Catherine H. Tinsley

Cathy Tinsley

Senior Policy Scholar 


Ph.D., Organizational Behavior, J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University

Research Interests

  • Decision Making Under Risk and Uncertainty

  • Women and Negotiation

  • Culture, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution


Catherine H. Tinsley is a Professor of Management and Academic Director of the Executive Masters in Leadership Program at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. She is also Executive Director of the Georgetown University Women’s Leadership Initiative and a Zaeslin fellow at the college of Law and Economics, University of Basel. She has been appointed by the National Academy of Sciences for three different committees involving military engagement and / or intelligence analysis:  1) The Committee on Behavioral and Social Science Research to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security (2009-2011), 2) The Committee on Unifying Social and Cultural Frameworks in the Military (2011-2012), and 3) The Committee on the Context of Military Environments: Social and Organizational Factors (as Vice-chair, 2012-2014).

She has received several grants from: NASA, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Homeland Security for her work on decision making and risk and from the Department of Defense and Army Research Office for her work on modeling culture’s influence on negotiation and collaboration.

Dr. Tinsley has won various academic rewards for her research. She studies how factors such as culture, reputations, and gender influence negotiation and conflict resolution. She studies how people make decisions under risk, applying decision analytic frameworks to understand organizational disasters, and individual and expert responses to natural disasters (such as hurricanes) and man-made disasters (terrorist attacks). She also studies how people’s implicit beliefs about the power of gender shape their attitudes and behaviors.

She is currently on the editorial board of Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, and International Journal of Conflict Management. She is a past editorial board member of the Academy of Management Journal. Her work has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including:  Management Science, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes, American Sociological Review, Journal of Economic Psychology, Research in Organizational Behavior, Journal of International Business Studies, Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, Research on Negotiations in Organizations, Negotiation Journal, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Applied Psychology, International Negotiation:  A journal of Theory and Practice, and International Perspectives on Organizational Justice.

Dr. Tinsley has conducted numerous negotiations, conflict resolution, decision making and leadership training seminars for various organizations including:  the Staff of the U.S. Senate, Rolls Royce N.A., Gucci, Sprint-Nextel, Nextel, Verizon Avenue, the World Bank, DPT Laboratories, Ferro, Lamson & Sessions, Rhode & Schwarz, the International Securities Management Association, the General Clinical Research Center, and the Korean International Trade Association. She has also run numerous “open enrollment” negotiations trainings for managers of a variety of companies, and within a variety of cultures, including: Germany, Japan, Korea, Slovenia, Hong Kong, India and Mexico. She also runs semi-annual seminars for Senior Executives in the Energy Industry.

Dr. Tinsley collaborated with the White House and U.S. State Department to execute a woman-to-woman mentorship summit. This summit kicked off in Helsinki, Finland, including remarks from President Tarja Halonen of Finland and President Vaira Vike-Freiberga, of Latvia and concluded in Washington, D.C., including remarks from President George H.W. Bush of the U.S. and Dr. Condoleeza Rice, then National Security Advisor. She also partnered with the U.S. State Department and the Council of Women World Leaders to convene the first ever world-wide meeting of the Ministers of Women’s Affairs.

She received her Masters and PhD in Organizational Behavior from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and her BA in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College.

Dr. Tinsley's Georgetown profile.

Selected Publications