah Magazine and The Shanghai Daily News, which named Immunity to Change the Number #1 Business Book of the Year in 2011.

One of twenty, among Harvard’s 2300 faculty, honored by the president of the university for his outstanding teaching, Kegan also serves as the educational chair of Harvard’s Institute for Management and Leadership in Education; and as co-director of a joint program undertaken by Harvard Medical School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education to bring principles of adult learning to the reform of medical education. He and Lisa Lahey were among the first Harvard faculty to teach a MOOC in EdX , a massively open online course which enrolled 81,000 participants from more than 100 countries.

Bob took his A.B., summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College, and Ph.D. from Harvard University. He is also an avid poker player, an airplane pilot, and the unheralded inventor of the “Base Average,” a superior statistic for gauging offensive contribution in baseball.

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