Tessa WestTessa West

Associate Professor at New York University (NYU)

Tessa West is an Associate Professor of Psychology at New York University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Connecticut in 2008, immediately after which she became a faculty member at NYU. Tessa is a leading expert on interpersonal interaction and communication. Through a combination of physiological and behavioral methods, Tessa examines how people influence each other when they interact, and what gets in the way of them accurately perceiving each other and seeing eye-to-eye. She asks questions such as: Why are some group members able to influence group decisions more strongly than others? And how does status influence how people communicate? And why do some newcomers have an easier time adjusting to new workplace environments than others?

Tessa has published over 70 articles in the field of psychology’s most prestigious journals, including, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Psychological Science, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. She has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. Tessa has also received several career awards, including the early career award from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology, and the Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology among others.

Tessa’s work has been covered by numerous media outlets, including Scientific American, the New York Times, ABC World News, TIME, the Huffington Post, The Guardian, and The Globe and Mail. Her work has also been cited in the US Supreme Court. She has been interviewed on WNYC and appeared on the Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Tessa has written about her research for the public in the Wall Street Journal, and her work on improving feedback in workplace interactions has been covered by Strategy and Business.

Tessa has given over 65 talks worldwide in academic and organizational settings (including Capital Group, Splunk, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Bristol-Myer Squibb, CoreLogic, Capital One, KPMG, Premise Health, HPE, Gilead, Pfizer, Relativity, and Survey Monkey) on topics related to improving diversity inclusion practices, fostering better leadership, and improving communication more generally. She is the author of the upcoming book “Jerks at Work” on coping with toxic colleagues, coming out January 2022.

Takes part in

May, 21 10:00 PM CEST
Big Ideas Stage
Panel Discussion

Current State of Diversity & Inclusion: Panel on Polarization

How should we lead on inclusion in the new environment? Looking at the research over the past 12 months, the panel will discuss:

  • Is polarization getting worse or better?
  • Is there too much of a focus on race?
  • ‘Heat’ vs ‘light’ approaches to driving social and behavioral change
  • How we can talk about race and other high stakes issues in ways that help
  • Is there a difference between what our organization needs vs. what it is ready for?
Wei-Li Chong U.S. President of MindGym
Dr. Janet Ahn Chief Behavioural Science Officer at MindGym 
Tessa West Associate Professor at New York University (NYU)
Khalil Smith Vice President of Inclusion, Diversity, and Engagement at Akamai