Francine Pillemer is a founding partner of CMI Concord. Her advisory and coaching practices focus on the negotiation, collaborative decision-making, and relationship management issues that often occur during consolidation efforts, internal management changes, contracting, and labor management disputes. Her approach to managing complex business and management problems draws heavily from the work of her esteemed mentors and pioneers in the field, Harvard Professors Roger Fisher (Law School) and Howard Raiffa (Business School).
Dr. Pillemer has done her most extensive work in the area of healthcare. Examples include facilitation of complex multiparty negotiations (e.g., a government-imposed merger of three independent Canadian hospitals; intra-departmental disputes within a large teaching hospital system); preparation of pharmaceutical teams for difficult and often adversarial regulatory negotiations (in the U.S. and Europe); and formulation of negotiation strategies on multi-million dollar acquisitions of independent health plans to generate scale/diversification. From 1998 through 2002, Dr. Pillemer was on special assignment, serving as senior advisor to the CEO of Health Care Service Corporation (d/b/a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Texas and New Mexico). In this capacity, she worked closely with the CEO and senior executives on negotiation issues related to expansion, provider relations, and internal alignment. For decades her executive coaching work has helped hospital-based physician leaders and executives in healthcare organizations develop effective approaches to managing disputes, clarifying decision rights and building productive working relationships.
In addition to her consulting practice, Dr. Pillemer has taught negotiation in corporate, governmental and academic settings throughout the world. Along with Professor Fisher, she appeared in Getting to YES: The Video Workshop on Negotiation; Getting Schools to Yes (a video focused on collective bargaining); and the asynchronous instructional program, YES! The Interactive Negotiator. With Stephen Racioppo, a former managing partner for Accenture’s Global Financial Services Practice, she published articles on collaborative decision-making in strategic alliances and joint ventures.
Dr. Pillemer began her career as a psychologist, working closely with Nobel Laureate (in medicine) Joseph Murray, M.D., on research related to the psychological impact of radical corrective surgeries on body image. Her career took a sharp turn when Professor Fisher recommended that she enroll in his Harvard Law School negotiation course to broaden her professional skill set. Inspired by the power of interest-based negotiation, she joined the predecessor firm, Conflict Management Inc. (CMI), shortly after it was co-founded by Professor Fisher and several of his colleagues, serving in various capacities including Chief Operating Officer.
Dr. Pillemer remains on the Harvard Medical School faculty as a Lecturer in Psychology as well as on the research staff of a Harvard-affiliated teaching hospital. Earlier in her career, she published a number of articles related to her clinical research. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received masters and doctoral degrees in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from Harvard University.