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Dov Seidman

Dov Seidman (born May 13, 1964) is an American author, attorney, columnist and businessman.[1] He is the author of How[2][3] and is the founder, chairman and CEO of LRN,[4] an ethics and compliance management firm.[5][6]

Dov Seidman
DS Headshot 2014.jpg
Dov Seidman at LRN Knowledge Forum 2014
Born (1964-05-13) May 13, 1964 (age 54)
San Francisco, California, US
Residence New York City, New York, US
Alma mater Harvard Law School
Occupation Author
Board member of 92nd Street Y


Early lifeEdit

Seidman was born in San Francisco, California. His father, Alex, was a Polish-born physician who died in 1992. At the age of 3, Seidman moved to Israel with his mother and two siblings.[7] He returned to the United States in 1977, when he was 13. Seidman is dyslexic.[8] Seidman’s dyslexia is the subject of a case study in the book The Dyslexic Advantage.[9]


According to Seidman, his "chances of being accepted to a good university were very low," owing to his receiving a score of 970 on his SAT's.[10] He was accepted to the University of California, Santa Barbara while his best friend had been invited to attend UCLA. Determined to attend what he considered a first rate school, Seidman wrote a letter to UCLA pleading with them to be accepted, and they agreed, on condition that he take an English language course.[7]

Seidman attended UCLA simultaneously for both bachelor's and master's degrees in philosophy, graduating summa cum laude in 1987.[11] He then received another bachelor's degree with honors from Oxford University in philosophy, politics and economics, where he was a Newton-Tatum scholar and served as captain of the Balliol College crew team.[11] Following Oxford, he attended Harvard Law School, where he served as teaching fellow for professors Alan Dershowitz and Morton Horwitz[11] and Michael Sandel, graduating in 1992.[12]


After law school, Seidman joined the law firm O'Melveny & Myers and left in December 1992 to launch LRN.[13]

Seidman testified before the U.S. Sentencing Commission about the need for companies to develop ethical cultures instead of ‘check-the-box’, compliance-only approaches, and his testimony helped shaped the amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines[14]

Seidman was hired by the NFL commissioner in 2014 to advocate to its owners and head coaches the need for the NFL to create a culture where tolerance and respect were normal expectations.[15]

Seidman spoke about issues concerning global leadership at a Fortune Magazine conference for 100 CEOs held in Vatican City.[16]


US Book Cover

Seidman wrote a book entitled: How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything... in Business (and in Life), published in September 2007. In 2011, How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything, an expanded edition, was published. The expanded edition contains a foreword written by former United States President Bill Clinton. [17] Divided into four parts, it covers the topics such as how trust and reputation are critical to prospering in business and how modifying ones actions and decisions can make the road to success easier to navigate.[18][19][17] The second edition of his book became a New York Times Best Seller.[20]


Seidman is a columnist for DealBook in the New York Times; the digital Wall Street Journal,[21] Forbes,[22] and The Huffington Post.[23]

Legal battleEdit

In 2014, Seidman sued yogurt maker Chobani and its advertising agency, Droga5, for allegedly violating his trademarks of the word "how" in relation to values and behavior in the corporate sphere[24] after Chobani ran a 2014 advertising campaign around the theme "How Matters."[25] Both Chobani and Droga5 rebuffed the suit by claiming they had never even heard of Seidman and that the terms in question are too broad to reasonably consider as trademarked.[1]

As of April 2015, Chobani dropped the ad campaign. Chobani spokesman Peter McGuinness claimed the decision to introduce a new campaign had "nothing to do with the pending litigation."[26]

In March 2016, Seidman and LRN filed a lawsuit for breach of fiduciary duty against William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, his agent for the book, How.[27] In 2017, Seidman and LRN settled the claims they brought against William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, Droga5,and Chobani.[citation needed] Chobani withdrew its application for a trademark for "How Matters."[28]

Awards and honorsEdit

Seidman gave the commencement address at UCLA College of Letters and Science in 2002.[29] He was given the Jurisprudence Award by the Anti-Defamation League in 2003.[30] In 2008, the Economic Times named Seidman one of the Top 60 Global Thinkers of the Last Decade.[31] Since 2008, Seidman and LRN have been the corporate partner of The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity’s Prize in Ethics Essay Contest, an annual competition for students to analyze ethical issues.[14] In 2009, Seidman was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Human Letters by the Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion[32] Seidman was a keynote address speaker at the United Nations Global Compact in 2015.[33]

Personal lifeEdit

Seidman resides in New York City, New York with his wife and two children.


