Christopher Voss

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Christopher Voss
Occupation Author, business consultant, former FBI hostage negotiator
Language English
Nationality USA
Education Masters of Public Administration
Alma mater Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government
Notable work Never Split The Difference
Official website

Christopher Voss is an American businessman, author, and professor. Voss is a former FBI hostage negotiator, the CEO of The Black Swan Group Ltd, and co-author of the book, Never Split the Difference. He is an adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business and a lecturer at the Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California.


Voss graduated from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government with a Masters of Public Administration.[1][2]


Voss was a member of the New York City Joint Terrorist Task Force from 1986 to 2000.[3] He was involved in monitoring of the TERRSTOP bombers after spending three years investigating the first bombing of the World Trade Center.[3][4] He was the "co-case agent" during the investigation of the 1996 TWA Flight 800 explosion.[3]

In 1992 he received hostage negotiator training at the Federal Bureau of Investigation's school. He spent 24 years working in the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit and was the FBI's chief international hostage and kidnapping negotiator from 2003 to 2007.[5][6][7][8]

In 2006 he was the lead negotiatior on the Jill Caroll case in Iraq as well the Steve Centanni case in the Gaza Strip.[2][6] Voss also supervised additional hostage cases in the Philippines, Columbia and Haiti.[2][6][9]

After working on more than 150 international hostage cases he retired from the FBI in 2007 and founded The Black Swan Group.[3][10][6] He later became an adjunct Professor at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business and a lecturer at the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business.[11][7][8]

In 2016 Voss co-authored the book, Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.[12]

Voss was given the Attorney General's Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement as well as the FBI Agents Association Award for Distinguished and Exemplary Service.[2]


  1. ^ Agule, Rebecca. "An Insider's Guide to Surviving a Kidnapping". The Harvard Law Record. The Harvard Law Record. Retrieved Dec 13, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Riley, Una (Feb 9, 2015). "Una Riley meets Chris Voss". Professional Security Magazine. Retrieved Dec 13, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Graf, Garret (2011). The Threat Matrix: The FBI at War in the Age of Global Terror. Little, Brown. Retrieved Dec 14, 2016. 
  4. ^ Tyre, Peg (Nov 17, 1997). "TWA probe took emotional toll on FBI agents". CNN. Retrieved Dec 14, 2016. 
  5. ^ Staff Writer. "Chris Voss: Negotiating for Hostages, Negotiating for Business". LA World Affairs Council. LA World Affairs Council. Retrieved Dec 14, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d Vardi, Nathan. "Kidnap Inc". Forbes. Retrieved Dec 10, 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Lam, Bouree. "Ask a Hostage Negotiator: What's the Best Way to Get a Raise?". The Atlantic. Retrieved Dec 10, 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Jacobs, Deborah (Nov 19, 2012). "Three Ways To Negotiate About Anything". Forbes. Retrieved Dec 12, 2016. 
  9. ^ Esposito, Richard (Feb 13, 2008). "U.S. Mom: Chavez Only Hope for My Hostage Son". ABC news. Retrieved Dec 14, 2016. 
  10. ^ Wartenberg, Steve (Sep 20, 2009). "Negotiating expert wins fans with his 'no' strategy". Columbia Dispatch. Retrieved Dec 14, 2016. 
  11. ^ Staff writer. "Chris Voss - Faculty Profile". USC. USC. Retrieved Dec 13, 2016. 
  12. ^ Lebowitz, Shana. "A former FBI hostage negotiator says there's one question you should ask when you can't get the salary you want". Business Insider. Retrieved Dec 10, 2016. 

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