Dr. Ashley Whillans


Meet Dr. Ashley Whillans

Dr. Ashley Whillans holds a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of British Columbia. She is currently a tenure-track faculty member in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at the Harvard Business School, teaching the Negotiation and Motivation and Incentives courses to MBA students and Executives. In both 2015 and 2018, she was named a “Rising Star of Behavioral Science” by the International Behavioral Exchange and the Behavioral Science and Policy Association. In 2016, she co-founded the Department of Behavioral Science in the Policy, Innovation, and Engagement Division of the British Columbia Public Service Agency. Her research has been published in top academic journals and popular media press outlets including Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.


Her first book "Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time & Live a Happier Life" was published in October 2020 by Harvard Business Publishing and among other accolades was named the top 10 business books of 2020 by the Globe and Mail. Prior to joining HBS, she was a visiting scholar and guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Her dissertation research on time and happiness won the 2018 CAGS Distinguished Dissertation Award for being the single best PhD thesis in Canada across the fine arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Personal Information

Ashley loves to travel and has visited 10+ countries and 22 states in the last 5 years. She also lived in Chicago, IL for 1 year in graduate school and has lived in Boston, MA since 2017.


Ashley is a behavioral science nerd and started a "nudge" unit in the British Columbia Provincial Government during graduate school. She also interned for the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team in the US Federal Government during the Obama Administration.


Ashley loves to put science into practice to solve real-world challenges. She is currently on the Lancet commission for COVID and Mental Health and the UN World Happiness Thematic Council. She is also on the Board of Advisors for Battery Associates and One Prosper organizations that exist in order to provide wholistic science-based solutions for climate change and female empowerment, respectively.





years out of province