Lisa Nishii joined the faculty of the Human Resource Studies at The ILR School, Cornell University after earning her Ph.D. and M.A. in Organizational Psychology from the University of Maryland and a B.A. in economics from Wellesley College. Nishii is an expert on inclusion in organizations. Her research focuses on the complex interplay of organizational practices, leadership, and collective norms on experiences of inclusion. She is most passionate about workplace climate/culture, which is known to be one of the strongest determinants of human behavior at work. Her research – which has been funded by the U.S. Departments of Labor and Education as well as private foundations – has shown that individual experiences of bias and harassment are largely eliminated in inclusive workgroup climates. Moreover, by developing and leveraging positive, heterogeneous network ties and reducing negative ones, people working in inclusive climates more successfully integrate diverse perspectives in ways that promote higher quality decision making. Given the strong evidence she has found for the benefits of cultivating inclusive climates, she is currently conducting an ambitious quasi-experimental study to test the effectiveness of interventions designed to teach leaders how to be “climate architects.” Nishii’s research has been published in top-tier management and applied psychology journals and has been recognized with numerous awards. Like other experts in the field, Lisa as actively engaged with both government agencies and private corporations and has served in numerous executive leadership positions for the Academy of Management as well as editorial roles for academic journals.
As Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Cornell, Nishii oversees a wide range of initiatives and programs across all eight undergraduate colleges and schools, ranging in focus from curricular and pedagogical innovation to student success, equity and inclusion, learning analytics, student advising, and beyond. Nishii has been a key player in the university’s crisis management team in response to COVID-19; she co-authored Cornell University’s ambitious reopening plan for the 2020-2021 academic year and has been in the front lines of its implementation.