Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Arabic: نسيم نيقولا نجيب طالب‎, alternatively Nessim or Nissim, born 1960) is a Lebanese American essayist, scholar and statistician, whose work focuses on problems of randomness, probability and uncertainty.[3] His 2007 book The Black Swan was described in a review by the Sunday Times as one of the twelve most influential books since World War II.[4]

He is a bestselling author,[5][6][7] and has been a professor at several universities, currently at Polytechnic Institute of New York University and Oxford University.[8][9] He has also been a practitioner of mathematical finance,[10] a hedge fund manager,[11][12][13] a derivatives trader,[14][15][16] and is currently a scientific adviser at Universa Investments and the International Monetary Fund.[17][18]

He criticized the risk management methods used by the finance industry and warned about financial crises, subsequently making a fortune out of the late-2000s financial crisis.[19][20] He advocates what he calls a "black swan robust" society, meaning a society that can withstand difficult-to-predict events.[11] He proposes "antifragility" in systems, that is, an ability to benefit and grow from random events, errors, and volatility[21][22] as well as "convex tinkering" as a method of scientific discovery, by which he means option-like experimentation outperforms directed research.[23]