Congratulations to Jennifer Lerner and Hannah Riley Bowles

The Deans of the Harvard Kennedy School recently announced two honorary title designations for MLD Area faculty members. Warm congratulations to our two colleagues!

Jennifer S. Lerner will become the Thornton F. Bradshaw Professor in Public Management at Harvard Kennedy School.

The chair is named in honor of Thornton F. Bradshaw, president of the Atlantic-Richfield Company, chairman of RCA, the MacArthur Foundation and the Aspen Institute. A graduate of Harvard University, Bradshaw served the university in various capacities, including as a member of the Board of Overseers and member of the visiting committee for Harvard Kennedy School. Jenn Lerner is a social psychologist known for her research on emotion, judgment and decision making. She is the co-founder of the Harvard Decision Science Laboratory, chairs the Leadership Decision Making executive education program at Harvard Kennedy School and serves as the first chief decision scientist of the United States Navy. She helped develop a framework to predict the effects of emotions on judgment and choice, such as the perceptions of risk, economic decisions, and attributions of responsibility. She is the author of numerous academic articles and her work has also been featured in major news outlets. Jenn teaches courses on decision making, leadership and social psychology at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Hannah Riley Bowles will become the Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School.

This chair is named in honor of Roy E. Larsen, the long-time publisher of Time, Inc. A graduate of Harvard University, Larsen served his alma mater as a member of the Board of Overseers, and as a benefactor of Harvard Kennedy School and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, among other leadership roles at the university. Hannah Riley Bowles, an organizational behavior scholar, is known for research on women’s leadership and the role of gender in negotiation. She serves as area chair of Management, Leadership and Decision Sciences, co-directs the Women and Public Policy Program and chairs the Women and Power executive education program at Harvard Kennedy School. Her work focuses on negotiation as a micro-mechanism of inequality and women’s leadership advancement, examining both situational barriers and individual strategies. She is the author of numerous academic articles and her work has also been featured in major news outlets. Hannah teaches courses on management, leadership, negotiation and gender at HKS.

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative Launches Mayoral Program

The Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative has launched the pilot of its year-long Mayors Program on City Leadership.  Program Faculty Director Jorrit de Jong of the HKS MLD Area says, “We have a great cohort of 40 mayors who are excited about the opportunities we are offering them and have high expectations. This year will be a pilot year and we put systems in place to enable rapid learning, in depth evaluation as well as ongoing impact assessment.”  In the course of this year-long program, mayors will be asked to identify a single priority to apply their learning to: a problem to be solved in the city, an opportunity to realize, or an organizational capability to improve.

Harvard's Jorrit de DeJong addresses city mayors
“Local government is close to the people. Mayors are most immediately held accountable when something goes wrong,” said Harvard Kennedy School Lecturer Jorrit de Jong, the initiative’s faculty director. © Bloomberg Philanthropies

For example, a mayor may choose to make her approach to reduce homelessness more data-driven, run experiments in the city’s effort to reduce obesity, or create a multi-sector approach to creating jobs. The priority may also pertain to organizational development: strengthen teaming efforts across city hall, engage front-line staff in innovation, or introduce a new performance leadership strategy. In the closing session later this year mayors will reflect on what they learned and how they would like to apply that going forward.  A subsequent program for the mayors’ senior staff will build on this innovation priority and will zoom in on the challenges of making change and delivering on the mayor’s agenda. BHCLI will follow up with several supports, including HBX Live sessions on topics that are most relevant and helpful to the greatest number of mayors, and bespoke assistance in the form of research, coaching or regional or thematic workshops.

After the Mayors Program, mayors will meet with the senior staff participating in the Senior Staff program and discuss their innovation priority. As the Senior Staff program focuses on making organizational change and strategy within and across organizational boundaries, program faculty will learn where the cities are coming from and what they are working on. Participating mayors and their staffs will benefit from this model by anchoring their learning in – and applying it to – concrete challenges in their work. Finally, the priority serves as a reference point for faculty follow ups and impact assessment. Our hope and expectation is that cities will be working on an innovation priority of their choice during their year-long engagement with the City Leadership Program.

For further details on the program launch, also read the Harvard Gazette article linked here.

Congratulations to the HKS Class of 2017!

We congratulate all of the Harvard Kennedy School masters and Ph.D. students who will be receiving their degrees today. We also specially recognize all of the students who have earned the Certificate in Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences. While at HKS, these 223 students have shown a sustained commitment to enhancing their leadership potential,  and now they are poised to excel in their future public service endeavors.
The MLD Area faculty and staff wish our graduates all the best for the summer ahead and into the future.

For a closer look at the Harvard Kennedy School Class of 2017, read the HKS press release. HKS Commencement details, including the schedule of events and live stream links, can be found on the HKS website. Information on Harvard University’s 366th Commencement events and activities can be found on the university’s website.

Williams’s New Book Offers Guidance for Boundary Spanning Leaders

Photo of Dean WilliamsLeaders today—whether in corporations or associations, nonprofits or nations—face massive, messy, multidimensional problems. No one person or group can possibly solve them—they require the broadest possible cooperation. However, in his recent book Leadership for a Fractured World (2015, Berrett-Koehler Publishers), HKS MLD Area scholar Dean Williams argues that our leadership models are still essentially tribal: individuals with formal authority leading in the interest of their own group. Williams goes on to outline an approach that enables leaders to transcend internal and external boundaries and help people to collaborate, even people over whom they technically have no power.

Drawing on what he’s learned from years of working in countries and organizations around the world, Williams shows leaders how to approach the delicate and creative work of boundary spanning, whether those boundaries are cultural, organizational, political, geographic, religious, or structural. Sometimes leaders themselves have to be the ones who cross the boundaries between groups. Other times, a leader’s job is to build relational bridges between divided groups or even to completely break down the boundaries that block collaborative problem solving. By thinking about power and authority in a different way, leaders will become genuine change agents, able to heal wounds, resolve conflicts, and bring a fractured world together.

The book features a forward by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Book Cover of Leadership for a Fractured World by Dean Williams