Lawrence Susskind was born in New York City in 1947. He graduated from Columbia University in 1968 and he joined the faculty of the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning in 1971. He served first as Associate Head and then as Head of that Department from 1974 through 1982. He was appointed Full Professor in 1986.
Professor Susskind is founder and for thirteen years President of the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), a not-for-profit organization that provides mediation and dispute system design services to public and private clients worldwide.