ARI Funding Launches West Point Negotiation Project
by 2LT David White
West Point, New York – 6 February, 2009
Established in 2009, the West Point Negotiation Project, WPNP, today received a funding grant from the Army Research Institute enabling its directors to officially launch the project.
The WPNP is rooted in the Negotiation for Leaders course, a class first offered for 33 cadets in 2006 by the Behavioral Sciences & Leadership Department at West Point. Mr. Jeff Weiss, a founder of Vantage Partners, understanding the need for a structured academic course to teach West Point cadets the art and science of negotiating, collaborated with Major Brian Wortinger to develop and co-teach the first course. Now in its fourth year, the course has 56 cadets enrolled, making it the most demanded elective by Leadership and Management majors at West Point.
Major Aram Donigian, current course instructor and WPNP Co-Director, states, “Today’s Army officer must be equipped with more than battle drills and SOPs. Today’s officer must be able to negotiate in highly complex, multi-party, cross-cultural situations where relationship is of the utmost importance and substance cannot be sacrificed.” Donigian adds, “The WPNP was borne from recognition of the extent and frequency with which Army officers are required to negotiate during operations at home and deployed throughout the world. The West Point Negotiation Project seeks to develop Army officers’ abilities to joint-problem solve with a strong emphasis on two-way communication and a principled, merit-based negotiation approach.”
“In the not too distant future, the goal for the West Point Negotiation Project is that is becomes the ‘go to’ place for research, writing, teaching materials, tools and advice for enabling Army leaders to develop into effective negotiators. The Project will consist of intelligent and capable cadets and experienced and distinguished faculty working together on the latest negotiating challenges facing Army officers. The Project will work hand in hand with officers deployed throughout the world, simultaneously learning from their experiences and providing them the support they need to accomplish the mission,” states Mr. Jeff Weiss, WPNP Co-Director.