CPL’s co-curricular leadership development programming at Harvard supports students, many of whom arrive on campus with previous leadership experience, to practice and apply leadership within the Harvard Kennedy School context. Our impact is measured by the excellence exhibited by our graduates as they lead in challenging, complex, and ever-changing globalized contexts.

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Faculty-led Leadership Development Workshops

LD faculty workshops offer students the chance to engage with professors whose research, contributions, and leadership have shaped discourse in the public service arena. These workshops are open only to non-CPL fellows and student participants are chosen from a competitive application pool. Among the distinguished faculty who have taught our workshops are Max Bazerman (Behavioral Insights); Patricia Bellinger (Leading in a Diverse World); Dana Born (Authentic Leadership); Steve Jarding (Running for Public Office); and Brian Mandell (Art of Negotiation). Each workshop consists of two consecutive sessions, with preference given to HKS students who are not enrolled in the professor’s class.

Spring 2019 Workshop Schedule

February 11 & 12: Authentic Leadership: Who & Why Are You?

Dana Born Co-Director, Center for Public Leadership Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

April 1 & 2: Effective Public Communication

Steve Jarding, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

April 15 & 16: Civil Disagreement

Brian Mandell, Senior Lecturer in Negotiation and Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School and Chris Robichaud, Senior Lecturer

Dubin Leadership Field Experience

The Dubin Leadership Field Experience (DLFE) allow student leaders, under the guidance of a faculty adviser and the LD team, to plan a domestic student service trip to one of the 48 contiguous states. Typically held in the spring semester, the DLFE affords students the ability to immerse themselves in regional policy issues they are passionate about, expand their networks, and engage in experiential leadership development in service of the host city or region. Three pre-trip study group sessions are organized by the team to prepare them for their leadership field experience trips.

The DLFE in 2019 will be going to Chicago and Alabama & Mississippi. In Chicago, the group will explore economic opportunity zones. The second group will explore LGBTQ rights and experiences in Alabama and Mississippi.

The Dubin Leadership Field Experiences are generously supported by Glenn Dubin and the HKS Degree Programs/Student Affairs Office

Leadership Development Cohort

The LD cohort is a group of 15-20 students from across HKS degree programs, all of whom are non-CPL fellows. The cohort is designed to provide its members with the following leadership growth opportunities: 1) peer-learning, reflection, and experiential leadership through cohort-led meetings with the LD team 2) deeper learning of critical leadership competencies through participation in faculty-led workshops 3) a sense of community with the wider CPL network, and 4) individualized coaching sessions with CPL Senior Fellows, Hauser Leaders-in-Residence, and staff.

Application information will be sent to the HKS student body at the start of each semester.


Roohi Abdullah MC/MPA 2019
Roohi AbdullahRoohi is a Mason Fellow, a recipient of Women’s Empowerment Fellowship, and is part of the first cohort of Climate Leader Program (CPL). She was born in Karachi and consults for the World Bank in the urban, water, and energy sectors across several developing countries. Roohi trained as a planner from MIT. She has published extensively, has assumed a leadership role in undertaking sector work and has designed investment-lending projects. She is keen to undertake to a fresh and ambitious new learning experience at HKS in conjunction with CPL.


Andre Almeida Santos MC/MPA 2019
Andre SantosAndre served with the African Development Bank over the last decade working on sustainable development and poverty reduction across Africa. In addition to this, he launched its own social enterprise for women empowerment. Andre joins the LD cohort to enhance his leadership skills to work with institutional investors, governments and communities on Just Transitions for populations left behind by economic and technological disruptions.


Maria Barsallo Lynch MC/MPA 2019
Maria Barsallo LynchMaria’s work has been rooted in tackling challenging social issues by leading funding and fundraising strategy in the nonprofit and political arenas.  Inspired by her experiences as a Panamanian immigrant to the U.S., she has founded a social enterprise seeking to connect rural artisans with markets in person and online. Maria seeks to lead initiatives in social and technology innovation.


Nikhil Bhagwat MPP 2021
Nikhil BhagwatNikhil is also pursuing his MBA at MIT Sloan MBA. He is interested in social entrepreneurship and impact investing.  Nikhil was previously a Growth Associate at Chicago Beyond and a McKinsey & Company consultant in Chicago and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Nikhil hopes the LD cohort will help him inspire others to innovate and create impactful social ventures.


Timothy Bishop MPP 2021
Timothy BishopTimothy concurrently enrolled at MIT Sloan School of Management in their MBA program. He recently finished a seven-year career in the US Army, including multiple tours to Afghanistan. Through his time at the CPL, Tim hopes to hone his leadership skills and gain new insights into management. He hopes to galvanize people to help address veterans’ issues.


Shahar Brukner MPP 2020
Shahar BruknerShahar worked in the criminal-desk of the Israeli Attorney-General's office, where he focused on three cases revolving around the Israeli Prime Minister. While at HKS, Shahar is concentrating on the blend between politics, technology, and media, and its effects on democracy and social cohesion. Shahar hopes the Leadership Development Cohort will sharpen his narrative and views in these areas.


Abdul-Hakeem Buhari MPA 2019
Abdul Hakeem BuhariAbdul-Hakeem is a dual-degree MPA/MBA candidate between HKS and the Wharton School. Prior to graduate school, Buhari worked as a consultant with McKinsey and Company in Lagos, serving predominantly public sector clients across Africa and the Middle East. He is passionate about human capital development and aspires to provide quality education to low-income children in Nigeria over the coming decades.


