Photo of blue sky and Belfer Building at Harvard Kennedy School

Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative Open House – September 21, 2020, 5:30pm

Please join the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative’s annual Open House on Monday, September 21 at 5:30pm to hear about exciting student engagement opportunities. Learn about student fellowships and field lab courses where you can gain hands-on experience with city governments as well as research assistant roles where students carry out important work with Initiative projects, city leaders, or investigative researchers.

This event is open to only Harvard students (registration required). Register here.

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.

Harvard Kennedy School – Beyond the Classroom

You should expect to get your hands dirty if you take a management, leadership, and decisions science (MLD) course at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Learning-by-doing is a key pedagogical component of the majority of MLD area courses at HKS. Running a range from personal case analyses, “live” case and negotiation simulations, simulated-client projects, to fieldwork for real clients and organizations, MLD students learn by experiencing for themselves real world lessons in management, leadership, teamwork, and decision making.

On the scaffold of classroom curriculum, and with the guidance of faculty and support from their peer teams, students work to address challenges in complex areas like negotiation, government innovation, operations management, social organizing, philanthropy, and municipal budgeting. The learning students achieve by engaging the curriculum and working in real and challenging contexts is often transformative for them, but the simultaneous positive impact students make has become a major part of the mission of the Kennedy School. Read More