Ethan S. Bernstein


Ethan S. Bernstein is a Doctoral Candidate in the Management program at Harvard Business School. His research examines how, and under what conditions, privacy makes us more productive. More specifically, he studies how the sharing of information across and within boundaries affects learning, innovation, and organizational performance. A core part of his dissertation work was recently published as a sole-authored article in the Administrative Science Quarterly.

Ethan received JD/MBA from Harvard University, as well as an A.B. in Economics from Amherst College. Prior to beginning his doctoral studies, he worked at the Boston Consulting Group. From 2011-2012, Ethan took leave from Harvard to help Elizabeth Warren stand-up the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) as a member of the CFPB Implementation Team, and subequently served as the CFPB's first Deputy Assitant Director, Mortgage Markets and its first Chief Strategy Officer.

Ethan and his wife, Maly (HBS MBA '06), currently split their time between Washington D.C. and Boston, and they welcomed their first child, Covell Tate Bernstein, on September 10, 2012.

Please click here to download a comprehensive version of my Curriculum Vitae.


  1. Harvard Business School

  2. Doctor of Business Administration, Management, 2013 (exp.)

  3. Harvard Business School & Harvard Law School

  4. JD/MBA, Cum Laude with Honors, 2003

  5. Amherst College & Doshisha University (同志社大学)

  6. A.B. in Economics, 1998

Research and Teaching Interests

  1. Research: Does privacy make us productive? I study how the sharing of information across and within boundaries affects learning, innovation, and performance.

  2. Please click here to download a copy of my Research Statement.   

  3. Teaching: Organizational Behavior, Building and Sustaining Successful Enterprises, Law and Innovation, Consumer Finance and Accounting

  4. Please click here to download a copy of my Teaching Statement.   

Peer-Reviewed Publications and Working Papers (abstracts hyperlinked)

Kennedy, Leonard J., Patricia A. McCoy, & Ethan S. Bernstein. 2012. "The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: Financial Regulation for the Twenty-First Century." Cornell Law Review 97(5): 1141-1176.

Bernstein, Ethan S., Allan Friedman & David Lazer. 2010. "Searching Versus Solving, Network Structure, and Collective Problem Solving in Small Groups. Accepted Submission to Sunbelt XXX Conference, currently under revision.

Other Publications

Lazer, David L. & Ethan S. Bernstein. 2012. "Problem Solving and Search in Networks." In Todd, P.M. & Robbins, T. (Eds.), Cognitive Search: Evolution, Algorithms, and the Brain Chapter 17, 261-273. Cambridge, MA: Strungmann Forum Reports, MIT Press.

Hara, George, David J. Brunner, Ethan S. Bernstein, & Asumi Nonomiya. 2009. "公益資本主義 の確立に向けて 株主至上主義・市場万能主義の限界."週刊ダイヤモンド (Diamond Weekly) 97, no. 40 (October 10, 2009): 164-171.

Hara, George, David J. Brunner, Ethan S. Bernstein, & Asumi Nonomiya. 2009. "公益資本主義 の確立に向けて公式・非公式の「制度」を再設計する."週刊ダイヤモンド (Diamond Weekly) 97, no. 40 (October 17, 2009): 164-171.

Grant Funding

  1. Grant #W74V8H-06-D-0008: Exploration and Exploitation in the E.L.I.C.I.T. Framework. United States Department of Defense, Command and Control Research Program.  April 2009-March 2010.

Awards and Honors

  1. 2012 Wyss Award for Excellence (Awarded by Harvard Business School)

  2. 2010 Susan G. Cohen Doctoral Research Award (Awarded by the Academy of Management at the 2010 Annual Meeting)

  3. Kauffman Foundation Fellowship in Law, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship, one of only several dozen individuals to receive the fellowship nationwide over the past five years (2008-2010)

  4. Fellow, Harvard University Program on Networked Governance (2009-2010)

  5. Paragon People Award, Boston Consulting Group (2005)

  6. Cum Laude with Honors, JD/MBA, Harvard Law School & Harvard Business School

  7. George A. Plimpton Fellowship, awarded to Amherst College seniors who are of outstanding scholastic ability and promise, who plan to continue their studies in graduate school (1998)

  8. Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude (top 1% of class), Amherst College (1998)

  9. Fulbright Scholar (Alternate), Amherst College (1998)

  10. Oberlin Book Prize, Harvard-Westlake School (1994)

Teaching Experience

  1. Managing Healthcare Delivery, Harvard Business School Executive Education (2009-2010)

  2. MBA Analytics, Harvard Business School (2008-2010)

  3. Head Teaching Fellow, Rating (Summer 2010): 6.15/7.00, Responses: 130

    Finance Teaching Fellow, Rating (Summer 2009): 6.02/7.00, Responses: 99

    Accounting Teaching Fellow, Rating (Summer 2008): 6.09/7.00, Responses: 75

  4. Operations Strategy Faculty, Samsung Premier Executive Development Program (Seoul, South Korea)

  5. Delivery of Content Rating (Fall 2008): 4.57/5.00, Responses: 37

  6. Classroom Demeanor Rating (Fall 2008): 4.70/5.00, Responses: 37

  7. Business Leadership Program Faculty (Annual), Harvard Business School (2002-Present)

  8. Relationship Economics Faculty, Sophomore Economics Tutorial, Harvard College (2002-2003)

  9. Rating (Spring 2002): 4.9/5.0, Responses: 14 [click here to view student responses]

  10. Rating (Spring 2003): 5.0/5.0, Responses: 13 [click here to view student responses]

Course Materials Authored

  1. "Jieliang Phone Home!" HBS Cases 609-080, 609-081, 609-082, 609-704, and HBS Teaching Note, 2009. (Adopted in HBS Building and Sustaining Successful Enterprises course, Operations Strategy at UNC-Chapel Hill, NPS, and a number of other universities)

  2. "A Giant Among Women." HBS Case 610-096, 2009. (Adopted at UNC-Chapel Hill)

  3. "Assembling Smartphones: Takt Time ≠ Cycle Time?" HBS Case 611-012, 2010. (Adopted at HBS in the Technology and Operations required curriculum course)

  4. "Omron: Sensing Society." HBS Case 309-066 and HBS Teaching Note, 2010.

  5. "The Case of the Unidentified Healthcare Companies--2010." HBS Case 611-043 and HBS Teaching Note, 2011. (Adopted at HBS in MHCD Executive Education Course)

Presentations and Seminars (Selected)

The Transparency Paradox:
A Role for Privacy in Organizational Learning and Operational Control

2011 TEDx Talk. Boston, MA.

2011 Decision Science and Policy Innovations. Boston, MA.

2010 Academy of Management. Montreal, QC

2010 Harvard University Groups Group. Cambridge, MA.

2010 Harvard University Work, Organzations, and Markets Seminar. Boston, MA.

2010 Global Public Policy Academic Groups Series, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA.

2010 Kauffman Foundation Institute, Kansas City, MO.

Problem Solving & Search in Communication Networks:
Theory & Lab Experiments on Privacy & Group Problem-Solving Performance

2010 Sunbelt XXX (INSNA Annual Meeting), Riva del Garda, Italy.

2009 Sunbelt XXIX (INSNA Annual Meeting), San Diego, CA.

2009 Harvard University Work, Organizations, and Markets Seminar. Boston, MA.

Institutional Service

  1. Harvard Law School Association, Vice-President (Global), Executive Committee (2009-Present)

  2. Harvard Business School Club of Toronto, Board Member and Former President (2006-Present)

Referee Service

  1. Ad-Hoc Reviewer, Organization Studies

  2. Ad-Hoc Reviewer, Academy of Managment

Professional Accreditations

  1. New York State Bar Association (2003-Present)

  2. Massachusetts Bar Association (2003-Present)


  1. U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Chief Strategy Officer (2011-2012)

  2. U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Deputy Assistant Director, Mortgage Markets & Member of CFPB Implementation Team (2011)

  3. The Boston Consulting Group (Toronto and Tokyo Offices), Case Leader, Project Leader, and Consultant (2003-2007)

  4. Center for Organizational Fitness (now Truepoint), Associate and Special Assistant to the Directors (2002-2003)

  5. Cravath, Swaine & Moore, Summer Associate (2002)

  6. J.P. Morgan & Company, Summer Associate (2001)

  7. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Summer Associate (2000)

  8. Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Executive Office of the President, Intern (1994)

Curriculum Vitae