Fernando Castro MPA/ID 2020
Fernando CastroOriginally from Honduras, Fernando worked at Carao Ventures, the first venture capital firm in Central America. After HKS, Fernando hopes to promote economic development by supporting entrepreneurship and access to finance emerging markets. He joins the cohort to develop his leadership, communication and mentoring skills, which will contribute to his professional goal.


Gurveen Chadha MPP 2020
Gurveen ChadhaHailing from Montreal, Canada, Gurveen spent four years working in Canadian politics. She worked for Justin Trudeau, and most recently served as the Director of Policy to the Canadian Minister of Transport. Gurveen believes this program will make her a more nuanced and self-aware leader.


Salima Etoka MPP 2020
Salima EtokaSalima is concentrating in International and Global Affairs (IGA). Before HKS, she worked in New York City municipal government and nonprofit organizations on a broad range of issue ranging from access to social services to protecting affordable homeownership.  As a member of the LD cohort, Salima hopes to reflect on her leadership and work on her personal leadership objectives.


Consuelo Fernandez MPP 2019
Consuelo FernandezConsuelo is specializing in Social Policy, Poverty and Inequality in her studies at HKS. She served as a legislative advisor for the Chilean Ministry of Finance, drafting and discussing reforms on social security, taxation, government probity and gender, among others. She is eager to join this collective learning experience, to strengthen her leadership in favor of a public service career.


Sai Htet Aung MC/MPA 2019
Sai Htet AungSai is concentrating his studies at HKS on management and leadership decision sciences. Prior to coming to HKS, Sai served as a Public Health Programme Officer at UNOPS Myanmar. By participating in this cohort, he would like to get skill-sets to better diagnose issues and mobilize resources to get things done, an essential capability of a true public leader.


Aisha Iqbal MPP 2020
Aisha IqbalAisha’s studies at HKS will focus on Political and Economic Development. Previously, she worked as a consultant for USAID’s Global Health Supply Chain Program in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. She hopes to enhance her leadership and communication skills to mobilize others around community and political organizing globally.


Katherine Kennedy Townsend MC/MPA 2019
Katherine Kennedy TownsendKatherine currently works as an open government advocate and activist toward feedback-driven services. Prior to HKS, she co-founded a design-build consulting startup that works with governments around the world to increase partnerships and participation in open data initiatives. Katherine is passionate about civic engagement and improving transparency in institutions to improve both operations and outcomes.


Claudia Nastase MC/MPA 2019
Claudia NastaseClaudia is a Mason fellow who until recently was leading the finance team of the International Labour Organization in Africa. She grew up in France as a refugee after escaping Romania. She is an Emerging Leader of the United Nations system and has implemented worldwide flagship reforms by transforming challenging restructuration into global success stories.


Phil Pollman MPP 2020
Phil PollmanPhil is interested in public-sector innovation, tech policy, and increasing social mobility. Before coming to HKS, Phil spent five years in Washington, D.C.; first in USAID’s Office of Public Private Partnerships and then as a management consultant focused on improving citizen services. Phil hopes to receive the critical, targeted feedback to grow as a leader from the close CPL network.


Maria Soledad Rueda, MC/MPA 2019
Maria Soledad RuedaMaria Soledad is a highly qualified and dedicated humanitarian professional with over twelve years of management and technical experience working in some of the most challenging parts of the world. Before joining HKS, she led operations for the ICRC as Deputy Head of Sub-Delegation in Gaza. Being member of the Leadership Cohort is a great opportunity to learn and gain insights from peers and faculty in the realm of leadership.


Ashley Tan MC/MPA 2019
Ashley TanAshley works as a geopolitical advisor to governments and Fortune 500 companies on policy, innovation, and strategic international relations. Straddling both private/public sector, he was appointed to global leadership role at a large multinational corporation as Director in charge of public-private-partnerships. He is a Lee Kuan Yew scholar focused on bridging the developing/developed world towards conflict resolution and humanitarian/sustainability partnership models through mediation and stakeholder management. He is keen to exercise these skills with LD cohort.


Lizzie Thoreson-Green MPP 2020
Lizzie Thorsen GreenLizzie is concentrating her studies at HKS in global affairs. Lizzie served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, where she collaborated with local teachers and community groups on educational and youth development projects. By joining the LD cohort, she hopes to learn how to employ participatory leadership to promote human rights and expand educational opportunities.


Jane Tjahjono MPP 2020
Jane TjahjongoJane is focusing her time at HKS on Political and Economic Development. Prior to HKS, she worked as a Research Assistant at the World Bank Indonesia analysing the impacts of President Jokowi’s Village Law and Fund Transfers program. Through CPL, she hopes to gain practical leadership skills to lead people from different backgrounds especially at the government level.


Toby Voght, a MC/MPA 2019
Toby VoghtToby is a ten-year veteran of the United States Navy, where he led crews and teams in some of the most dangerous regions of the world as a helicopter pilot.  His studies at HKS have centered on digital regulation.  He hopes to grow his skills as a leader in the movement for digital rights through his involvement with the Leadership Development cohort.


Leadership Development Practitioner Workshops

LD practitioner workshops provide students with the unique opportunity to engage with high-profile practitioners leading across sectors in both domestic and international settings. Workshops offer an interactive environment in which students develop practical skills to help them navigate the communities they will serve post-HKS.

Past practitioner participants include Deborah Borda, former Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and recently-appointed Chief Executive Officer of the New York Philharmonic; Rand Wentworth, President Emeritus of the Land Trust Alliance; and Sophia MacLaren, Director of the Mindfulness in Business Program from the Said Business School at the University of Oxford. Topics covered included philanthropy and fundraising, board management, mindfulness in leadership, and non-profit leadership.