Scott Tillema

Partner (Negotiations Collective)
Illinois, United States

Scott is an internationally recognized crisis negotiator, advisor, trainer, and keynote speaker. He is known and respected for his experience negotiating in highly charged situations, with high stakes, and when the situation requires sensitivity to the human element. Clients, audiences, and students alike, find Scott’s teachings, insightful, inspiring, and pragmatic.

Scott has over 20 years of law enforcement experience in the United States and retired from a Chicago area police department in 2023 at the rank of Lieutenant. In 2007, he was trained by the FBI in hostage and crisis negotiation and has been involved in the field since that time. Scott worked as a negotiator with one of the largest regional SWAT teams in the U.S. for many years before moving into the role of a negotiations speaker and trainer.

He has studied negotiation at the Harvard University Program on Negotiation, at IMD Business School, and he continues to receive training from the world’s top hostage negotiators.

Scott is a prolific trainer within the negotiation field and travels the country and around the world speaking to audiences in both law enforcement and the private sector. He has taught negotiations at Harvard University, for the FBI, and has keynoted for companies such as Microsoft. In 2016, he was invited to give a TEDx talk titled “The Secrets of Hostage Negotiators”, which has received over 1 million views. His visibility as a speaker and educator through TEDx and other venues has reached global status.

Scott currently resides in the Chicago area and is a co-founder and Partner with the Negotiations Collective.