Paul Levy

Paul Levy, Senior Advisor at Lax Sebenius LLC, brings a wealth of executive experience to Lax Sebenius and its clients, in addition to extensive participation in conducting negotiation training for a variety of companies and institutions.

Levy’s most recent assignment (2002-2011) was as President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, one of the nation’s preeminent academic medical centers, providing state-of-the-art clinical care, research, and teaching in affiliation with Harvard Medical School.  Overseeing a $1.4 billion budget, he reported to an 18-member Board of Directors, directed a staff of over 6,000 FTEs, and coordinated activities and programs with a medical staff of over 900 physicians in thirteen clinical departments.   His accomplishments included turning around a near-bankrupt organization and producing continuous profitable operations for the following seven years.  Levy also dramatically enhanced staff morale, recruited world-class chiefs of service, introduced unprecedented transparency of clinical outcomes accompanying a program to eliminate preventable harm, introduced Lean process improvement, gained substantial market share in a highly competitive tertiary care marketplace by creating new clinical affiliations in the region, and expanded philanthropy, raising $150 million in gifts during his term.  While at BIDMC Levy also served on the Board of Directors of Controlled Risk Insurance Company, Ltd. (2003-2005) and Risk Management Foundation (2005-2011), the captive insurance company of the Harvard-affiliated hospitals and its wholly-owned risk appraisal and management subsidiary, respectively.

But Levy’s career spans many industry sectors.  In the energy field, he was Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Energy Policy Office and Director of the Arkansas Department of Energy.  His portfolio in Massachusetts included policy analysis and advice to the Governor and the Cabinet.  In Little Rock, he was responsible for coordination of energy programs, planning, policy and advocacy for the State of Arkansas.  He offered testimony before Congress, the state Legislature, and federal and state regulatory bodies.  At other times, Levy was a member of the Board of Directors of Providence Energy Corporation (1995-2000), a publicly traded natural gas local distribution company serving the Providence, RI region. He was a founding member of the Board of Directors, MHI, Inc. (PowerOptions®) (1999-2002), a non-profit subsidiary of MA Health and Educational Facilities Board that established a group purchasing energy program for schools, hospitals, and other non-profits in Massachusetts.  Since 2006, he has served on the Board of Directors of ISO-New England, the company overseeing the wholesale electricity power system and market for the six-state region.

In telecommunications, Levy served as senior consultant at Economics and Technology, Inc., providing expert testimony before state regulatory agencies and the Federal Communications Commission.  His clients included large commercial and industrial users, hospitals and educational institutions, governmental agencies, and state regulatory commissions.  Later, in 1996, he was designated as the arbitrator for the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy, under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, for interconnection disputes between Verizon and AT&T, MCI WorldCom, and other entrants into the local exchange market.

Overlapping the energy and telecommunications other fields, Levy was Chairman of the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in 1978 and again from 1983-1987. There, he regulated the electricity, telecommunications, natural gas, and water utilities in Massachusetts, as well as commercial motor vehicles, railroads, and buses.

From 1987 to 1992, Levy was Executive Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the independent public authority providing water and sewer service to 2.5 million people in the Boston metropolitan area and other parts of Massachusetts.  He reported to an eleven-member Board of Directors and directed a 1700-person staff, $273 million annual operating budget, and a ten-year multi-billion dollar wastewater and water system construction program.  He had primary responsibility for the "Boston Harbor Cleanup", one of the largest pollution control projects in the world.  In operating the water transmission system for 46 communities, he carried out an aggressive demand management program that decreased water consumption by 15 percent over a three-year period and a $40 million per year capital improvement program of water transmission and distribution facilities.  In operating the wastewater collection and treatment system for 43 communities, he directed improvements in capital facilities, enforcement of toxic discharge regulations, development of a sewerage sludge processing and marketing program, and infiltration and inflow reductions.  His budgetary and financial responsibilities included the direction of one of the largest revenue bond programs in the United States in the 1990’s.

On the negotiation front, Levy has twenty years of experience in conducting training programs for a variety of audiences--regulators, industry, and advocacy groups--in the United States and around the world (including Malaysia, Israel, the UK, Mexico, and France.) He is a regular lecturer in business strategy, process improvement, management, negotiation, and leadership at Harvard (Business School, School of Public Health, JFK School, and College), MIT Sloan School, Boston University, Boston College, Northeastern University, and Brandeis University.

Levy has been involved worldwide in consulting and speeches to public agencies, private corporations, and non-profit institutions in infrastructure development, finance, regulation, process improvement, environmental management, and executive leadership.

Levy is author of numerous articles and books including: “The Nut Island Effect:  When Good Teams Go Wrong,” Harvard Business Review, March 2001.  He co-authored Negotiating Environmental Agreements with Larry Susskind and Jennifer Thomas-Larner.  Island Press. (1999.) In 2012, he published Goal Play! Leadership Lessons from the Soccer Field.  His latest book (2014) is How to Negotiate Your First Job, with Farzana Mohamed.