David L. Cooperrider, PhD, is a Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University and holds two chaired professorships: Char and Chuck Fowler Professor of Business as an Agent of World Benefit and the Covia – David L. Cooperrider Professorship in Appreciative Inquiry, both at the Weatherhead School of Management. David is the Founder and Faculty Director of the Fowler Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit and is also the Honorary Chairman of Champlain College’s David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry at the Robert P. Stiller School of Business. Recently David was placed in the Organization Development field’s Hall of Fame and received “The Lifetime Achievement Award”–the highest honor in his field of Organization Development and the OD Network—for his work on Appreciative Inquiry for large group multi-stakeholder planning, and his advancement the concept of Business as an Agent of World Benefit” as the field’s North Star.
David is best known for his original theoretical articulation of “AI” or Appreciative Inquiry with his mentor Suresh Srivastva. Today AI’s approach to strengths-inspired, instead of problematizing change, is being practiced everywhere: the corporate world, the world of public service, of economics, of education, of faith, of philanthropy, and social science scholarship-it is affecting them all. Jane Nelson, at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Leadership recently wrote “David Cooperrider is one of the outstanding scholar-practitioners of our generation.”
David has served as advisor to prominent leaders in business and society, including projects with five Presidents and/or Nobel Laureates such as William Jefferson Clinton, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Kofi Annan, and Jimmy Carter. David advises a wide variety of corporations including Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Keurig Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Verizon, Hunter Douglas, Cleveland Clinic, National Grid, Smuckers, Clarke, Fairmount Minerals, McKinsey, Parker, Dealer Tire, Webasto, and Wal-Mart as well as the Navy, Red Cross, United Way of America, USAID, United Nations, the UN Global Compact, and hundreds of international private voluntary organizations (the GEM project.) David is also a founding Board Member of the International Association of Positive Psychology, the Taos Institute, and a Fellow of the World Business Academy and International Academy of Management. Early in the growth of the UN’s Global Compact David was called upon by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to facilitate (using Appreciative Inquiry) the largest summit in history between business CEOs and leaders of government and civil society. It was one of the high point moments in David’s career, and shifted the focus of his work to the discovery and design of positive institutions and a world of full spectrum flourishing, that is “a world where businesses can excel, all people can thrive, and nature can flourish now and across the generations.”
David has published 25 books and authored over 100 articles and book chapters. He has served as editor of both the Journal of Corporate Citizenship with Ron Fry and the current academic research 4-volume series on Advances for Appreciative Inquiry, with Michel Avital. In 2010 David was honored with the Peter F. Drucker Distinguished Fellow award. David’s books include Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change (with Diana Whitney); The Organization Dimensions of Global Change (with Jane Dutton); Handbook of Transformative Cooperation (Stanford Press) Organizational Courage and Executive Wisdom (with Suresh Srivastva); and The Strengths-based Leadership Handbook (with Brun & Ejsing.) David’s work has received numerous awards including Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning by ASTD; the Porter Award for Best writing in the field of Organization Development and the Aspen Institute Faculty Pioneer Award in the domain of Sustainable Development. In 2016 David was named as one of the nation’s top thought leaders by Trust Across America, and honored as one of “AACSB’s Most Influential Leaders in the Field of Management.” He was recently named Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University.
In perhaps the highest recognition of his thought leadership, Champlain College’s Stiller School of Business honored David’s impact with an academic center in his name. Opened in 2014 it is called the David L. Cooperrider Center for Appreciative Inquiry, and David serves as its Honorary Chair. For the center’s dedication Professor Marty Seligman, the father of the positive psychology movement wrote: “David Cooperrider is a giant: a giant of discovery, a giant of dissemination, and a giant of generosity.” Likewise, Jane Dutton, University of Michigan thought leader and former President of the Academy of Management said:
“David Cooperrider is changing the world with his ideas and who he is as a person. There are few who combine such insight, inspiration and energy.”
David is the founder the Global Forum for Business as an Agent of World Benefit—it was launched in partnership with the UN Global Compact and with the Academy of Management. David’s most recent book, co-authored with Audrey Selian and others, is called: The Business of Building a Better World: The Leadership Revolution That is Changing Everything.