Dr. Peter Coughlan


Dr. Peter Coughlan is a management scholar and consultant specializing in strategy and economic analysis. In academia, he has served on the faculty of the Strategy Unit at the Harvard Business School and as a professor of strategy and managerial economics at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. As a management consultant, Dr. Coughlan has worked for Booz Allen Hamilton and as an independent advisor to a broad range of clients worldwide, including both public sector organizations and private sector companies, from start-up enterprises to Fortune 500 firms.

Dr. Coughlan earned his BA degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Virginia and his MS and PhD degrees in economics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). In his graduate studies, he specialized in game theory, the science of strategic thinking, with additional emphasis in mechanism design and behavioral/experimental economics.

During his six years as a professor in the Strategy Unit at the Harvard Business School, Dr. Coughlan taught several core economics and strategic management courses in the MBA, PhD, and Executive Education programs. While at Harvard, he also designed and taught his own original advanced strategy course focusing on competitive dynamics, applying the principles of game theory to strategic interaction. In addition, Dr. Coughlan researched, wrote, and published more than 30 business case studies during his time at Harvard, concentrating primarily on issues of strategy and innovation.

Dr. Coughlan subsequently spent more than a decade on the faculty of the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy (GSBPP) at the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), where he developed and delivered graduate courses in the fields of economics, strategic planning, change management, business modeling, and cost-benefit analysis. He taught in virtually all of the graduate management programs offered by NPS and was honored with the Louis D. Liskin Award for Teaching Excellence in recognition of his work in the resident MBA program.

Dr. Coughlan has frequently been invited to speak on strategic thinking and analysis in programs for senior leaders in the national security community, including the National Intelligence Business Executive Course (NIBEC), the Navy Corporate Business Course (NCBC), the Navy Senior Leadership Seminar (NSLS), the Effects, Metrics, and Risk Management in Strategic Planning (EMRSP) workshop, the Reserve Component National Security Course (RCNSC), and the Security Studies program at the Center of Homeland Defense and Security. In addition to his teaching and consulting work, Dr. Coughlan conducts research on the topics of mechanism and system design as well as in the area of strategic analysis and innovation.