  1. ^ a b Mahler, Jonathan (October 5, 2014). "If the Word 'How' Is Trademarked, Does This Headline Need a ™?". New York, N.Y., United States: New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. A1. Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  2. ^ Seidman, Dov (2011). "How: why how we do anything means everything". Wiley ; John Wiley [distributor. 
  3. ^ Mahler, Jonathan (October 5, 2014). "If the Word 'How' Is Trademarked, Does This Headline Need a ™?". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ Seidman, Dov (September 21, 2011). How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything. Wiley. ISBN 1118106377. 
  5. ^ Clancy, Heather (October 26, 2013). "Disruptor - Dov Seidman, founder and CEO, LRN". ZDNet. Archived from the original on September 17, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  6. ^ Friedman, Thomas (June 24, 2012). "The Rise of Popularism" (Sunday Review). New York, N.Y., United States: New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. SR13. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Dov Seidman's secret: You don't have to be a sucker to succeed, July 1, 2012
  8. ^ Heisel, William (July 5, 2009). "His keen sense of ethics has paid off handsomely". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  9. ^ Eide M.D.,M.A., Brock L.; Eide M.D., Fernette F. (July 31, 2012). The Dyslexic Advantage: Unlocking the Hidden Potential of the Dyslexic Brain. Plume; Reprint edition. ISBN 0452297923. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  10. ^ Ramati, Michal; Peretz, Sami; Rolnik, Guy (July 1, 2012). "Dov Seidman's Secret: You Don't Have to Be a Sucker to Succeed". Haaretz. My chances of being accepted to a good university were very low. My SAT test results were pathetic: 970 points out of 1,600. 
  11. ^ a b c "Bloomberg Business - Executive Profile: Dov L. Seidman". Bloomberg News. Bloomberg L.P. 
  12. ^ Dov Seidman - Contributor
  13. ^ "A Principal with Principle". Harvard Law Bulletin. 1 April 2004. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  14. ^ a b Clancy, Heather. "Disruptor - Dov Seidman, Founder and CEO, LRN". ZD Net. Retrieved August 2, 2015. 
  15. ^ Pompei, Dan (24 March 2014). "Can This Man Help Save the NFL's Soul?". Sports on Earth. Retrieved 8 July 2016. 
  16. ^ Murray, Alan; Huddleston, Tom (21 August 2017). "The Moral Imperative of Leadership". Forune. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  17. ^ a b Seidman, Dov (2011). How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything. Wiley. 
  18. ^ Kleiner, Art (29 May 2012). "The Thought Leader Interview: Dov Seidman". Strategy + Business. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  19. ^ Bollinger, Michael (June 2011). "The Means to Differentiation" (PDF). Strategic Finance. 92 (12): 21. Retrieved 26 May 2018. 
  20. ^ "NYT Best Seller list - How: Why HOW We Do Anything Means Everything". The New York Times. November 6, 2011. Archived from the original on May 18, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  21. ^ "The Experts". The Wall Street Journal. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Contributor". Forbes - Dov Seidman. Forbes. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  23. ^ "Contributor - Dov Seidman". The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  24. ^ Tracy, Abigail. "The Tweet That Got Chobani Sued for Millions". Inc. Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 
  25. ^ "Chobani Gets Sued in a Case That Hinges on a Tweet". AdWeek. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 28 May 2018. 
  26. ^ Emberapril, Sydney (April 30, 2015). "Chobani Puts Its Ad Money on Becoming a Lifestyle Brand". New York, N.Y., United States: New York Times. The New York Times Company. p. B3. Retrieved February 7, 2017. 
  27. ^ Cullins, Ashley (16 March 2016). "Author Sues WME Over Chobani Super Bowl Commercial". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 27 May 2018. 
  28. ^ "Law grad settles claims that Chobani co-opted his 'how' philosophy in a marketing campaign". ABA Journal. Debra Cassens Weiss. Retrieved December 21, 2017. 
  29. ^ "The president of the Directors Guild of America, the speaker of the California Assembly, the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and a Nobel Laureate were among the invited speakers at this year's commencement, with ceremonies concluding this past weekend". UCLA Spotlight. The University of California, Los Angeles. 
  30. ^ Madnick, Wendy J. "An Ethical Vision". The Jewish Journal. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  31. ^ Bureau, ET. "Top 60 Global Thinkers of the Last Decade". The Economic Times. The Economic Times. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  32. ^ "Dov L. Seidman to receive Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, at Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion Graduation Ceremonies". Hebrew Union College -- Jewish Institute of Religion. Hebrew Union College. Retrieved August 3, 2015. 
  33. ^ "'Business can be a global force for good,' Bans says as General Assembly honours UN Global Compact". United Nations News Centre. United Nations. Retrieved August 3, 2015.