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.

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.

Fall 2017 Workshop Schedule

September 25 & 26: Authentic Leadership

Dana Born, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

October 23 & 24: Mobilizing Social Change

Leah Wright Rigueur, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

November 13 & 14: Effective Public Communication

Steve Jarding, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

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.

2017 DLFE trips concentrated on issues relating to education innovation reform in Memphis, Tennessee, inclusive metropolitan growth in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and organizing across differences in red states in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Application information for student organizers will be sent to the HKS student body in late September. Student participants will be chosen through a competitive application process in November.

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.


Aleksandra Milcheva, MPP 2018
aleksandra_milchevaAleksandra is a member of the Business and Government Professional Interest Group at HKS and her primary academic and professional interests are related to policies promoting innovation driven entrepreneurship. Prior to HKS, she was part of the economic team of the Bulgarian president working on the development of the local innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. She is interested in more opportunities for reflective leadership and communing with a diverse group of HKS students in the Leadership Development cohort.

Alicia Harley, PhD (Public Policy) 2017
Alicia HarleyAside from pursuing her current doctoral degree, Alicia is also a Research Fellow in the Sustainability Science Program at HKS.  Alicia studies how institutions shape innovation systems and how innovation systems can be reoriented to meet sustainable development goals. Alicia is fluent in Arabic. She looks forward to expanding her leadership skills with the Leadership Development cohort members so that she is better equipped to translate her research into action.

Amy Gao, MC/MPA 2017
amy_gaoAmy Gao is concentrating on civic engagement and philanthropy at HKS. She is the founder of The May Foundation, an organization that promotes volunteerism among college students across universities in China. By joining the Leadership Development cohort, she wants to improve her personal leadership skills to support her philanthropic efforts. 

Boris Falatar, MC/MPA 2017
boris_falatarBoris joined the United Nations Protection Force as a teenager during the war in his hometown of Sarajevo. He has since served with the UN and the ICRC in various humanitarian, political and diplomatic positions. Most recently, he was Coordinator for Crisis Response at UNESCO. Boris graduated from the American University of Paris and earned his MSc degree from the London School of Economics.

Claire Chaney, MPP 2017
claire_chaneyClaire is concentrating in Social and Urban Policy. Before coming to HKS, she taught sixth grade math in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood as a Teach For America corps member. She is excited to join the cohort in order to develop leadership skills that will help her become most effective in advocating for education equity.

Deborah Oh, MPP Harvard/JD Berkeley 2020
debbie_ohDebbie is concentrating on Democratic Public Institutions at HKS. Prior to HKS, she taught high school math in Hawai’i for three years and completed education policy fellowships at the Hawai’i DOE, Hawai’i Legislature and Hawai’i Teachers Union. Debbie hopes to grow professionally and personally through the Leadership Development cohort so she can serve to her fullest potential as an education leader.

Eva Bernard-Lohmann, MC/MPA 2017
eva_bernard-lohmanEva worked at the World Bank before coming to HKS, concentrating on human development issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, she was an Economic Attaché at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. Eva is eager to be member of the Leadership Development cohort to improve her leadership skills in order to lead change from within in the existing development institutions she will have the chance to serve.

Gustavo Payan-Luna, MC/MPA 2017
gustavo_payanGustavo is an international development specialist from Mexico City with experience in Central America, Eastern Europe, East Africa and the Philippines. An impassioned advocate for youth and community development, he builds programs to foster peace through education and economic opportunity.  Gustavo joined the Leadership Development cohort to enrich his Harvard community and learning experience by being part of such a diverse cohort across degree programs in order to best serve the broader HKS.

Haiyang Zhang, MPAID 2018
haiyang_zhangHaiyang worked in finance for two years before coming to HKS. His interests include economic development, public–private partnerships, and China-U.S. relations. Haiyang is looking forward to learning from faculty and fellow students within the Leadership Development cohort to enrich his student life at HKS and prepare him for leadership post-HKS.

Henning Ringholz, MC/MPA 2017 
henning_ringholzHenning is a passionate social innovator and change-maker with a proven track record of creating social impact through business means with extensive experience in consulting competitiveness, international development and the private sector. Henning is a co-founder of the Shared Value Network Ireland, as well as the International NGO Impact Investment Network. At Harvard, he has created a student initiative on social innovation, and is co-leading a student leadership seminar series on inclusive urban economic development.

Isaac Lara, MPA/JD Columbia Law School 2017
isaac_laraIsaac worked as a city investigator and examined NYPD misconduct ranging from stop-and-frisk to excessive use-of-force before coming to Harvard. At HKS, he is concentrating his policy studies on the role that economic development plays in public safety. Isaac looks forward to enhancing his communication skills and exchanging leadership strategies with Leadership Development cohort participants.

Kimberly Bright, MC/MPA 2017
kim_brightPrior to starting at HKS, Kimberly served as Chief of Staff to the Commissioner and Policy Director at the Rhode Island Department of Education. She had previously served as Director of Field Operations for Marriage Equality Rhode Island.  Kimberly hopes to continue her career in work that will take advantage of her passion for electoral politics, education policy, and equity. Kimberly holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Rhode Island.

Meriem Boudjadja, MC/MPA 2017
meriem_boudjadjaMeriem is a Mason Fellow from Algeria. Prior to HKS, she led a project dealing with the construction of the UN House in Algiers with the United Nations Development Program. In Algeria, she was also a cabinet member, working with the Ministry of Industrial Development & Investment and the Ministry of Trade. The Leadership Development cohort will help her use the exchanges with colleagues and practitioners as a springboard to test new approaches in leadership and public service.

Moctar Aboubacar, MPP 2018
moctar_aboubacarA native of Niger, Moctar is an international development professional who is passionate about applying innovative methods to reducing poverty and inequality in Africa. He is Chair of the HKS International Development Interest Group and Managing Editor of the Africa Policy Journal. By participating in the Leadership Development cohort, Moctar hopes to gain insights on leading diverse teams to spark changes in how countries structure support for their most vulnerable populations.

Nadim Houssain, MPP 2018
nadim_houssainNadim is concentrating on International and Global Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. Prior to enrolling at HKS, he served as a Field Organizer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. He is Associate Editor for the HKS Journal of Middle Eastern Policy and Politics and is on the leadership board of the Palestine Caucus. Nadim is joining the Leadership Development cohort because he hopes to refine his leadership and community organizing skills.

Nathan Leamy, MPP 2017
nathan_leamyNathan has concentrated his policy studies at HKS in Political and Economic Development. Originally from Oregon, he most recently worked as a Program Coordinator at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  By being part of the Leadership Development cohort, he hopes to learn how to articulate solutions and build coalitions for improving efficacy of government services in city and local government.

Peter Drivas, MPP 2018
peter_drivasPeter is interested in housing policy, affordability, and urban development that works for all. A New York City native, he was a policy analyst at the NY City Council and a project manager at Empire State Development before coming to HKS, where he is concentrating in Social & Urban Policy. He co-chairs HKS’s City + Local PIC.

Rebecca Schwartz, MPP 2018
rebecca_schwartzRebecca spent the past eight years working on health and education programs, domestically and abroad. Most recently, she conducted randomized control trials at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, evaluating interventions to improve health outcomes for low income New Yorkers. She hopes to learn effective leadership strategies to better promote health policies.

Shweta Arya, MPA/ID 2017
shweta_aryaShweta is a second-year dual-degree candidate pursuing the MPA/ID alongside an MBA from the Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania. Originally from India, she worked as a development practitioner at the World Bank prior to graduate school and spent last summer interning at the Albright Stonebridge Group. As a member of the Leadership Development cohort, she would like to work on improving her leadership presence – by learning how to inspire and motivate others.

Mala Paliwal, MPA 2018
mala_paliwalMala most recently worked in business advisory services for not-for-profit industries at Grant Thornton, New York from over 10 years of private sector experience in consulting, accounting, and auditing in Argentina, Brazil, India, Mexico, United Kingdom, and United States. She has expertise in business and people development, internal and external audits, risk assessment, financial analysis and modelling, and knowledge management. An accountant by training, Mala is passionate about gender diversity and equality in organizations. 

George-Axelle Broussillon Matschinga, MC/MPA 2018
george-axelle_broussillonAn Arthur Sachs Fellow and the Vice-President of Diversity of the Harvard Kennedy School Student Government, George-Axelle is an International Diversity Expert. Committed to recruiting and advancing minorities and women in the workplace for more than ten years, she is one of the first Diversity managers in France. She graduated from ESCP Europe Business School and holds a Master’s Degree in HR, Communication and Negotiation from CELSA-Sorbonne University in France.


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.