Laurie Mulvey

Laurie Mulvey
Associate Clinical Professor of Sociology
Director, World In Conversation

Curriculum Vitae


Rutgers School of Social Work, MSW, 1989
Penn State Department of Human Development and Family Studies, Ph.D. 1994

Professional Bio

Dr. Laurie Mulvey is the Director and Co-Founder of the World in Conversation Center for Public Diplomacy at Penn State University. Under her leadership, World in Conversation built the largest dialogue center in the United States, hosting more than 17,000 participants per academic year. The Center has worked with the UNDP, UNESCO, and NATO, along with organizations and universities in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Palestinian Territories, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, China, Haiti, Saudi Arabia, and twelve nations in the NATO Alliance to host dialogues between people separated by vast distances and borders.

While she has been leading the training of facilitators (as well as the training of trainers) for more than twenty years, Dr. Mulvey has also led the center’s clinical research program using a “Grounded Theory” approach to the study of dialogue interventions. This method allows the center to track a process that is organic, but must be evaluated in a timely, responsive and systematic way.  Dr. Mulvey also spearheaded and led a multi-year, organization-wide research and development process that led to the development of a new intervention method for solving social problems in small groups. Unlike other methods, this one  accounts for differences in “sociological address” (a concept that she developed) in ways other treatments do not. 

Dr. Mulvey along with her colleague (and husband), Dr. Sam Richards, have been called “the parents of radical empathy.” Their work at Penn State was featured in an Emmy award-winning film entitled, “You Can’t Say That.”

Laurie Mulvey
(814) 865-2527
110 Pond Lab University Park , PA 16802
Mailroom: 203 Oswald Tower