Catherine H. Tinsley

Posted in People

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 Tinsley is the Raffini Professor of Management at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, Area Head for the Management Faculty, Faculty Director of the Georgetown University Women’s Leadership Institute, and a Senior Policy Scholar at McDonough’s Center for Business and Public Policy. She also sits on Kate Spade & Co.’s Social Impact Council. Tinsley is an expert on leadership, risk, conflict resolution, decision auditing, negotiations, and gender. Her work explains how leaders can improve their decision making and the impact of good decision architecture to improve organizational performance.

Professor Tinsley has received numerous awards and grants for her research, including from organizations such as 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]. 

In applying her research she has spoken three times at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on how companies can enhance workplace performance by changing their narrative around failure. She also advises how companies can learn from near-miss warnings to improve judgment around risk and avoid organizational disaster. Her study of a new social enterprise model pioneered by Kate Spade & Co., suggests that worker well-being and profit are compatible interests for companies. As well, her partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce speaks to career trajectories for women in the C-suite.

Tinsley has served on three committees for the National Academy of Sciences— The Committee to Improve Intelligence Analysis for National Security, The Committee on Unifying Social and Cultural Frameworks in the Military, and Committee on The Context of Military Environments, where she served as committee vice-chair. She has published more than 50 articles and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals.

Tinsley has conducted numerous negotiations, conflict resolution, decision making, and leadership training seminars for various organizations, including: the staff of the U.S. Senate, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Rolls Royce N.A., Gucci, Rio Tinto, Sprint-Nextel, Nextel, Verizon, the World Bank, DPT Laboratories, Ferro, Lamson & Sessions, Rhode & Schwarz, and USAID.

Tinsley has published more than 50 articles and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals, including: Management ScienceAcademy 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, AppliePsychology, International Negotiation: A journal of Theory and Practice, and International Perspectives on Organizational Justice. She currently is on the editorial board of Organization Behavior and Human Decision ProcessesInternational Negotiations: A Journal of Theory and Practice, and International Journal of Conflict Management. She is a past editorial board member of the Academy of Management Journal.  

She received her master’s and Ph.D. in organizational behavior from J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, and her B.A. in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College. 

Tinsley’s Georgetown profile.