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Diermeier's teaching and research focus on formal political theory, political institutions, the interaction of business and politics, text analytics, public perception, as well as crisis and reputation management. He has published two books and over 80 research articles in academic journals, mostly in the fields of political science, economics, and management, but also in other areas ranging from linguistics, sociology, and psychology to computer science and applied mathematics. Diermeier is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research. His research has been featured globally in media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Business Week, the Financial Times, Fortune and The New York Times.

He co-founded the Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO) and served as the founding academic director of the CEO Perspectives Program, one the world’s leading development programs for C-level executives. He also was Chairman and Co-Founder of the Northwestern Global Health Foundation, dedicated to developing low-cost medical devices and winner of the 2012 Chicago “Up-and-Comer” Innovation Award. He is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago.