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 2018 Workshop Schedule

October 1 & 2: Leadership of Self: Personal Capacity Building for Change Agents

Tim O'Brien, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School

November 5 & 6: Transforming Self, Teams, and Organizations

Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer, Work and Organization Studies, MIT Sloan School

November 26 & 27: In the Tranches: Leading Through Community Engagement

Nancy Oriol, Faculty Associate Dean for Communty Engagement in Medicine Education and Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical 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. Click here to see our recently-announced 2018 trips.

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.


Ken Abante, MPA/ID 2019
Ken AbanteKen Abante worked for the Philippine government for four years as deputy chief of staff to seven-time finance minister of the year in Asia Cesar Purisima. He is the co-founder of Bagumbayani, an organization that recruits students to public service. Being part of the CPL community will help Ken develop his ideas for scaling up his government recruitment initiative.

Asset Abdualiyev, MC/MPA 2018
Asset AbdualiyevAsset Abdualiyev serves as the Advisor to the Mayor of Almaty on Innovation and Urban Development. Asset sought out the LD cohort to learn more about exercising leadership, find his true north and inspire people in his community to practice leadership. Asset is eager to learn about leadership and impact from other cohort members, HKS fellows and faculty.

Damelya Aitkhozhina, MC/MPA 2018
Damelya AitkhozhinaDamelya Aitkhozhina is a Program Specialist at UN Women. Damelya joins the LD cohort to expand her leadership toolkit to promote creative solutions for civil society in her region through understanding the importance of leadership skills. Damelya comes to HKS from Kazakhstan.

Abhishek Asthana, MPA/MBA 2021
Abishek AsthanaAbhishek Asthana is a concurrent degree candidate at HKS and Wharton. He previously worked in impact investing at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and joined the LD cohort to develop as a leader in an entrepreneurial capacity.

Borja Gomez Rojo, MC/MPA 2018
Borja Gomez RojoBorja Gomez Rojo, originally from Spain, is focusing his time at HKS on Global Governance and Leadership. Borja has been working in clean energy for the last 12 years and remains passionate about global, green policies. Borja aims to take advantage of the LD Cohort to help him become a solid leader for that mission.

Gessika Innocent, MC/MPA 2018
Gessika InnocentGessika Innocent is the President of the Kennedy School Student Government and originally hails from Haiti. Prior to coming to Harvard, Gessika worked for Morgan Stanley. Gessika joins the cohort with the aim of sharpening her leadership skillsets, and learning how to influence and communicate persuasively to a diverse audience.

Brenda Jones, MC/MPA 2018
Brenda JonesBrenda Jones, the Communications Director for Rep. John Lewis, U.S. House of Representatives, is concentrating her studies at HKS on social innovation. Joining the cohort will help offer personal leadership development training for the skills required to manage The John Lewis Institute of Peace, an organization Brenda founded and leads.

Mohammed Musleh, MC/MPA 2018
Mohammed MuslehMohammed Musleh comes to the LD Cohort with a focus on Management, Leadership and Decision Sciences. Mohammed built his first startup in 1999 and remains committed to innovation and technology. Mohammed is passionate about helping aspiring entrepreneurs build their startups and he is committed to a free and viable Palestine.

Vidya Neelakantan, MPP 2019
Vidya NeelakantanVidya Neelakantan, a member of the International and Global Affairs MPP cohort, joins the LD Cohort from the U.S. federal government. Vidya aims to use the Spring LD cohort to develop the leadership and management skills necessary to be an effective voice on urgent foreign policy issues.

Eva-Maria Olbers, MPA 2019
Eva-Maria OlbersEva-Maria Olbers comes to the LD cohort with a focus on education and technology policy. Prior to HKS, Eva worked at Microsoft, Knewton and BCG. Eva is the co-founder of “STEMgem,” the not-for-profit “Bridge To Afghanistan,” and a selected World Economic Forum Global Shaper. She is drawn to the cohort for personal growth and to directly support her cohort members.

Mia Ozegovic, MPP 2018
Mia OzegovicMia Ozegovic, originally from Bosnia, joins the LD Cohort with an interest in Business and Government Policy. Mia has previously worked for UNICEF evaluating programming for youth and adolescents, and as a mathematics instructor teaching statistics and pre-calculus. By joining the LD Cohort, Mia hopes to gain the necessary leadership, management, and negotiation skills to improve policies that affect refugee youth.

Daniela Philipson Garcia, MPP 2019
Daniela Philipson GarciaDaniela is from Mexico City and holds two degrees in Political Science and International Relations. Before coming to HKS, Daniela served as a legislative advisor for the President of the Mexican Senate where she helped draft and pass bills on national security and drug policy. Daniela is also a passionate feminist activist as well as a Fulbright-García Robles 2017 fellow.

Sean Quirk, MPP/JD 2021
Sean QuirkSean Quirk is a concurrent degree candidate at Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Law School, concentrating in International and Global Affairs. Sean served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the U.S. Navy from 2012 to 2017. Sean comes to the LD cohort to share his experience leading sailors and develop leadership skills for a career in public service.

Alexis Reyes, MPP 2018
Alexis ReyesAlexis Reyes, a former data analytics intern at the Government Accountability Office, aims to exercise leadership by creating a holding environment filled with a small group of leaders from a diverse array of personal and professional backgrounds. He seeks to promote the sharing of leadership successes and failures and best practices after HKS.

Hanes Roberts, 2018 MC/MPA
Hanes RobertsHanes Roberts joins the LD Cohort with a focus on trade and diplomacy. Hanes most recently founded a restaurant and worked in management consulting. Previously, Hanes was a Peace Corps volunteer and headed a Philippine/Australian company, focused on technology development in the clean energy sector. Hanes knows that leadership can be a confusing and iterative process, and seeks to continue building a foundation upon which to draw upon in order to become a better leader.

Sunita Saligram, MC/MPA 2018
Sunita SaligramSunita Saligram previously served as a Director in PwC’s Strategic Threat Management and Anti-Corruption Practice and member of PwC’s Global Crisis Centre and International Development Assistance Network. Sunita has joined the LD cohort to explore lessons learned with peers, and analyze, in unfiltered discussions, the root causes of their leadership successes and failures in order to help each other grow.

Mathangi Swaminathan, MPA/ID 2019
Mathangi SwaminathanMathangi Swaminathan is an Acumen Fellow, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and co-directed Waste Ventures India, a social enterprise to formalize the informal waste picker community in India. Through the LD cohort, Mathangi seeks to enhance her ability to lead difficult conversations on issues of gender equality and safety.

Korey Te Hira, MPP 2019
Korey Te HiraKorey Te Hira, from New Zealand, brings to the LD Cohort a strong interest in Business and Government Policy. Prior to HKS, Korey lived in London and worked in a variety of finance roles for media companies. Korey is eager to learn new leadership skills so he can help motivate fellow Māori to contribute to a dynamic and growing economy.

Gagan Vaseer, MPP 2019
Gagan VaseerGagan Vaseer comes to the LD Cohort with a policy interest in International and Global Affairs. Born in India, Gagan comes to HKS from San Francisco, where he supported Strategy and Effectiveness at Google. Passionate about public service innovation, Gagan joins the LD Cohort to both become a more nuanced leader, and to utilize his multi-sector experiences to enable his peers to become transformational public servants.

Francisca Villalobos, MPA 2019
Francisca VillalobosFrancisca Villalobos joins the LD Cohort with an interest in urban planning and transportation as tools to address inequality and promote inclusive economic growth in cities. Prior to Harvard, Francisca studied industrial engineering, worked in the Minister of National Property monitoring and coordinating strategic projects, and spent three years in a management consultancy firm. Francisca comes to HKS from Chile.

Yuheng Wen, MPA 2018
Yuheng WenYuheng Wen (CPA, CFA) has worked two years in an education NGO in D.C and is from China. In 2017, Yuheng founded an education organization to expand education opportunities for underprivileged Chinese youth through advocating policy initiatives and private education projects. By joining the LD cohort, Yuheng aims to improve his capacity to serve underprivileged groups.

May Chengnan Wu, MPP 2018
May Chengnan WuMay Chengnan Wu, originally from China, focuses on social and urban policy. May is the co-president of the China Society and is a Dalio Scholar at the Ash Center for Democracy. May worked on the leadership team at BN Vocational School, a nonprofit serving disadvantaged youth in China and Angola. May hopes to learn to lead from both front and behind.

Tlek Zeinullayev, MPA/ID 2019
Tlek ZeinullayevTlek Zeinullayev previously worked in the China division and the Small States Unit of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department. Prior to joining the IMF, he worked as a consultant at the World Bank in the Europe and Central Asia Chief Economist Office. He believes that this leadership program will drive him to a new level of self-awareness.


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.